Finding English Movies in Japan / how to book a movie ticket online for Movies in Tokyo

Posted by on August 13, 2019 – Life in Japan

If you are living in Tokyo you will probably want to visit a movie theater at some point.  This can be frustrating.  Many of our students have asked us – “How can I tell if this movie is in English or if it is dubbed over in Japanese?” or “Can I buy tickets online in English?”

If you are visiting a movie theater in Japan there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Firstly, Japanese movies typically do not have any English subtitles. As a result, your Japanese has to be up to a certain standard in order to watch most Japanese movies. There are a few theaters that cater to foreign guests and if you would like to find information about English subbed Japanese movies shown in Tokyo – You can do so at Tokyo filmgoer – Typically these are not first-run theatrical releases.

Because you are in Japan – English movies are always Japanese subbed or dubbed to suit Japanese viewers. If you are going to watch an English movie in Tokyo, you have to avoid the Japanese dubbed version. So how can you tell whether a movie is Japanese subbed or dubbed?

The answer to this is – look out for the labels.  On the schedule display that you can find at any cinema, Japanese subbed movies will have the label “字幕版”(じまくばん jimakuban) after their titles. For Japanese dubbed movies, you will see the label “吹替版” (ふきかえばん fukikaeban) after the titles. Some major cinemas will label the language spoken in the movies instead.  I.e. ENG for English or FR for French – So, when you purchase a ticket, look out for these labels.

 

Buying movie tickets online

Buying tickets online can be a hassle if you do not understand the vocabulary.  Below we cover how to purchase online tickets from the TOHO Cinemas online booking page.  (You can use google translate if you are using a google chrome browser.)

Choose a movie

If you already have a movie in mind, On the sidebar click 作品を探す (Sakuhin o sagasu) ) and click “上映中作品情報” to search for movies that are currently released. You will see a list of released movies, choose the one you want to watch.

Choose Time and Place

Check out the screening schedules. You can see the screening schedules for nearest theaters or other theaters in different regions. When you have decided when and where to watch the movie, click the schedule button to proceed.

Purchasing the Ticket

The purchasing steps are very simple and can be displayed in English.

Step 1: Choosing your seat

Choosing Your Seat(s), image, photo, picture, illustration

Choosing Your Seat(s)

Step 2, Select ticket type and membership

There are various types of ticket available, choose the one applicable to you.

Select Ticket Type & Membership, image, photo, picture, illustration

Select Ticket Type & Membership

After choosing the ticket, choose the type of membership you have. If you are not a member of Clinelileage, click “purchase without joining Cinemileage” and follow the steps for entering your personal infomation.

Membership, image, photo, picture, illustration, movie tickets

Membership

Step 3: Fill in Personal information and select payment method

Personal Information & Payment Method, image, photo, picture, illustration

Personal Information & Payment Method

Step 4: Confirmation

After selecting the payment method and keying in the necessary information for purchasing, Confirm your information

Confirmation, image, photo, picture, illustration

Confirmation

Step 5: Purchase Completion

After confirming that every information is correct, complete the purchase and receive the 4-digit purchase number.

Please take down the purchase number and the telephone number used as they are needed when you collect your ticket at the cinema

Purchase Complete, image, photo, picture, illustration, movie

Purchase Complete

Japanese in important for living or traveling in Japan. Brush up on your Japanese skills with our various flexible Japanese courses!

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