Wednesday, December 23, 2015

First movie in Japan

Tonight we saw our first new movie at a movie theater in Japan. And of course it was Star Wars!

So I found out that our local theater, Toho Cinemas, conveniently sells movie tickets online only two days in advance. We didn't want to go see the movie opening weekend because we wanted to avoid the major crowds. Today, December 23rd, is the emperor's birthday and therefore a national holiday, so we figured it was the perfect time to go.

On Monday I got onto the Toho website and, through a lot of Google translate, I figured out how to buy the tickets. Basically you select your theater location, then select the date, the movie, and the show time. Then you'll see a screen where you can select your seats.

The grey seats are already taken, the yellow seats are the ones we picked. Each ticket was ¥1800, so a bit more expensive than the US, and we just got regular, no 3D. They offered the movie in English with subtitles and in dubbed Japanese. I was able to pay with my bank card from the US and we got a confirmation email with our order number.

When we went to the movie theater there were a couple of monitors where we were able to get our tickets. Everything was written in English and Japanese so we had no problems. We typed in our confirmation number and it printed out our tickets.

sorry its so blurry, ew
Then we turned around and saw the snack bar. The lobby looked exactly the same as a theater in the US and the snack bar looked basically the same too with some small differences. The first thing that caught my eye was the candy bar. There were some movie classics, like sour and gummy candies, and some Japanese candies we weren't familiar with. The next thing that I noticed was the food options. They offered some fried foods like chicken nuggets and fries as well as hot dogs and churros. They had buttered popcorn in buckets, but the also had a flavored popcorn that looked like caramel corn but I'm thinking it was some kind of a chocolate covered popcorn. They also had a half-and-half popcorn bucket with two sodas, which is what we got. And finally, they had a smores pizza! It looked like a personal size pizza with chocolate sauce and melted marshmallows on top. Didn't get that today, but I bet we will eventually. I didn't stop to look at what else was on the menu so there could have been more.

When we got the popcorn and soda they gave us this cool plastic tray to hold it. The tray fits into the cup holder on your armrest and holds two sodas and your popcorn. We saw some interesting previews, almost all for American movies, and one for a Japanese movie that looked interesting. Finally the movie started and the lights turned off. Everyone was SO QUIET. Sometimes it felt like we shouldn't even eat popcorn because it was way too loud. And when the movie was over the lights didnt turn back on. It stayed dark for all the credits and people stayed and watch every single second of the movie until the very last production company bumper finished. It was a bit bizarre. A couple of people darted out before the end but I wouldn't have tried it because it was still entirely dark.

Then the cleaning crew came in but we noticed everyone was taking their trash and trays with them so we did too. Just outside the door there was a cart to place trash soda cups and a lady was taking trays and other trash. Everything was very orderly.

We want to see TOO YOUNG TO DIE

We still have some of that popcorn, so I'll be snacking on that tomorrow. And I really can't wait to go back, it was really pleasant. I'm glad we live so close. Now its time for some shabu at home, then to bed early. Tomorrow is my last day of work for a while, woo hoo! I work 4 classes straight but then I can leave at lunch time. My Christmas classes have been going well with the 8th graders so I bet it'll be even better with the 7th graders tomorrow, they always enjoy games more freely. Can't wait for vacation!


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