The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco rolls into town July 23, 2016. For nine days, you get the chance to see dozens of movies focused on Japan and the Japanese community. The final day of shows is on Sunday, July 31.
The opening night performance will be at The Castro Theater. All other performances are at the New People Cinema in Japantown. This is an intimate cinema that seats 143 people in the basement of the New People building at 1746 Post Street.
When this film festival started four years ago, it was so popular it became an event people look forward to every year. It is now part of the larger J-Pop Summit Festival, a Japanese cultural fair that includes gourmet food, free live performances, and many other activities.
Here is the full nine-day schedule for this this year's Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. All shows are in Japanese with English subtitles.
|Saturday, July 23|
|12:00 PM||Library Wars: The Last Mission||120 minutes||New People Cinema|
|3:00 PM||IA 1st Live Concert in Japan “Party A GOGO!”||45 minutes||New People Cinema|
|4:15 PM||Tokyo Short Shorts 2016||71 minutes||New People Cinema|
|6:00 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno||139 minutes||New People Cinema|
|Sunday, July 24|
|12:00 PM||A Bride for Rip Van Winkle||179 minutes|
|4:00 PM||Cinema Kabuki “Nezumi Kozo: Noda Version”||110 minutes|
|6:30 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno||139 minutes|
|Monday, July 25|
|6:30 PM||Dou Kyu Sei – Classmates –||60 minutes|
|8:00 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno||139 minutes|
|Tuesday, July 26|
|6:30 PM||The Anthem of the Heart||119 minutes|
|9:00 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno||139 minutes|
|Wednesday, July 27|
|6:30 PM||Solomon’s Perjury Part 1: Suspicion||121 minutes|
|Solomon’s Perjury Part 2: Judgement||146 minutes|
|Thursday, July 28|
|6:30 PM||The Boy and the Beast||119 minutes|
|9:00 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends||135 minutes|
|Friday, July 29|
|6:30 PM||Being Good||121 minutes|
|9:00 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends||135 minutes|
|Saturday, July 30|
|12:00 PM||DASHI & SHOYU: Essence of Japan||100 minutes|
|3:00 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends||135 minutes|
|6:00 PM||Three Stories of Love||140 minutes|
|Sunday, July 31|
|12:00 PM||Happy Hour||317 minutes|
|6:30 PM||Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends||135 minutes|
The theater is in Japantown at 1746 Post Street. It's across the street from the Japan Center Mall.
You can easily get here by taking one of these buses: 2, 3, 22, 31 and 38.
You will find parking in the Japan Center Garage. Enter on Post Street. You will find additional parking on Fillmore near Post Street at the Sundance Kabuki Theater garage. You enter this one from Fillmore Street.
All tickets are available online through their website. Most cost around $15 each with a small $1.60 service charge. This is the only way to purchase them before the festival begins.
They will also offer first come, first served tickets at the door during the festival. In addition, they will have a limited number of last minute tickets for sale at the door shortly before each film.
You will find three great places close to the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. Two are right in Japantown and one is just a few blocks away.
Before you book, make sure you also check out the great deals on TripAdvisor. They offer hotel specials for places all around SF. You might be able to get a discount on your room or freebies such as free parking or wifi. Check out their current deals today!
You will find a number of great eats near the Japan Film Festival of San Francico. There are some amazing Japanese places inside the western half of the Japan Center Mall. There is an area on the first floor called Restaurant Row and you will find several great places there (one of my favs is Kushi Tsuru).
If you want something other than Japanese food, then head around the corner to Fillmore Street. There is a wide vareity of options here from pizza to indian food. These are some places to try.
The J-Pop Summit coincides with the opening weekend of the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. During this two day event, you can sample traditional Japanese cuisines, watch free performances at the Peace Plaza, and join in on several fun contests and activities.
Events in September
Theater: Every July in San Francisco, you will find a number of theater productions. During this time, you will find everything from small shows to large Broadway hits. Click here for a list of productions this month in SF.
Festivals: July is also a wonderful month to check out SF's festivals. Top festivals this month in the Fillmore Jazz Festival, the Salsa Festival on the Fillmore, and Renegade Craft Fair. Click here for a list of this month's festivals.
SF Gantis Baseball: The SF Giants are also in action all month long. They play to opponents such as the Oakland Athletics, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the LA Dodgers. Click here for this month's schedule.
Tip to Save: Save on your event tickets today on Goldstar. They offer tickets to almost 200 events at up to half-off. It's a great way to stretch your dollar and do even more in SF and the Bay Area! Click here to check out their current selection.
SF Bay Cruises: One of my favorite things to do during the summer is take an SF Bay cruise. It's a fun way to spend a few hours even if you've been on one before. They are easy, relaxing, and a great way to get to know SF even better! Click here for my five favorites.
Union Square Live: Two to three times a week in the summer, you can also catch free performances and activities in Union Square. You can learn how to salsa dance. You can catch live music by local artists. You can also enjoy some family-friendly shows. Click here for the full schedule.
Free Walking Tours: Another way I love to learn more about SF is on these free walking tours around the city. Offered by the Public Library, their volunteers take you to top attractions and hidden gems, so you can learn more about them. Click here for a list of walks by day.