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Can You Use A Japanese Nintendo Switch Or Games In America?

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If you are on vacation in Japan (or live there) you might want to get a Nintendo Switch since they are typically a little bit cheaper in Japan than in the USA. Of course, one issue that you will be worried about is whether a Switch console or Switch games that are purchased in Japan will still work when you get to North America (or other parts of the world).

Many video game consoles and games will only work in the region of the world where they are purchased but is that true with the Nintendo Switch as well?

Will a Nintendo Switch or Switch games that are purchased in Japan work in America?

The Nintendo Switch is 100% region free which means Switch games or consoles purchased in other countries will work just fine anywhere in the world! There are no restrictions in regards to specific games not working on a console purchased in other areas of the world. 

This is great news as it means that you can purchase a Switch in Japan (or any other country) and it will work just fine in the USA or any other country as well.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a Switch console in another country is that the chargers will likely be different than the power cords in the United States (other accessories that you purchase might be different as well). Although this isn’t a massive deal it does mean that you will need to buy a new USB-C power cable (or adapter) to be able to charge your Switch in America.

In regards to Switch games purchased in Japan (or other countries) they will work just fine in any Switch console since Nintendo no longer sells region-locked games. All of the Switch games will work on every Nintendo Switch console no matter which country it is in.

However, if the game does not have a language selector on it you might not be able to play that game in English.

If you understand Japanese (or the language in the country that you purchased it in) that won’t be an issue but if you only speak English then having a game where English isn’t a language option won’t be as much fun to play.

If you are wanting to access different games that aren’t available in certain regions’ eShops a way to access those games is to change the region of your Nintendo Account to that supported region. Many gamers will use this method to get access to new game releases early.

So for example, if the North American eShop doesn’t allow you to download a certain game you could change the console’s region and purchase the game from the Japanese eShop instead. Now that you have a Japanese account on the eShop you can download the games that aren’t available in your region.

Some people use this method to play online multiplayer (on games like Mario Kart, Mario Party, etc.) against people in a new country. Being able to play on your American Switch against people in other countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, etc. brings a whole new experience to your online gaming.

One downside to the method of changing the region of your Switch is that your Nintendo eShop account balance won’t carry over to other countries when you change regions. But if you don’t mind this then it is pretty neat to change regions and experience other games or play against other gamers from other parts of the world.

To learn more about changing the region on your eShop you can check out the video below.

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As discussed above, The Nintendo Switch is region-unlocked (region-free). It can be used anywhere and does not depend upon the region for which they have manufactured it. So, you can use Nintendo Switch from Japan in the US.

The Nintendo Switch is an eighth-generation game console launched by Nintendo on March 3, 2017. It is a convertible console that can work as a home console and a portable console. Its design is remarkable, which makes it stand out from other consoles on the market. 

With the help of Joy-Con controllers, we can connect it to any screen, and it can work as a home game console. It has separate controls on both ends of the console; these controls get detached and can be used to play multiplayer games. 

With a stunning design, the games and software of this console are available in both physical form and digital form on Nintendo eShops. All the past consoles made by Nintendo had region lockout, which restricts the use of the product outside a certain region.

 But the Nintendo Switch is the first region-unlocked Nintendo console. These traits make this product one of the best.

Travelers often run into the dilemma of if it is worth it to purchase any console outside their region while traveling or not. As stated earlier, consoles purchased outside a different region become a waste of money after leaving that region.

But with the Nintendo Switch, they are free and confident in their decision about buying the Switch anywhere.

 Most of the time people used to buy it to have the exclusive version or limited versions that are being sold somewhere else. They are among the early users of any new product. Sometimes they feel the in-build quality of some regions is better than others.

Price can also be a factor in the decision-making of which console to buy. Like in America, Nintendo Switch is available for approximately $299.99. While in Japan, it is available for 29,980 Yen. The offers which are provided can make a difference, and the right decision can sometimes lead to something better. 

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If I Buy A Switch In Japan Will It Be In English?

So I have already covered that you can buy a Switch or Switch games in Japan or other countries and it will work just fine in America since the Nintendo Switch is region unlocked. But will that Japanese Switch only have the Japanese language on it?

Will a Switch that is purchased in Japan have the English language as an option?

Although a Switch that you purchase in Japan might be in Japanese by default you can easily change it to English on the Switch menu.

To change the default language on your Nintendo Switch just go to system settings on the Switch’s home screen (the little gear icon) then scroll all the way down to the last option which is “System”. Once you click on that just scroll down to the fourth option which is “Language”. Click on that and you can then change the language to English (or whichever other language you prefer).

The Nintendo Switch has the following language options available on this menu:

  • Chinese (simplified)
  • Chinese (traditional)
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

You can just choose which of these twelve languages you prefer and you are ready to play!

Do Japanese Controllers Work On A USA Nintendo Switch?

I have covered that you can use the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch games from Japan in America or on a USA Nintendo Switch. But what about buying Switch controllers in Japan?

Will a Japanese Switch controller work in America?

Japanese Switch controllers will work with an American Nintendo Switch (or a Switch from any country for that matter. However, the AC adapter will be different in Japan than in America so you will have to buy a different power adapter or use a different USB-C cord to charge your Japanese Switch controllers.

The size and shape of power outlets can be different all around the world. So the power cord that comes with the Switch controller that you buy in Japan won’t work in a power outlet in the USA. The same is true for a Switch controller that you purchase in America and take to other countries around the world.

Region Unlocked Benefits

Region lockout is used for many reasons, such as to maximize the product’s impact on a specific region, to prevent the use of specific services or products, and to restrict users of a certain region to access the product due to their region issues or the issues with the product company. 

Region lockout is digital rights, prohibiting the use of certain products or services outside a particular region. Technological means can enforce it or through physical means. 

Region unlocking has several benefits that contribute to the growth of the console. Some benefits are:


By region unlocking, a device becomes universal which can be purchased anywhere and can be used somewhere else. A person traveling to Japan can purchase the Nintendo Switch and can play on it while at his home in America.


This has increased the scope of the market. With region-free consoles, the entire world has become a common market. If any game is not accessible in your region, you can buy it from some other region and play it. Many times some games are only launched for a specific region, with region-locking. It becomes impossible to play those games, but with this feature, it becomes independent.


With the benefit of universal nature, sales have increased. People feel confident to buy the product. They do not need to depend upon importers and the manufacturer to get a device according to their region. They can choose from anywhere they want.

Ease in production

With this feature, the entire world has become a common market. This helps in building a universal product suitable for all regions. With a common product, it eliminates forming different devices according to their region and provides ease in the process of production.


The Nintendo Switch is among the best consoles available in the market. Its Joy-Con controllers make it possible to be used in various formats and enjoy it as each person wants to. Being a region-unlocked console, a Nintendo Switch purchased from Japan will work in the US and other parts of the world.