Staying in Japan for quite some time is the best experience of my life. Some activities I tried is going to the movies and I was surprised that they also screen English dubbed movies. How to buy movie tickets in Japan? At first, I did not know how to buy movie tickets in Japan, little did I know it was just a piece of cake!
Japanese movie theaters are not so different from movie theaters that you have in your country. Although this may be true since Japan is a non-English country foreign feature movie is not released in Japan the same date as in other countries. Foreign feature movies are usually released in Japan months later after the international premiere.
So, before you get excited about watching a foreign feature film in Japan, check first the release date for Japan.
How to Know if the Movie is English dubbed?
There are a few points that we need to know before going to the movies in Japan, first is how to know if the movie is English dubbed and not Japanese dubbed?
In Japanese, if a movie is subtitled, it means the subtitles are in Japanese and dubbed in English. These are the Japanese characters or words that you want to remember:
- Subtitle version /English: 字幕版 (jimakuhan)
- Dubbed version / Japanese: 吹替版 (fukikaeban)
Make sure to book the “Subtitle version /English: 字幕版” movie schedule if you want to watch the movie in English.
How to Buy Movie Tickets in Japan?
Movie theater seats in Japan are reserved seats only, at the time of ticket purchase you will need to choose a specific seat. Some of the ways you can buy movie tickets in Japan is through online reservation, movie ticket kiosks and over movie theater ticket counters.
By experience, the most convenient way to buy a ticket is through an online reservation. I usually go to Toho Cinemas whenever I want to watch a movie. Toho Cinemas is the movie theater giant in Japan, it has several movie theaters all over Japan. At Toho Cinemas Shinjuku they have Godzilla on their side!
Here are the steps on how to buy movie tickets online for Toho Cinemas.
Steps on How to Buy Movie Tickets Online for Toho Cinemas.
1.Go to Toho Cinema’s website https://www.tohotheater.jp/
The website is in Japanese, make sure to use Google Chrome and enable Google translate feature so you can view the website in English.
2.Find the nearest Toho Cinema theater near you on the “Theater List”. Click on the theater name to view the “Screening Schedule”.
If you have allowed location sharing on your browser the “Nearest Theater” list is displayed on the “Theater List” page.
In case the Toho Cinema theater that you wish to go to is not on the “Nearest Theater” list you can browse at the bottom of the page to see the other theaters listed by region in Japan.
Toho Cinema theaters in Tokyo are listed in “Kanto District / Kanto Area”, you can click on the area to expand the list of theaters.
3.On the “Screening Schedule” you can view the list of movies screening on the specific dates. Click on the “Date” when you will want to watch the movie.
Choose the movie that you want to reserve a ticket for, remember to choose the “Subtitle Version / English 字幕版 (jimakuhan)”.
4.You will then be redirected to the first step of ticket reservation, “Seat Selection”. Luckily from this page “Display in English” option is available.
Select your desired seats and check the “Agree to the membership agreement”.
Click on the “Agree and continue” to proceed to the next step.
5.Select the ticket type for each seat that you chose from the previous page by clicking on “Select ticket type” button. The list of available “Ticket Types” will show.
The “Ticket Type” also varies in price, “General Ticket” is priced at 1,800 yen while the “Late Show” or last full show is priced at 1,300 yen.
Below select “For non-CineMileage member” if you are not registered as a CineMileage member.
Select “Purchase without joining Cinemileage” and “Enter Information without signing in”.
6.Enter your purchaser information on the next step and select your preferred payment method.
Click on the “Next” button.
7.Enter your payment details and click on the “Next” button and confirm your ticket purchase.
8.After successfully purchasing your tickets online, a confirmation email will be sent to your registered email address. The email contains your ticket information and “Confirmation Number” that you need to redeem your movie ticket at the ticket kiosk.
Click on the URL link below on “How to claim Toho Cinema Ticket on VIT Ticketing Machine” if you purchased your movie ticket online.
Tips on Going to the Movies in Japan
Outside Foods / Snacks
Surprisingly, snacks and foods that are bought outside the Toho Cinemas food corner are allowed inside the theater. However, please be mindful of others by not bringing foods or snacks that have a strong smell which might not be pleasant for other viewers.
All movie tickets are only allowed for a single viewing.
All seats are reserved seating upon ticket purchase.
Late Show / Last Full Show
“Late show / last full show” tickets are cheaper than “General ticket” type by 500 JPY.