Japan Film Festival of San Francisco

One Week of Japanese Inspired Films

NOTE: On December 6, San Francisco (and a few surrounding counties) will once again be on a stay-at-home order. This will last indefinitely. Click here for more information.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco rolls into town October 4 - 13. For ten 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, October 13.

All 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 a few 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.

Japan Film Festival San Francisco

All shows are in Japanese with English subtitles.

Find a full schedule of films for this year's festival on their site.

Other Festival Details

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

New People Cinema Theater

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.

Click here to order them online in advance.

Places to Stay Nearby

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.

  • Hotel Tomo: 3-star with clean and spacious rooms, prices start at around $275 a night this time of year, 1800 Sutter Street

  • Hotel Kabuki: 3.5-star hotel that is a little more affordable, it's also clean and cozy, rooms start at just under $200 a night this time of year, 1625 Post

  • Queen Anne Hotel: 3-star that is about two blocks away, it's a cute historic place with a lot of character, rooms start at around $190 a night this time of year, 1590 Sutter

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!

Best Places to Grab a Bite to Eat

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.

  • Roam Artisan Burgers at 1923 Fillmore Street, $$
  • The Elite Cafe (Southern/Creole) at 2049 Fillmore Street, $$
  • Dino's Pizza at 2101 Fillmore, $$
  • Thai Stick at 2001 Fillmore, $$
  • Dosa Indian Restaurant at 1700 Fillmore, $$$

More J-Pop Summit Events

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.

Click here for a full schedule for the J-Pop Summit Festival in Japantown.

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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.

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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.

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Hi there! I'm Jill Loeffler and welcome to my site. I've been exploring San Francisco for almost two decades and I can't wait to help you find the best things to do here! Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.

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