Tutorial: How to make a Japanese iTunes Account to Download Free Apps

Hey there! I recently completely revamped this guide for 2015. You can head over to the new version by clicking on this text. You won’t be disappointed! If you decide you’d like to add some money to your account to purchase paid apps, sites such as Play Asia offer services to buy iTunes credit outside of Japan.

To start, open the iTunes store on your computer. Once it’s loaded, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the flag displaying your current regional settings on the right (mine is currently USA).

2.     A list of countries will appear, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Japanese flag at the bottom left to access the Japanese store.
3.     You will now be in the Japanese iTunes store. Before creating an account, you need to select the FREE app you want. Here I downloaded ポケモン言えTAP? 
4.     Pokemon Ie Tap? should appear in the search results. Click on the “free” button to be prompted to make a Japanese iTunes account.
5.     Click on “Create new account.” Then select “continue.”
6.     At the top of the page it will say: “If your billing address is not in Japan, click here.” Disregard this, as you will not be entering your credit card details and do not need to provide an address.
7.     Agree to the terms and select “continue.”
8.     Fill out your personal details and select “continue.” If you already have an iTunes account for your current region of residence, you will need to use a different email address when creating a Japanese account.
9.     For “Credit Card,” select “none.” If the “none” option doesn’t appear, that means you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way­–you probably didn’t select Pokemon Ie Tap? in the iTunes app store. Remember, you need to have started from a free app in order for the “none” selection to appear.
10. You’ll have to enter an address, so use your Google-fu to look up a legitimate Japanese zip code (example: 100-8994). The rest of the address can be made up, as you won’t be using it. For your phone number, you must also come up with a legitimate-looking number. One possible area code is 03 and then the following number should look like this: xxxx-xxxx.
Note: For Phonetic First and Phonetic Last, you can just reenter your name. This is for Japanese kanji where there can be more than one potential reading for the same characters
11. Click “continue,” and if you have entered the address correctly, you will be met with a screen telling you to verify your Apple ID by checking the email address you provided at the beginning.
12. You should have received an email from Apple. The subject will be in Japanese but will begin with the words “Apple ID.” Open the email, and click the link highlighted in the image below to verify your account.
13. You will be directed to a page where you need to sign in using your email address and password. Click in the blue button after you have done so.
14. A green check mark with text will appear. Click the blue button to return to the iTunes store. If iTunes doesn’t open automatically, go ahead and access the store in iTunes yourself, and sign in by clicking “Sign In” at the top right corner.
      Congratulations, you now have a Japanese iTunes account! Now you’ll need to find the app you want again to download it. Paste the title into the search bar one more time. Once it comes up, all you need to do is click on it to be prompted to enter your password and start the download! Try all different types of searches to unearth some fun and quirky free Japanese apps! Enjoy!

 

I hope this was useful! Let me know what you thought in the comments, and thanks for reading.

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.

  • Well, that sucks that you can’t even make use of your own tutorial! Still, thanks for sharing the details with the rest of us. I’d definitely download it if I actually had an iPhone. As it stands, I’ll just live through others 🙂

  • I know, Bryan! It’s really too bad, but oh well. The app is available for Android phones as well, if you have one, but I can’t write a tutorial for those since I’ve never owned one (don’t even know if you can access Japanese apps on Android phones, come to think of it)

  • Anonymous

    I got to the part with the personal info and I got an error message, I can’t read it yet because I just started Japanese and I can’t copy it.
    It says something Apple ID. o.O

  • Hello anon! Is there any way you could take a screenshot of the error message? If you don’t know how, try searching Google for “how to screenshot” with Mac or Windows, depending on which you use. If you could take a picture of it, that’d really help me to figure out what’s going wrong.

    Also, are you getting this error message after you fill in your personal info and try to continue, or before that?

  • Actually, anon, are you sure you’re not using the same email that you already have registered with another iTunes account? If it’s giving you an error that says something with “Apple ID” in it, it might be telling you that that email is already registered.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, that may be the case. I’ll see if that works then if it doesn’t, I’ll screen shot it. ^^

  • Anonymous

    It worked! ^o^

  • Yay! Glad it worked! I’d love to hear your thoughts once you get to play it 😀

  • Anonymous

    thanks it works

  • Glad to hear it worked for you, too, anon!

  • Anonymous

    it works thanks so much!!! xoxo
    but what if we want to purchase paid app???

  • Hi anon! Glad it worked for you!

    As for purchasing paid apps, unfortunately if you don’t have a Japanese address, it’s a little more difficult. Luckily, though, there are some sites that sell prepaid iTunes gift cards overseas. I recommend JList for these, the link to the cards is here: http://www.jlist.com/product/ITUNESCARD

    They provide detailed information on how to use the card. These of course can be used for movies, music, or apps – anything you can purchase from the iTunes store.

  • Twilight Tulip

    The store continues to prompt me for an address and refuses to let me create an account without entering one. How am I supposed to avoid this…?

  • Twilight Tulip

    Wait…if I’ve got a credit card, does that mean I can just register it and…be fine? Like, use all the fake billing information and still use my card?

  • Twilight Tulip

    Okay, got everything down, got the verification email. The only problem is…the link takes me back to the US iTunes store, and I can’t change it back to Japanese and still get the same window! :C The link has a language code that I could change, but I don’t know what the input for the Japanese language would be. :c

  • Hi Twilight Tulip!

    Sorry for the delay, I was on holiday for Chinese New Year 🙂

    Glad to hear it’s just about working! When the link takes you back to the US iTunes store, you should be able to switch to the Japanese store by scrolling down and clicking on the US flag in the bottom right corner (shown here in steps 1 and 2). Now you should be able to freely switch between the two! It may look like the language has just changed to Japanese, but if you notice, some of the images will be different, reflecting the different region of the store. If in doubt, look at that flag in the bottom right corner and it will tell you which version you are currently viewing.

    If you’d like to download the Pokemon Tap game, just cut and paste this ポケモン言えTAP? into the search bar when viewing the Japanese store.

    Let me know if you have any more questions!

  • Freeter

    Thanks for the guide! I was able to register an account when downloading a different app. Although, I would’ve wanted to download the Pokemon Tap game, unfortunately when I search for it, I don’t get any results. Do you know if they removed the game or something?

  • Hi Freeter! You’re welcome! I’m glad it worked for you.

    I went and checked on the iTunes store on my computer here, and it says that it’s no longer available! Oh no! The Japanese Pokemon site doesn’t say anything about it being a limited run thing or anything like that, so I really don’t know what to say! I’m so sorry about that. Perhaps because it was free they only decided to make it available for a certain amount of time? But it’s very odd that there would be no mention of it anywhere.

    I hope you have fun perusing the Japanese app store, regardless! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Freeter

    Well darn, that’s too bad then. You would think that they would at least change it to a paid app, rather than remove it all together >.<
    But anyway, thanks for letting me know!

  • Ami

    This really helped a lot!!! Thank you sooo much 🙂 I can finally download japanese apps!

  • Hi Ami! And you’re welcome! I’m glad it helped you out 🙂

  • kaze

    i managed to download free Jap itunes app based on the above steps. But i can’t transfer them to my iphone! Help T_T

  • kaze

    Hi
    Kaze again. I managed to solve the problem! ^o^ No need to trouble you anymore! Cheers

  • kaze – Glad to hear it worked! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Hi everyone. Not sure if this has been mentioned here yet. If you need itunes giftcards, http://www.japan-codes.com/ is a great way to go.

    http://jpopcentral.yuku.com/topic/983/Want–use-iTunes-JAPAN-Meet-WWW-JAPAN-CODES-COM-Thank is where I found out about this website.

    I have tried it myself, purchased a Y500 itunes card, and got a working itunes code within 5 mins.

    Hope this helps as the information on this page helped me with creating an account.

  • Thanks for the steps of “How to create an account for the JAPAN ITunes Store and ITunes Account Help”, it is very impotent part of apple customer, no body want to miss all Music, Movies, TV Series, eBooks, Audio Books,iPhone Applications, iPod Applications and iPad applications provided by ITunes Store.

  • John Nicks

    Even though this is crazy late, I found this crazy awesome! Growing up in Japan, now living in America, you really get to miss all the crazy stuff. Gundam G-Generation Touch, here I come!

  • apricotsushi

    Thanks! I’m glad to it’s still helpful. Never know when Apple might decide to change how they do things. I just got an iPhone myself, so I can finally play all these free titles I’ve been downloading and hording on my computer 🙂

  • Daniel

    Thanks, this was really helpful! You’re very cute btw. 😉

  • Samraffel

    Join FanUp and get a stack of iTunes Credits today. Complete simple surveys, win contests and use FanUp toolbar to earn iTunes Credits

  • Aoharu

    Hey, do you know if these instructions would work for other countries, too?

  • apricotsushi

    Sure! Just select the flag of the country you’d like, and of course you’ll need to enter in an address that works in that country, as well. Good luck!

  • kariokafx

    obrigado,mutio bom o seu tutorial!!! thanks

  • apricotsushi

    You’re welcome 🙂

  • MiNi0u0

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH :DDDD I wanted to play taiko no tatsujin on my phone soooo much :DDDDD

  • apricotsushi

    Glad it was helpful! Did you run into anything that wasn’t explained well, or seemed different from my instructions? I wrote this over a year ago so things may have changed a little since then.

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS TUTORIAL!

    your blog is amazing to say the least, followed you! xxx,

    http://whimsicalityindisguise.com/

  • im an AAA fan (in J-Pop) would i need to do this to get all the content back?

  • apricotsushi

    Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean… If your question is whether you need to do this process to access Japanese songs on iTunes, then yes, you would.

  • apricotsushi, yes this is what i mean. so the whole process can be faked from a US account correct, i don’t need JP gift cards to buy content?

  • apricotsushi

    If you use this tutorial, you’re not “faking” anything, you’re actually creating a Japanese iTunes account separate from your US one. If you want to purchase content, you do need to buy JP iTunes gift cards, as foreign credit cards do not work.

  • so it’s cross migration separate from the US one? so for my favorite band it would be 36 singles and 7 studio albums X the amount of JP itunes cards? what kinds of gift amounts are on JP itunes gift cards and where can they be bought or imported?

  • apricotsushi

    The iTunes store restricts each account to one region, but on your computer everything will appear in the same iTunes library regardless of which region you purchased/downloaded the content from.

    I’m sure there are many stores online that sell Japanese iTunes cards, but the one I know and trust is Jlist.com: http://www.jlist.com/product/ITUNESCARD They currently have 3,000 yen and 1,500 yen cards available. Generally you can purchase a song for 150-200 yen.

    I hope that helps!

  • apricotsushi

    Oh another store that sells Japanese iTunes gift cards is http://www.japan-codes.com/ but I’ve never tried them myself.

  • adrian

    Hi there, if i create a japan itunes account and purchased Japanese games, does it delete my USA games that is being saved in my iphone? Thanks and please help me 🙂

  • apricotsushi

    Hello! No, if you connect your iPhone to your computer to transfer over Japanese games, it will not delete any of your content from the USA store. Just remember that it may change the account your iPhone is signed into, so when you go to the App Store on your phone you may have to switch back to your USA account when downloading/updating your content. If you have any more questions, just let me know.

  • adrian

    I see, thank you for your prompt reply. Now i finally understand 🙂 Apparently, there’s a change in option (i.e non credit card) when setting up a new JPN account, and is being replaced as paypal. So am i right to say that we can purchase jpn games via pay pal?

  • apricotsushi

    No problem! As for PayPal, I would assume you should be able to buy games with your Paypal account if it gives you that option. Unfortunately I can’t confirm that, though, as when I log into my Japanese account and check payment I only see credit card and a “none” option still.

  • adrian

    I see, it’s alright.. I do appreciate your replies. I will try it the next time i gotten my iphone. Thanks again for the great help

  • mi how

    I’ve download Gundam app. in itunes japan. But why it can’t work.. I even can’t opened it… Why ita can be happend? What I must do.. FYI: I lived in Indonesia. Is that matter? Help me guys… thx

  • mi how

    hi… your prob was same w/ me…… But in my prob, I’ve download Gundam app in Japan itunes, I’ve transfer it to my ipad, but i can’t opened it… whyyyyyyyyy??????? help….. I’m a BIG FAN of gundam…. help…..

  • apricotsushi

    If you downloaded the app and it appears in your iTunes library, then you should be able to transfer it to your iDevice and play it from there. If it does not work even after you’ve installed it on your device, then it may be a problem with the app. This tutorial is only on how to make an account to download apps, so I can’t really help you with your specific question, sorry.

  • jo

    wat happens if u wanna buy something? do u just use the American currency to buy stuff

  • apricotsushi

    iTunes Japan only accepts Japanese credit cards, so you will need to purchase a Japanese iTunes gift card from an online retailer such as Jlist.com.
    You can purchase them through my affiliate link: http://affiliates.jlist.com/click/19?url=http://www.jlist.com/product/ITUNESCARD

  • Katsudon

    Is there any way that you can do this on the phone?

  • apricotsushi

    You can make a Japanese account, but I’m not sure you’ll be able to make one that isn’t linked to a credit card. When you use iTunes on the computer, you’re able to make an account by first selecting a free app to download and then following the prompts to make an account, which gives you the “none” option when selecting a payment. I don’t believe this option is available when doing it through the iPhone app store. If you still want to try it, here are instructions on how to get started on your phone, but as I said I can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to make an account without linking a credit card (Japanese credit cards are required for a Japanese account):

    Just go to the app store or iTunes, then click whatever the first tab on the on the bottom left is and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. If you’re currently signed in it will say Apple ID: username, click that and sign out, then click “sign in” and choose to create a new account. Then it’ll ask what region account you want and you’ll need to scroll all the way down to the bottom and choose 日本, which should be the second from the bottom. The rest should pretty much follow this guide, but let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Anon

    I used this for a different app but it was still very helpful. Thank you!

  • apricotsushi

    You’re welcome!

  • Leon

    Can it work wif ipad too?

  • Carlos

    Does PayPal work?

  • apricotsushi

    Sure! As long as you can access the App Store.

  • apricotsushi

    No, unfortunately

  • Seraphrose

    Hi there. I’m already familiar with this method, but now my question is: it is possible to actually use American (or non-Japanese) credit cards to purchase from the Japanese store?

    I’ve tried actually entering my debit card into the Payment Method portion of the registration, but it told me that my card was unavailable to use due to its region.

    I’ve used Paypal to “pay” for Japanese goods from overseas, and now I wonder if there’s some way I can purchase some apps (that cost money) in the Japanese App Store.

    Thanks for the help!

  • apricotsushi

    Hi Seraphrose! Unfortunately, the Japanese iTunes store requires a Japanese credit card to make purchases, and it does not accept PayPal, either. They don’t make it easy for us foreigners!

    The best way to purchase apps would be to ask a friend who has a Japanese credit card or buy a Japanese iTunes prepaid card (you can get them here: http://anime.jlist.com/click/4659?url=http://www.jlist.com/product/ITUNESCARD). Hope that helps, and sorry there isn’t a better way!

  • Seraphrose

    Wow awesome! I didn’t know J-list sold these prepaid cards.

    Thank you so much for the link and suggestion!

  • Weed McBongjoint

    hello i have tried to use this but it wont work?

    it’s mainly the address line and such, i have no idea on how japanese addresses work, do you have any tips or something?

    thank you

  • apricotsushi

    You’re welcome! If you purchase the cards through my affiliate link, it’d be greatly appreciated 🙂

  • apricotsushi

    You can check out this Wiki page for help on Japanese address formatting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_addressing_system or just Google “Japanese address example”

    Hope that helps!

  • jtm cuz

    Hi just wondering but i bought an japanese itunes card, and it shows that i have 3,000 yen on my account, but when i try to purchase anything on the store it gives me a message saying “your purchase could not be completed.”

  • Guest

    Can you get in trouble for this?

  • apricotsushi

    Nope! I’ve been doing it for years.

  • Check out: http://japancodesupply.com
    They specialize in Japan gift cards (iTunes, etc). Cheap and fast online delivery (within 24 hours).
    Their store is still small but they gradually adding more card types. Hope it helps!

  • I found a great place to buy Japan iTunes Card: http://japancodesupply.com

    They specialize in Japan gift cards (iTunes, etc). Cheap and fast online delivery (within 24 hours).

    Their store is still small but they gradually adding more card types. Hope it helps, everyone =)

  • Thanks a lot for sharing important information. You can download iTunes 12.0.1 (64-bit) for free by clicking on Download iTunes 12.0.1 (64-bit)

  • Monster

    Does this work for the ITunes store as well? (if so, is it possible to put money onto it?)

  • FreeItunesgiftcards

    Free $10 Itunes gift card in 1 minute just sign up. Limited time offer

    http://goo.gl/j7HXq

  • apricotsushi

    Unfortunately I’ve never added money to my Japanese account, so I’m not sure what the problem is. If you’re signed in under your Japanese account and can see the money, I’m not sure what else to check… Maybe make sure you’ve entered in a valid Japanese address? Alternatively, you could take a screenshot of the exact error you’re getting and I can try to assist you further

  • haru chennn

    i dont understand. when i go on itunes store (ipad) i dont see anything it just says

    Apple ID :

    it doesnt say anything like my region or anything ;(

    plz help

    • You will need to first make the Japanese account on iTunes on your computer, after that you can sign in from your iPad. If you follow the instructions in this post on PC/Mac, it should work! Let me know if you have any other questions

  • Zach

    Thank you! this helped a bunch!

  • Bella ramlan

    Anne Lee-san can you please make me one of apple id? since i been trying for 50+ and yet..i still cant create one this alwasy come out when i make app-store acc “for assistance contact itunes Support at wwwapple.com/support/itunes/ww” please help me QAQ