4 Tips for Seeing Movies in Japan on a Budget

  • HOW TO
  • 1. Movies in Japan

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    If you are a movie buff, like me, you know that there is nothing like experiencing a movie in the cinema. And few countries do movie theaters like they do here in Japan. Japanese movie theaters are second to none. With reserved seating, you never have to worry about getting to the theatre late, and getting a terrible seat. Movie theaters are clean, the seats are comfortable, and the quality of the screens and sound are great.

    But all of these come with a major drawback; price. Your average ticket price for a movie, no 3D or IMAX, is 1800 yen. YIKES!

    So how to enjoy movies without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips.

    2. Discount Tickets

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    One way to save on ticket prices is to buy your movie tickets from a discount ticket store. These stores can be found very easily around any train station.

    These are advanced tickets and can be purchased for 1300 yen each! Usually, the ticket store has a finite amount of stock. If the discount store does not have tickets to a movie you want to see, check another.

    Once you purchase your ticket, simply take it to the movie theatre of your choice, give them the ticket and choose your seat. These tickets can be used at any theatre, anytime. I recommend going early so you can be sure to reserve a good seat.

    3. Special Theater Days

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    Movie theaters have special discount days and times as well. If you catch a late show (usually after 8pm), the ticket price usually drops to 1200-1300 yen. This is a good option if you don’t mind staying out a bit late.

    For the ladies, many theatre chains offer a discount every Wednesday, Ladies’ Day. On Ladies’ day, you can get tickets for 1100 yen (depending on your theatre chain). Once again this only applies to the ladies, so guys put on a fancy dress and hope they don’t ask too many questions.

    Many theatre chains also offer discounts on the first day of the month, often 1100 yen.
    Different theatre chains offer other special prices on special days, check their websites for more information. But this can be difficult because most only have sites in Japanese.

    4. Discount Theaters

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    There are some discount theaters spread out about Japan. These are generally older theaters, but they are still quite nice. The one I know best and patron often is Apollo Cinemas in Tennoji, Osaka. If you join as a member, which is free, you can see movies on weekdays for only 1100 yen! This is by far the cheapest and most convenient method I have found so far. I am sure there are similar theaters in Tokyo and other cities.

    In closing…

    Going to the movies in Japan is a blast! If you use these tips I can assure you that you will have a great movie night!