Assigned Seating? My first experience with Japanese movie theaters.

My very first thought was, ‘Is that a seating chart?‘, quickly followed by, ‘Am I at the movie theater or at Osaka-jo Hall?‘ With as much of an apologetic smile as I could muster, I turned my face back up to the clerk and demurely muttered “Wakarimasen.” If I were paid ten cents for every look of absolute dismay I get every time I say those words, I would be three times as rich as Donald Trump.

Osaka-jo Hall, for those who don’t know.

To make an unnecessarily long story short, we somehow managed to understand each other. It turns out I had to choose which seat I wanted. Yes, assigned seating, folks. I’ve only ever been to the movies in the USA and in Puerto Rico, so it’s hard for me to know whether this is a Japan thing or just something I had never been exposed to — but it was certainly an interesting experience.

It’s kind of a good idea, I think. Kind of. On one part when the cinema is full, you know what to expect in terms of seating before you buy your ticket. On the other hand, it’s a bit annoying. Why can’t I just sit wherever?

This is where I get bricked for being a stereotypical foreigner.

With ticket in hand the first challenge was conquered. It was time for challenge number two: buying snacks.

Sometime before I had even made it to the theater, a quick memory savagely attacked my frontal lobe. I was told by one of my students that snacks were super expensive at the movies. He wasn’t kidding, yo.

Fortunately, AEON Mall also has a very expansive Daiso (100yen shop), and I had equipped myself with little snacks — as per student recommendation. Drinks are harder to sneak in, though, so I had decided to buy my drink at the snack stand. Then… I saw they had nachos with cheese… and I forgot that I was trying to cheat them.

I have no idea what I was expecting from the selection of snacks (aside from popcorn), but nachos was definitely not it. Thankfully, the names were all in katakana so this kanji-impaired foreigner could easily order her goodies.


A Caribbean Islander who wants to fly. Criminal Justice graduate with a lot to say about social injustice. An eternal scholar. I want to know everything. I blame Disney for making me a total dreamer. My head is mostly in the clouds and I have background music in real life.

2 Responses

  1. amy says:

    Ahhh the magic words of “hitotsu kudasai.”

    Glad to hear about your experience of going to the movies! About the seating chart, it happens in Sweden. Those times I went with Julyssa to the movies – Transformers and then La Vie en Rose. She took care of those details… until I realized that I didn’t speak French and that the subtitles on La Vie en Rose were going to be in Swedish. LOL I cried too, don’t worry. LOL

    I heard seating charts are custom in Asia… well, at least in China. Maybe it’s the amount of people that are there… makes things simple. xD

    I don’t usually eat anything at the movies — YES, I’m one of those movie people — but when I did (in Canada), my friends and I sneaked bottles of soda. LOL

    Down here… I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear. My friend and I had gotten KFC but were already late to the movies so we stormed into our show with our KFC bags LOL and we were so hungry that we did eat some. LOL But that was a LONG time ago, I don’t think people would get away with that anymore.

    DUDE. Fried chicken! HAHAHA.

    I think I would like the Cine Bar a lot more if it had better food. HAHA. Ooh, I think I might have a post for the Food Blogathon xD

  2. Now I’ll know what to expect if I ever go back to Japan! There are some Daiso shops here in the States…so many things to choose from…

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