Way back at the dawn of home gaming Nintendo created the very first region-locked system. If you wanted to play some Japanese games on your Nintendo Entertainment System back in the late 20th century, you were completely out of luck. However, we live in a brave new world, friends. The Nintendo Switch is a region-free system. That means you can buy and play Switch games from any market in the world. Sure there will be other inherent barriers like the ones that language presents but you can buy and play those games none the less.
So let's say that you would like to have access to the Japanese Switch store. Here is how one might go about doing that. It's as simple as can be and no warranty voiding hacks are needed.
Create a new Nintendo account
Go to https://accounts.nintendo.com and create an all new account with a totally separate email address from your normal account. Fill in all the requested data.
Set your region
This is the most important step. When you are asked for your "Country/region of residence" make sure to select "Japan" from the drop down menu.
Create a new user on your Switch
Back on your switch, create a new user account that is separate from your main user account.
Link your new user account
Now all you have to do is link your new user to the Nintendo account that you made earlier.
Easily Switch between worlds
Now that you have a user account with it's region set to Japan, every time you view the Switch store with that account you will be able to see the Japanese store. If you want to go back to your home country all you have to do is view the store with your original account. With this access you can now view and purchase loads of games that simply are not available on the American store.
That includes some games that are decidedly not kid-friendly. Just keep in mind that there are going to be some games that will not offer any English dialog what so ever but maybe that will be helpful as you learn Japanese.
Let us know in the comments below!
That is incredibly cool… Especially for someone who is really into that kind of stuff, like my son!
Got it all working as described. Thank you so much for the tutorial. The only problem I’m having is purchasing games. I tried four different credit cards and it wouldn’t take any of them… And I tried the PayPal option. Are there any restrictions on my payment methods?
Great! I'm glad it worked for you. As far as payment options go, you need to ensure that the credit card you are using to purchase works overseas (some don't). Unfortunately, paypal likely won't work unless you have an international account. The third option would be to purchase a Japanese prepaid card for the shop. I believe they are available on Amazon.
Solved... it’s a chore, but I signed up for a Japanese Nintendo account (with a different email address than my US account) and then signed up for a Japanese PayPal account. Surprisingly (to me), you can do this. I was able to add a credit card that WASN’T on my US PayPal account and it worked. Credit card texted me soon after about possible fraud, but that was quickly rectified. Done... works.
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