Essential Tips for Going to the Cinema in Japan

Updated on October 29, 2019
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Poppy has been living in Japan for over five years. She likes to read novels, write, and play video games.

While visiting Japan, you may decide that you want to watch a movie if your other plans were disturbed by the weather or other unforeseen circumstances. It is perfectly possible to do so in any large town or city, and the experience is mostly the same as in other countries. However, there are some things you must keep in mind if you decide to do so.

This article explains ticket prices in Japan's largest cinema chains, how to get discounts, some general rules, and how to book tickets in English.

Source

How Much Does it Cost?

Going to see a movie in Japan is relatively expensive if you compare it to other countries. For example, TOHO Cinemas, one of the most popular chains in Tokyo, charges up to ¥1,900 Japanese yen (about $17.50 USD) for a general ticket. However, you can get some great discounts if you go on certain days.

Like many places in Japan, their cinemas are clean and comfortable and have very little crime incidents. Popcorn, drinks, sweets, and other foods are also more affordable than many cinemas in other countries, with popcorn and drink deals starting from 550 yen.

IMAX or 4D showings cost extra. TOHO also has some special offers if you want special or luxury seating. See their website for more (automatic translation available.)

TOHO Cinemas Ticket Prices

Ticket Type
Date
Price
General
Daily
¥1,900
University student
Daily
¥1,500
High school/junior high/elementary school student
Daily
¥1,000
TOHO Cinemas Day
14th of every month
¥1,200
Cine MILEAGE Day (Members only)
Every Tuesday
¥1,400
First Day
First day of every month
¥1,200
Ladies' Service Day
Every Wednesday (women only)
¥1,200
AU Monday
Every Monday (only for those with AU phone service)
¥1,100 for adults and ¥900 yen for high school students

109 Cinemas Complex Ticket Prices

109 Cinemas Cineplex is another popular chain with cinemas all over Japan. Their prices are below. Their 4D showings tickets cost extra, so be sure to check the website (Japanese only) if you want an IMAX showing.

Ticket Type
Price
General
¥1,900
University student
¥1,500
High school/junior high school/elementary school students
¥1,000
Senior (above 60 years old)
¥1,200

Aeon Cinema Ticket Prices

Another large cinema chain is Aeon Cinema, which also owns many supermarkets in the country. They offer their own special deals for customers who qualify.

Ticket Type
Price
General
¥1,800
High school students
¥1,500
Happy 55 (those above 55 years old)
¥1,100
Over 50 Discount (for couples over 50 years old)
¥1,100 per person
Elementary school students
¥1,000
Infant (over 3 years old)
¥900

How to Watch Movies in English

Most movies are shown in their original languages with Japanese subtitles, but you have to be careful if you're going to watch a family movie or a Disney movie. This, of course, is if people who only speak Japanese want to take their children to watch the latest animation.

Movies in Their Original Language with Japanese Subtitles

When booking tickets, look out for the word 字幕 (じまく) which means "subtitles." This might be represented just by the symbol 字 next to the movie title on your ticket.

Dubbed Movies

If the word 吹替 (ふきかえ) is next to the movie title, that means it's dubbed into Japanese.

Collecting Your Booked Tickets

Tickets can be bought on the day or in advance at the cinema itself, but if you decided to book online, you can collect your tickets from the booths available in the cinema's lobby. Usually, you will need your reference number and the card you used to purchase the tickets, so be sure to keep them safe.

Tickets are printed for you to show to the staff before you can go inside.

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What Kind of Snacks Can You Buy?

Food and Soft Drinks

Cinemas in Japan offer the same kinds of snacks you'd expect, such as popcorn and soft drinks. You can also find hotdogs, fried chicken, and coffee.

Beer

One nice thing about most cinemas in Tokyo is that it's perfectly fine to drink alcohol there. TOHO Cinemas and other chains even sell beer alongside their popcorn and soft drinks. Of course, this doesn't mean you should go overboard. But don't feel the need to hide your beer when you go inside as it's considered perfectly fine.

Be aware that the drinking age in Japan is 20 years old. Be sure to drink responsibly.

Visiting the cinema to experience the latest flick is always a fun experience, wherever you are! Hopefully, with this guide, your trip to the movies in Japan can go as smoothly as possible.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Poppy

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