How to Sign Up for Nico Nico Douga

ニコニコ動画 by Kanesue // used under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

In this post, I’ll show you how to sign up for the Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. On this website, you can watch videos, dramas, movies, and anime for free. In order to watch these videos, you have to get an account. Before getting into how to register, I’ll first give a quick overview about the site.

What is Nico Nico Douga?

The Japanese video site Nico Nico Douga is extremely popular and has tons of free videos. “Nico Nico” means “smile,” and “Douga” means “video” in Japanese. So, basically, the name of the website means “Smile Videos.”

The videos are uploaded by users and by companies alike. In fact, if you have a Nico Nico Douga account, you can often watch dramas, anime, and music videos legally and for free. You can also read Japanese manga often for free with their “silent pictures” site.

The most noticeable way that Nico Nico Douga is unique and differs from YouTube and other video-sharing sites is its commenting system. Instead of comments showing up after the video, the comments show up in real-time on the videos themselves, creating a shared watching experience with over viewers. In addition, many videos tend toward the “otaku” spectrum of culture, with many popular videos featuring anime, games, and specific genres of pop music.

Next, I’ll show you how to get a Nico Nico Douga account.

How to Sign Up for Nico Nico Douga

Nico Nico Douga is great for anyone who is interested in Japanese pop culture and for anyone studying Japanese. In this section, I’ll show you  how to sign up for the popular Japanese video-sharing site.

Nico Nico Douga
Step 1. Click on the “Sign-up” button on the Nico Nico Douga website.

1. Click the Sign-up Button

First, you’ll have to go to the Nico Nico Douga website ( Then, click on the “Sign-up” button (outline in red on the “step 1” image)

Sign up button
Step 2. Click the “general sign-up” button.

2. Choose the “general sign-up” button

Nico Nico Douga has two types of membership. One is a “premium membership,” which enables you to watch more videos, such as full dramas and whole anime series. The other is a free “general membership,” which allows you to watch user-uploaded videos, videos offered for free (some anime, some music videos, and some live broadcasts) and previews of some of the premium videos.

For this post, we are going to sign up for the free general membership. To do this, click on the gray button outlined in red in the “step 2” image.

Email input
Step 3. Enter your e-mail address

3. Enter your e-mail address

The first thing you will have to do is provide your e-mail address. Write your e-mail in the first box circled in red in the “step 3” image. Then, click the black button (also circled in red) to register your e-mail.

Confirmation screen
Step 4. Check your e-mail

4. Check your e-mail

Once you’ve done step 3, an e-mail from Nico Nico Douga will be sent to the e-mail address you provided. So, check your e-mail.

Confirmation Email
Step 5. Click on the link in your e-mail.

5. Click the link in your e-mail

You should receive an e-mail from Nico Nico Douga. Somehow, my e-mail service screwed up displaying the Japanese, but you don’t need to worry about that. Simply clicking the longest link in the e-mail you receive should be enough. This should be true whether or not you can read the Japanese and whether your e-mail displays the Japanese correctly. This link will take you to the registration screen.

Input information screen
Step 6. Enter your registration information

6. Enter your account information

Next, you’ll provide a little bit of personal information to make an account. I’ve put numbers in red next to each of the sections, which I will explain below:

1. Username

Choose a “nickname” between two and ten characters in length.

2. Gender

The first circle is “male.” The second circle is “female.”

3. Birthdate

The first drop-down menu is year. The second is month. The third is day.

4. Country of Residence

Choose your country of residence. I currently live in Japan, so I selected “Japan.” All of the selections appear to be in English.

5. Prefecture of Residence

This category only seems to appear if you choose “Japan” as your country of residence. Choose which prefecture you live in. You can check the kanji for your prefecture on the Japanese prefectures Wikipedia article.

6. Password

Choose a password between 6 and 32 characters.

Lastly, press the black button (outlined in red on the “step 6” image).

Information confirmation screen
Step 7. Confirm your information

7. Confirm your information

On the next screen, you’ll be shown your sign-up information. If your information is correct, type in the security code and then press the black button outlined in red on the “step 7” image. (It took me two tries to get the security image right. Arg!)

Nico Nico Douga sign up finish screen
Step 9. Congrats! You’ve made an account.

8. Congrats! You’ve made a Nico Nico Douga account

There you go. You’ve done it! You now have a Nico Nico Douga account. You should be able to watch videos for free now.

Nico Nico Douga top page
Step 9. Confirm you are logged in.

9. Confirm you are logged into Nico Nico Douga

If you are logged in, then your username should show up on the black bar at the top of the website. If you aren’t logged in, follow steps 10 and 11 to log in. You can only watch videos if you are logged in.

Nico Nico Douga Top Page Log-in
Step 10. Click the “log-in” link

10. Click the log-in link

If you aren’t logged in, in place of where your username should be, a bright blue “log-in” link will appear. You should click on this log-in link (outlined in red on the “step 10” image.

Login page
Step 11. Input username and password

11. Type in your Nico Nico Douga username and password

On the log-in screen, you should type in your username (field next to #1) and password (field next to #2). Then, click the blue “login” button. Ta-da! You should be logged in.

Now that you have a Nico Nico Douga account, you can watch Japanese anime, music videos, movies, and more for free!

3 thoughts on “How to Sign Up for Nico Nico Douga

  1. lo says:

    Hi sir. Do you a 2011 or before nico nico account? I’m trying to access to a video through the wayback machine, but to do that, I need an account of that time.

  2. Poppy says:

    Omg, thank you so much, I’ve been wanting an account for such a long time. T-T


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