Movie Theaters in Japan: A Glamorous Experience!

Always wanted to try a Japanese movie theater experience but never dared to because of the language barrier? Fear no more! Let me recommend this foreigners friendly movie theater – the Shinjuku Wald 9 Cinema!

Last week I had the great chance to be offered a tour around  what is possibly one of the biggest movie theater I have ever seen in my entire life! Since last May, the Shinjuku Wald 9 launched a multilingual movie program called “YOKOSO!EIGAKAN!”which shows some popular Japanese films (such as the recent One Piece film) with English and Chinese subtitles, for our enjoyment!

Let me introduce you the most unique aspects of movie theaters in Japan, as well as demonstrate how to purchase tickets from an automatic movie tickets vending machine.


So… What makes Japanese movie theaters so different?


1. Themed Everything

When I first set foot in the lobby, I immediately knew that it was a completely different universe to the movie theaters back in my home country of Canada.

Japanese cinemas are famous for selling movie and character-inspired products and food for the period that a specific movie is showing. For example, Shinjuku Wald 9 made a One Piece-themed popcorn flavour when they were showing the One Piece movie earlier this year. It was a smoky barbecue flavour, to fit the spicy temper of pirates!


Kizumonogatari Cola Set
Food Menu with One Piece Popcorn and Kizumonogatari



However this time, Shinjuku Wald 9 has many foods stands on different floors, selling limited edition drinks and food including warm chicken sandwiches, donuts and jellies.

Kizumonogatari Themed Cafe above the lobby

2. Movie + Beer

Back in Canada, drinking alcohol into the movie theaters is not common practice. However, in Japan they casually sell liquour or popcorn and beer sets.


What better way to watch a movie but with popcorn and beer?

3. Japanese Hospitality

Even with its 1800 seats, the Shinjuku Wald 9 Cinema succeeds at mastering Japanese hospitality. Feeling a bit cold in the room? Just pick up a free blanket offered at the door! You came with a small child and worry about the height of other customers? Never mind! Free leather cushions  are also available to adjust children’s seat’s height (also available for shorter people, you know the struggle).



4. Smoking Rooms

Need a smoking break mid-movie? Many Japanese cinemas have got you covered! As opposed to restaurant where indoor smoking is still a practice, at Shinjuku Wald 9, smoking rooms allow everyone to enjoy their movie with clean air.

Smoking room just across the movie theatre entrance


dsc_02255. You won’t find jumbo-sized popcorn buckets, but you will find awesome popcorn flavours

The biggest popcorn size available at Shinjuku Wald 9 is an L – for large. Back in Canada, the largest size you can get is probably three times as big as the largest in Japan! Whilst you can definitely order the classic butter popcorn in a massive bucket in Western cinemas, as most of Asia Japan’s favorite flavours are rather sweet such as caramel or even chocolate!


6. Chirashi Culture

Chirashi is the Japanese word for ‘leaflet’. In many Western cinemas, you won’t find any, but here in Japan it is not rare to find stands filled with leaflets, popular especially with high students who collect them and fill their bedroom walls with mosaic of their favourite actors.




Free souvenirs from the tour


After enjoying gourmet set, don’t forget to carefully sort out your trash

Now here is a small tutorial on how to use the automatic movie tickets vending machine!


1. Choose the purchase option to the right



2.Pick a date (The big red square is today’s date)


3.Choose your movie, time option and number of people attending                                (Max.5 people/purchase)



4.Find your favorite seat



5.Pay cash/credit card



DONE! You are all set for a fun experience in a Japanese movie theater! I hope that you will enjoy is as much as I did.

Ready, set….ACTION!






2 thoughts on “Movie Theaters in Japan: A Glamorous Experience!

  1. Cool! This seems very unique and interesting 🙂 We will be going January next year. Would you know if there is already a schedule of movies to be shown or list that we can check and see if there’s a movie suitable for our family? Thanks in advance!


  2. Hi Jade! Unfortunately the movies that will be presented next January have not yet been decided, but if you regularly check the link to Yokoso! Eigankan, that’s where the updated program will be published. I hope you will enjoy it!


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