If you love independent movies and want to take in a flick while you’re in Kyoto, you’ll love this little arthouse cinema in downtown Kyoto.
Kyoto Cinema: Yasu / Wikimedia Commons
Most of the big movie theatres in Kyoto run standard Hollywood fare with a smattering of local Japanese big-budget productions. But, for serious fans of independent cinema, we strongly recommend checking out what’s showing at Kyoto Cinema. It’s located on the 3rd floor of the Cocon shopping center in the heart of downtown Kyoto.
The website (see below) is in Japanese, but you can tell what’s showing by the pictures and, usually, the names of the films. They run a wide variety of independent movies from around the world. The catch is this: If the movie is not in English, it will be subtitled, but only in Japanese. Still, about half of the movies they show here are in English and you may well catch a rare gem of a film that would be hard to see anywhere else.
3F COCON Karasuma, 620 Suigin’ya-cho, Karasuma-dori-Shijo-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku
10am-10pm (depends on the film)
60 years old and over: JPY1,200
Persons with disabilities: JPY1,000
Non-smoking area: Yes
Directly connected to Shijo Station Exit 2, Karasuma subway line or Karasuma Station Exit 23, Hankyu line
Official Website (Japanese)
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world