10 great Japan-only PSN games and how to download them

North American gamers have it pretty good. We pay less for our games and often see them on store shelves earlier than our European and Oceanic counterparts. We’re spoiled, really. But despite our privileged geographic position, we always want more. We envy Japanese gamers, the ones who play the real thing on day one and don’t have to wait for the localization of highly anticipated titles like Final Fantasy XIII.

Luckily, times have changed. Digital distribution means that we don’t always have to wait for physical copies of Japanese imports we want to play. The Japanese PlayStation Network Store is filled with titles that have not yet appeared on the American one. The following is a list of some of our favorite Japan-only PSN games. But first, let’s begin with a detailed guide to help you get online and playing right away.

How to access Japan’s PSN

- Go to profiles and create a new user
- Log in as that user

- Scroll to the PlayStation Network tag and choose “Sign up for PlayStation Network”


- When presented with the choice choose “Create a New Account (New Users)

Above: So far, so easy 

- When presented with the choice choose Japan as your country of residence. This will change all user interface text into Japanese. Continue and enter your birthday.

- Select the lower-right blue button to move on.

Above: You’ll want to enter the year, month, and day from left to right 

- Next up is the end user license agreement. Scroll down and select the button on the lower-right to continue.

- Enter your e-mail address in the first field. When you finish a popup menu will appear. Just click through.

- Select a password and enter it in the second field. It must be over six characters, more than one character must be a number and no character may be repeated more than three times. The password is not case sensitive.

- Re-enter your password in the third field.

- Pick a secret question in the drop down menu in case you forget your password. Just pick one and enter an answer in the very last field. If you want your answer to be in English, you should hit the select button on the PS3 controller until the English characters appear. You should probably write this down.

- The next screen wants you to enter an Online ID. It must be between 3-16 alpha-numeric characters. It cannot be the same as your password, and it cannot be changed. If you cannot proceed past this point, you may need to try coming up with a more original name.

- Next you must enter your name. Put your last name in the first field and your first name in the second field. In order to enter your name in English, hit the select button on the PS3 controller until the English characters appear.

- Use the drop-down menu to select your gender. The top character is for male. The bottom is for female.

- You’ll need to enter a Japanese address. Obtaining one of is up to you. Fortunately, you don’t need to validate your address, so looking up a hotel address should on your own should work fine. Here are translations for the menu fields to help you fill them out.

- Move to the next menu. Don’t check the box and move on to the next menu again.

- You’re almost done. This final screen is just asking you to confirm that all the information you’ve entered so far is correct. Click on the button on the lower-right to proceed.

Above: Congratulations! You are now logged into the Japan PSN 

Let’s start downloading

In order to buy these games you’ll need a Japanese credit card or a Japanese PSN card. For most of you, a Japanese PSN card will be the most convenient option. Like the Japanese address, obtaining one of these items is up to you. Click over to the next page, and keep reading for some of our favorite exclusive titles available online.

Above: Online retailers often add a hefty markup to Japanese PlayStation Network cards. We were able to find some at NCSX, PlayAsia, and Nihongo Pera Pera

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  • james-tillett - November 5, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    Its not as hard as it looks apart from the Japanese zip you can fake the rest make sure you leave yourself signed in had quite a few download since opening it even the ps2 titles are region free wouold strongly recomend watching the you-tube tutorial on how to do it. Best place to buy Japanese network cards is Play-asai available as a digital download so many compliments !! as they say in Japan and happy gaming to you all
  • Darkhawk - January 13, 2011 4:30 a.m.

    OMFG when is Einhander getting a NA release? Cho-Aniki has made it over, but not the greatest PS1 shooter ever?
  • elys - September 17, 2009 8:23 a.m.

    maple story private servers have remained at version 0.62 for almost a year and both players and owners are looking to DestinyMS to be the beta testers of the version. If DestinyMS succeeds we can expect other maple story mesos selling on servers making the switch to version 0.75 in weeks to come.The infamous MapleStory private sever, DestinyMS, announced yesterday that maplestory mesos they will be upgrading to MapleGlobal version 0.75 on Saturday September 12.DestinyMS is known for their bouts with Nexon America (specifically General Counsel Lloyd Korn).Their administrator,maple story Shadow, has refused to abide by every Cease and Desist/DMCA letter and shut down his server permanently arguing the Dutch law allows private server activity and welcomes a lawsuit. DestinyMS is currently the most popular low-rate private server on the MapleStory private server topsite rankings.
  • HMXsean - September 16, 2009 2:36 p.m.

    Wouldn't mined playing some Lammy.
  • katoy toy - September 16, 2009 1:46 a.m.

    I love this site, but the best reason to get an JPSN is Adhoc Party, a free download that allows adhoc PSP connections to occur over the web through the PS3. With a lot of fiddling that is basic, visual, forgiving and easy. Seriously, go!
  • key0blade - September 15, 2009 11:35 p.m.

    Lottsa Japanese stuff goin on these past few days, huh.
  • marty20000 - September 15, 2009 11:35 p.m.

    you can put settings to be in english once your in the username creating thing.... why dont you just put it in english instead? i know because i have a japan account in english
  • Cyberninja - September 15, 2009 8:51 p.m.

    can this work on a psp? i dont have a ps3 yet
  • rockstarsean - September 17, 2009 11:37 a.m.

    Its so much easier if you put your place of residence as Hong Kong, all of the text will now be in english!! Yay!!
  • newton - September 16, 2009 6:27 a.m.

    I played through biohazard 2 in japanese when i was ten :D
  • Ninja-KiLLR - September 16, 2009 12:14 a.m.

    i will have to dig around and try to change it to english then so i can get more use out of my japenesse account
  • Terro - September 15, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    I just use the American PSN store, due to my lack of Japanese language. *Is English and uses the sucky Euro PSN"
  • saltyceadog - September 15, 2009 9:50 p.m.

    Dang, wish I could read Japanese... I want FF:T really bad.
  • Amnesiac - September 15, 2009 9:44 p.m.

    @lovinmyps3: RE2 is coming to the US store. You can hold out for that and not have to go through the hassle of making a JPN account.
  • lovinmyps3 - September 15, 2009 9:07 p.m.

    I'm definately doing this! I've always wanted to play Resident Evil 2 but couldn't find a hard copy. Yakuza 3 would be pretty cool too!