There are fewer countries in the world as digitally connected as Japan. It’s so comprehensive that the number of users there has flatlined. This long-standing digitization means a mature market that’s willing to buy online to the tune of more than $114 billion in 2020.
Japan is Massively Digital
Part of the reason I’ve recommended robust hosting solutions like ScalaHosting, WP Engine, and Kinsta is due to the maturity of the Japanese market. While there’s undoubtedly a traditional audience, users are beginning to shift towards next-generation websites.
These websites move past simple text and images on flat-screen displays and towards integrated displays like smart glasses. The result is a need for much more powerful hosting to build these websites.
Almost 50% of Japanese Households Purchased Something Online
The predominant reason why the Japanese eCommerce market is so significant is because of the number of people willing to buy online. Over 2020, almost half of all Japanese households purchased something online.
This purchase didn’t only cover products but services as well. To compete in Japan, you’ll need a very capable website to help you tap into this well-connected market. There’s simply no other way around it today.
The Best Web Host for Japanese Websites
With a massive array of a powerful web hosting companies in the WHSR database, we’ve compiled a list of the best web hosting choices for Japan. It’s a location of particular focus due to high connectivity and extremely digital culture.
Whether you’re looking to do business in the country or inside looking out, this unbiased list has something for everyone. There’s also a supplementary table with more localized hosting if you want more options.
Price: from $3.95/mo
Hosting Available: Shared, WordPress, Managed Cloud VPS, Reseller, Dedicated Servers
ScalaHosting started in 2007 and originated in Europe. Today the company is dual-headquartered, with the addition of a second home base in the US. Over the past few years, ScalaHosting has been on an expansion spree, partnering with Digital Ocean and AWS.
Why Choose ScalaHosting for Japan Web Hosting
Being initially from Sophia, Bulgaria, ScalaHosting understands the need for localization more keenly than most. Yet, the company’s values have always been in offering customers the best bang-for-buck performance.
Because of this, rather than open local offices, they’ve focused on partnerships that increase their server location base. Thanks to Digital Ocean and AWS, you get access to the value-packed ScalaHosting proposition almost everywhere.
ScalaHosting also has handy tools such as their cPanel alternative, SPanel, that’s free. In addition, their SShield solution offers increased cybersecurity. If you need the best value in powerful VPS hosting, this is a top choice.
ScalaHosting Data Center Locations
- Texas, USA
- New York, USA
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Bangalore, India (via Digital Ocean)
- London, UK (via Digital Ocean)
- Singapore (via Digital Ocean)
- Frankfurt, Germany (via Digital Ocean)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (via Digital Ocean)
- San Francisco, USA (via Digital Ocean)
- Toronto, Canada (via Digital Ocean)
- Free proprietary web hosting control panel
- Cheap managed VPS hosting
- Solid cybersecurity with SShield
- White label control panel and reseller hosting
- Lots of freebies, including SSL and domain name
- Limited shared hosting server locations
Price: from $1.39/mo
Hosting Available: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, Dedicated Servers
Hosting has a long history in web hosting, starting in 2004. The company has grown steadily and is one of the most localized businesses in multiple locations. It offers a full range of web hosting services, including some cheap budget-oriented plans.
Why Choose Hostinger for Japan Web Hosting
Japan isn’t one of the core locations for Hostinger, but they have a diverse spread of alternative locations. This range gives them far better potential than a hosting company that’s only available locally.
Singapore is your best bet for a Hostinger server if you’re looking to target an Asia-centric market. At the same time, Hostigner has a Japanese version of their website, so you know what you’re getting – and paying for in JPY.
Prices here are affordable, and you get a lot for what you’re paying. They use their customized version of a web hosting control panel that’s very capable and easy to use. The only problem is that installing a free SSL might give you a headache.
Hostinger Data Center Locations
- Very affordable web hosting choices
- GIT access on all plans
- Official 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Weekly account backups
- Multiple options for payments
- No free automated file backups
- No SSH access on the cheapest plan
3. WP Engine
Price: from $25/mo
Hosting Available: Managed WordPress, WooCommerce
WP Engine is a Texas-based web hosting provider with a niche product. It only offers Managed WordPress hosting, which simplifies the scenario. Since most newer websites are running this Content Management System (CMS) anyway, it’s become a viable business model.
Why Choose WP Engine for Japan Web Hosting
WP Engine is a top choice if you’re looking for a solid WordPress hosting service provider. It runs exclusively on Cloud-based plans on Google or AWS infrastructure. This fact does drive costs up a little but ensures your website will run like a thoroughbred.
Since they only offer this category of hosting, there are many pretty unique advantages. For example, even the cheapest plan on WP Engine includes ten premium WordPress themes you can use.
They also offer free website migrations, daily backups, SSL, and SSH, along with one-click staging if you need some development features. In addition, they’re able to field expert WordPress-centric support staff, giving you expert niche advice when necessary.
WP Engine Data Center Locations
- Iowa, USA (Google)
- South Carolina, USA (Google)
- Oregon, USA (Google and AWS)
- Virginia, USA (AWS)
- Ohio, USA (AWS)
- Montreal, Canada (Google and AWS)
- St. Ghislain, Belgium (Google)
- London, UK (Google and AWS)
- Frankfurt, Germany (Google and AWS)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (Google)
- Singapore (AWS)
- Changhua County, Taiwan (Google)
- Tokyo, Japan (Google)
- Sydney, Australia (Google and AWS)
- Longer than a typical money-back guarantee
- Flat pricing model, no price hikes
- Everything runs on Google and Amazon infrastructure
- Expert WordPress support staff
- Lots of freebies and developer options
- Email hosting not included
- No cheap hosting plans
Price: from $10/mo
Hosting Available: Cloud Hosting
Cloudways is a Maltese brand that started in 2009. They aren’t a web hosting company but a system integrator of sorts. Cloud hosting is complex, but Cloudways covers this with their custom interface and access to multiple infrastructure providers.
Why Choose Cloudways for Japan Web Hosting
The main impetus for recommending Cloudways is the sheer scalability and powerful potential of Cloud hosting plans. The problem is that most smaller businesses won’t have the technical expertise to manage Cloud hosting – which is where Cloudways helps.
Instead of dealing with Cloud service providers, you work with the Cloudways interface and handle Cloud Web Hosting as easy as shared hosting. That makes it extremely valuable since Google is demanding increasing levels of performance as time passes.
There’s also a broad range of hosting providers to choose from, depending on your needs. Those who are looking for more basic plans can use Digital Ocean, Linode, or even Vultr. If you want to play with the big boys, then AWS or Google is also right there.
Cloudways Data Center Locations
- USA (multiple locations)
- Toronto, Canada (Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode)
- Montreal, Canada (AWS and Google)
- Fermont, Canada (Linode)
- Europe (multiple locations)
- Sydney, Australia
- Asia (multiple Locations)
- Massive range of server locations including Japan
- Good choice of infrastructure providers
- Simplifies Cloud hosting significantly
- Free website migrations and automated backups
- All plans support site staging
- Doubles the cost of Cloud
- Limited free bandwidth
Price: from $30/mo
Hosting Available: Managed WordPress
Kinsta is a relatively late starter and only entered the market in 2013. It’s another WordPress-centric web hosting service provider that’s confident in this niche. The company is US-based, which is perhaps the main reason behind their choice of Google as a Cloud service provider.
Why Choose Kinsta for Japan Web Hosting
If you’re looking for budget web hosting, then sadly, Kinsta isn’t the right choice. While it specializes in WordPress hosting, this is based only on the Cloud. That base means high cost but extremely powerful performance.
Like WP Engine, choosing Kinsta is excellent if you’re a business with a focused need. Their WordPress plans include everything you’ll need to operate a stable and fast website. Their starter plan, for instance, supports up to 25,000 visits a month.
Resources provided, including storage space, are pretty limited. However, that’s understandable since much of what you’re paying goes into performance optimization and reliability features. There are daily backups and an impressive 14-day retention cycle.
Kinsta Data Center Locations
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Hong Kong
- Tokyo, Japan
- Osaka, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Mumbai, India
- Delhi, India
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Sydney, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Warsaw, Poland
- Hamina, Finland
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- London, United Kingdom
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Montréal, Canada
- Toronto, Canada
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Iowa, USA
- South Carolina, USA
- Virginia, USA
- Oregon, USA
- California, USA
- Utah, USA
- Nevada, USA
- Fantastic speed and reliability
- Choice of 28 server locations, including Japan
- Free Malware removal services
- Performance monitoring tool included
- Expert WordPress support team
- No cheap hosting plans
- Limited storage space
More Japan-Based Hosting Companies
If the thought of hosting outside a country scares you, then worry not, there are many hosting providers within Japanese borders. If you must have a local data center location, here are some of those available in Japan.
|Hosting Companies||HQ Office||Types of Services|
|Sakura Internet||Osaka||Shared, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated hosting services|
|Lolipop!||Tokyo||Shared, Managed Cloud hosting services|
|XServer||Osaka||Shared, Dedicated hosting services|
|Heteml||Tokyo||Shared, Managed Cloud hosting services|
|CPI||Tokyo||Shared, Dedicated, Managed Dedicated hosting services|
|Coreserver||Osaka||Shared, Cloud hosting services|
|Onamaeis||Tokyo||Shared, VPS, Cloud hosting services|
|Wadax||Tokyo||Shared, Cloud, Cloud Private, Dedicated hosting services|
|Conoha||Tokyo||Wordpress, VPS hosting services|
|Mixhost||Osaka||Shared, VPS, Cloud hosting services|
|Xrea||Osaka||Shared, Cloud hosting services|
|WPX||Osaka||Wordpress, Dedicated Cloud hosting services|
|Quicca||Tokyo||Shared hosting service|
|Clara Online||Tokyo||Cloud hosting service|
|Winserver||Osaka||Windows VPS hosting service|
|Z.com||Tokyo||WordPress Dedicated hosting service|
|Tsukaeru.net||Nagano||Shared, Cloud VPS, Dedicated, Managed hosting services|
|Joeswebhosting.net||Sapporo||Shared, Dedicated, VPS hosting services|
|Drive.ne.jp||Hamamatsu||Shared hosting service|
|Net Laputa||Tokyo||Shared hosting service|
How to Choose? What to Look for in a Great Japan Web Host
Japan covers a relatively large area, which makes the choice of web hosting server location especially important. For those interested in serving a local market, web hosting with an in-country data center is important. This proximity rule of thumb isn’t overriding, though.
Many viable alternatives exist for those interested in tapping the regional market, especially in (relatively) nearby Taiwan and Singapore.
Many buyers consider pricing as a critical element of their choice in a web host. While technically that’s a prudent decision, make sure you’re not sacrificing needed features to enjoy lower hosting prices. The result may affect the usability of your website in the long term.
Although web hosting service providers will take care of server security, some will go the extra mile. These “extras” may come via partnerships with prominent cybersecurity companies or security applications to users.
Some web hosting providers offer features that give them an added advantage over others. ScalaHosting, for example, has SPanel, helping them provide VPS plans at more affordable prices since they avoid the high licensing fees associated with cPanel.
Types of Different Hosting Plans
While web hosting companies tend to market web hosting following customer demand, the reality is that there are only a few key types of hosting. Your choice of web hosting plan affects many things, including performance, customer experience, security, scalability, cost, and more.
Understanding the differences between various web hosting plans will help you fit them more accurately to business needs.
Among web hosting plans, shared hosting is the cheapest and easiest to manage. In shared hosting, hundreds of customers occupy a single server, each “sharing” (hence the name) from a common resource pool.
This resource sharing means your website may not always get the resources it needs on-demand, causing performance to be affected. Shared hosting is generally only suitable for smaller websites with a limited audience.
VPS / Cloud Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a step up from shared hosting. Although multiple customers still occupy the same hardware, they get dedicated resources, assuring availability when needed. VPS and Cloud hosting users can quickly increase resources, making these plans excellent for long-term viability.
Cloud hosting is similar to VPS but extends the resources available across multiple servers. Business or eCommerce websites, in general, should use VPS hosting to ensure better performance and, most importantly, data security.
Among web hosting plans, dedicated hosting is often considered the most powerful and secure. You’re essentially getting an entire server for yourself. This solo “ownership” means that dedicated servers offer the best security profile among web hosting plans.
The downside, however, is cost. Regardless of the resources consumed by your website, the server configuration isn’t easily scalable. You’ll need to decide – and pay for – the entire server in advance.
Technically, WordPress hosting isn’t an original category of web hosting. Its emergence stems from the popularity of this Content Management System (CMS) among web hosting customers. Hence, it became a widely marketed term.
WordPress hosting plans are primarily sold based on shared or VPS/Cloud hosting. The difference is that opting for a WordPress hosting plan means the CMS usually comes pre-installed. In some cases, hosting companies also offer WordPress-centric advantages like premium themes of customized plugins.
By now, you’ve probably realized that the Japanese market for web hosting is pretty unique. It isn’t so much a question of where a website is needed – but how powerful a hosting solution you need to have.
The domestic market is strong, but regional neighbors also provide an exciting market you can tap into with the right digital strategy.