This is a guide on how to setup the Language Bar and change the System Locale to Japanese for playing Visual Novels and other Japanese games that are originally designed to run on a Japanese Windows system.
Note this guide is based on Windows 7 and includes updates for Windows 8/8.1, for Windows 10 please use the guide HERE.
1. Open the control panel from the start menu (right click the start button in windows 8) and go to 'Clock, Language, and Region' and choose 'Region and Language' (Language in Windows 8.1).
2. Go to the 'Keyboards and Languages' tab and click 'Change Keyboards'. In Windows 8.1, click 'Add a Language'.
3. In the popup, you want to add a new input language, scroll down the list until you get to Japanese, then press the + button to expand the levels, you want to add Microsoft IME under Keyboard.
In Windows 8.1 it automatically selects the Microsoft IME, and you don't need to do this step.
Press OK to add it in.
4. Now we need to change the locale.
In windows 7, this is within the Region and Language section as a tab at the top.
In Windows 8.1, you need to go back one level in Control Panel and choose 'Region' instead.
Choose the 'Administrative' tab. Then on the lower section it will show the the current locale, if it says Japanese then its fine, if not press the button 'Change System Locale'.
5. Choose 'Japanese (Japan)' and press 'OK'. The system will need to restart to make the changes.
You will now be able to run and install Japanese software.
6. To enable the language bar on the task bar, simply right click it and choose 'Language Bar' under tool bars.
It will look something like this:
The highlighted option will change the input type to Hiragana. This is what you will need for entering in Captchas.