How to Make a Japanese iTunes Account to Download Free Apps

How to Make a Japanese iTunes Account to Download Free Games 2015

The Japanese App Store is a treasure trove of free games you can download and play, even if you don’t know Japanese. Back in 2011, I published a tutorial on how to make a Japanese iTunes account without registering a credit card, and it continues to be one of my most popular posts. Though the process is largely the same, my original post was long overdue for an overhaul, so allow me to present… “How to Make a Japanese iTunes Account to Download Free Apps,” the 2015 edition! Read on and you’ll be downloading all sorts of free Japanese apps in no time!

Update 14/08/2017: Please note that this guide was created in 2015 and may not reflect the current method required to create an account. I have received a number of emails regarding an error that appears during the new verification process. Unfortunately, I do not know why this error occurs or how to rectify the issue. 

First, open iTunes on your computer and go to the App Store. On recent versions of iTunes this may be slightly confusing, so make sure Apps is selected from the drop down menu on the lefthand side, as pictured below. Otherwise, it defaults to the iTunes Store, which will force you to register a credit card.

How to Make a Japanese iTunes Account to Download Japanese Apps 1

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Once you’re in the App Store, scroll all the way down to the country flag at the bottom right of the page. Click it, and select Japan from under Asia Pacific to switch to the Japanese App Store.

Now, search for a free Japanese app. It doesn’t matter which one since you won’t be downloading it right away, but by clicking on a free app you will not be required to enter a credit card when you make an account. Try searching for “Mobius Final Fantasy” and it should show up in the results. Click “get.”

You’ll then be prompted to sign in to your account, but since you don’t have one yet, select “Create Apple ID.” The next screen welcomes you to the iTunes Store. Click “continue” at the bottom righthand corner and agree to the terms and conditions.

How to Make a Japanese iTunes Account to Download Japanese Apps 5

To create an account, use an email address that is not already linked to an Apple ID/iTunes account in another region. If you already have one Gmail email address, an easy way to make a second one is to add one or more periods to your original address. For example, if my email was chicpixel@gmail.com, I could register chic.pixel@gmail.com or .chic.pixel@gmail.com. While they count as a different account, they’ll still direct to your primary address.

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The next page will ask you to provide a payment method, but if you’ve followed the instructions up until this point, “none” should be the final option. Select this so you don’t need to enter a credit card!

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Since your name likely isn’t Japanese, just enter it again when it asks for the phonetic version. Then, for your billing address, I suggest using a random Japanese address of a hotel or other similar institution. Alternatively, if you have a Tenso forwarding account (which is free to sign up for and great if you ever want to buy something from Japan), you can enter that address. To save you time, here is an example address you can use to register for your own account:

Postal Code: 160-0023
Prefecture: Tokyo
City: Shinjuku
Street: 6-Chome
Apt., suite, bldg.: 6-2 Nishi Shinjuku
Area code: 03
Phone: 3344-5111
(if you’re curious, this is Hilton Tokyo’s information)

Finally, select “Create Apple ID”! You’ll receive an email to the address you registered. Click on the link provided to verify your address and finish the account creation process.

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Congratulations, you now have a Japanese iTunes account! Now you can sign in on your iPhone or iPad. To do this, just open the App Store and click on featured on the far left. Then, scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the Apple ID you’re currently logged in with. Tap on that, select “Sign Out,” and then sign back in with your new Japanese ID. It will automatically switch you to the Japanese store.

Update: If instead of creating a new account you receive an error that reads: “For assistance, please contact iTunes support,” please wait 24-48 hours and then try again. Unfortunately this appears to be a recurring issue that happens occasionally.

Whenever you want to switch back, just repeat the same process and sign back in to your other account! Alternatively, if you don’t want to bother with switching accounts on your devices, you can just download apps on your computer and transfer to your iPhone/iPad by connecting your device and syncing the downloaded apps.

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Now you can download Japanese apps to your hearts content! Some suggestions to get started: the aforementioned Mobius Final FantasyYowamushi Pedal Puchitto Racers (search 弱虫ペダルぷちっとレーサーズ), Final Fantasy GrandmastersKingdom Hearts Unchained χ  [Key] (search キングダムハーツ アンチェインドキー), or Ai Chuu (search アイ☆チュウ). I’ve provided links to guides on how to play each of the games should you decide to try them out!

Finally, if you decide you want to make purchases, you can without a Japanese credit card by purchasing iTunes credit from online retailers such as JapanCodeSupply. Thanks for reading, and happy downloading!

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.

  • MorganLeeR

    I followed the instructions, but whenever I try, it says “For assistance, please contact iTunes Support”

    • Hm, that’s odd. Where in the process are you getting that message?

      • MorganLeeR

        Thanks for the fast reply!

        I’m getting the message in the page where you select “None” for the payment method.

        • MorganLeeR

          Nevermind, I actually got it to work… I guess it was a problem with iTunes at the time. Thank you!

  • Shiro Yasha

    it says “For assistance, please contact iTunes Support”

    • Shiro Yasha

      Dont know what to do

      • Hello, I’m sorry you’re having difficulties. At what point are you getting that message? It would help if you could provide a screenshot so I can hopefully see what the issue is… a previous commenter mentioned the same problem and they tried again later and it worked, so please try again and see if you have the same problem

        • Shiro Yasha
          • I would suggest entering in your name in English in both name fields. If you have blacked out the gift certificate line because you are trying to use one, I would leave that blank for now and then redeem the gift certificate once you have created the account. Hope that helps!

          • Shiro Yasha

            if I leave the gift certificate line blank, the none option will be gone. I already fill my name in english in both name fields,its still same

          • Ah, did you access the option to create a new account by first selecting a free app in the app store? That way, you’re able to select “none” without using an alternate payment option. Just select any free app in the Japanese store, click “get,” and follow the prompt to create a new account. I was able to make a new account this way just now so it should work for you.

          • Shiro Yasha

            wow.. I’ve tried to make new account and email but its still same. Would you like to create me an japanese account? you can use this email kurooyashaa@gmail.com
            send to my email bulepalelele@yahoo.com

          • Hi, sorry for the delayed reply. If you still haven’t been able to make an account I can do one for you, but please clarify which email address you would like the account registered to (that is the same email it will send the account info to).

  • sarah

    hi i was wondering if you make a JP account for me I don’t have a PC to download Itunes on so if you could id really appreitate it ^^
    my gmail is jrpgamerfan@gmail.com

    • If you have a specific question related to creating an account I’d be happy to help, but I don’t have time to make accounts for everyone who asks. That’s why I made this guide. iTunes is available to download for any PC or Mac, hopefully you can find someone who has one that will let you use it.

      • sarah

        ok thank you ^^

  • Ian Wynmond Garcia

    I cant register as well I tried your guide but it says “For assistance, please contact iTunes Support” I think I tried 20x 🙁

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re having issues. When does this message appear? Are you able to select “none” as a payment option?

      • Ian Wynmond Garcia

        Just now, Yep, able to select none but this keeps “For assistance, please contact iTunes Support” on appearing, I tried a lot of addresses too but still cant crack it

        • Hmm ok I’m not sure how else to troubleshoot with you so if you would like me to try making an account on your behalf, I’m happy to see if I can. Please send me a private message via the contact button on the top toolbar of my site with the email address you would like registered to the account and I’ll give it a shot

          • Ian Wynmond Garcia

            okay wait

          • Ian Wynmond Garcia

            Oh found it wait

          • Ian Wynmond Garcia

            Sent thanks!

          • Got it, thanks.

          • Ian Wynmond Garcia

            Thank you so much!

          • Hello, just letting you know that your account has been made! Please see the email I sent you for more details 🙂

  • Reisi Mercer

    I want to make a Japanese iTunes account but I don’t have a computer where I can download the iTunes appー I’m so saaaaad xDD

  • l

    for some reason, there isn’t a none option on the payment method. :/ sucks!

    • Have you made sure to start the account creation process by clicking “get” on a free app in the app store? Otherwise the none payment option won’t appear

  • Maryn

    I can’t seem to register either, despite my many attempts to change the address and whatnot. I have also selected none and followed the steps. It says ‘For assistance, please contact iTunes Support.’ How can I fix this?

    • Hi Maryn-chan, unfortunately this seems to be a recurring issue and I have no idea why it happens. It does not seem to have anything to do with the information you provide, but may be something going on with iTunes servers, etc. Try making an account again in 24-36 hours using the same info. Sometimes I’ve had to wait up to 48 hours and it magically works. I wish I had a better explanation, sorry!

      • Maryn-Chan

        It’s fine! I’ll try it in a day or two, and see if it works. Thank you for the help.

        • Maryn-Chan

          I waited for about two days, and yet it still hasn’t worked. Any ideas on what to do? 0-0

          • Hm, that’s very weird… I’ll try to make another account myself and see if it works for me

          • Hi again, I was able to create another account, so perhaps it is something wrong with the way the info is being entered? If you’d like to send me a note via my contact form at the top of this page with your details I can try to make the account for you. Sorry to hear you’re having such trouble!

  • Bilkes

    Thanks for making this how-to! I was able to download it, but I have questions. Is there anything I need to be aware of when running both versions on my phone? Such as being signed into either iTunes account. Does it affect anything? And for updates, will it automatically direct me to sign in?

    • Glad to hear you were able to make an account! Whenever there is an update for an app that is linked to a different account than the one you’e currently signed in as, you will be prompted to log in to that one. To do so, just go back to the App Store and log out of the account you’re in, and then log into the one you need to start the update. I’ve been using both a US account and JP account on my iPhone for years, and have never run into any issues.

  • Zack

    I seem to be having the same issues of please contact iTunes I have tried everything I could find but nothing seems to work

  • Zack

    Getting the same thing everyone else the contact iTunes thing no luck so far anyway you can help?

    • Hi Zack, sorry for the delayed reply. Have you tried again since posting this comment? Sometimes there are random issues and it works later. If you’re still not able to make one let me know

  • :)

    I also have the issue of not being able to register because of the for assistance please contact itunes support. I tried waiting waiting 48 hours but it still gives me the same error. 🙁

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re having issues. If you want to send me the email address and password you would like the account under to me via the contact button at the top of the page, I will try to make one for you

      • :)

        I have sent the email information using the contact button. If the iTunes account creation works please send the iTunes account information to my email johnruss010@hotmail.com. Thanks!

  • Lucas Villar

    can you create a account for me?? please..