Japan’s amazingly cozy heated tables combined with movie magic? Sounds like the perfect way to spend a winter day.
Japanese movie theaters are already pretty awesome, what with their reserved seats, alcoholic beverages, and in-lobby shops selling merchandise so that you can purchase that plush BB-8 or Captain America shield coaster immediately after watching the latest Star Wars or Avengers installment. But one theater in particular, the Let’s Cinepark in the town of Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, is extra-special because of its newly configured Box Premium Seats.
No, these aren’t stuffy enclosed compartments where you’re sealed off from the rest of the audience. Instead, they’re rectangular seating areas outfitted with perhaps the world’s greatest piece of furniture: a kotatsu, a low table equipped with a heater underneath and a thick blanket for the lower half of your body.
▼ Japanese Twitter user @bashix4 describes the setup as “a dream come true.”
However, not every screening room in the cineplex is outfitted with kotatsu. It’s only theaters number one and two that have this toasty configuration. Since sharing a kotatsu means sitting in close proximity to your companions, though, Let’s Cinepark shows its biggest crowd-pleasers and event-level films in those rooms. Right now you can catch The Last Jedi and acclaimed anime In This Corner of the World while sitting in a kotatsu seat, and upcoming options include Get Out, The Greatest Showman, and Geostorm.
The Tokorozawa Let’s Cinepark is located inside the Shin Tokorozawa Parco shopping complex, next to Shin Tokorozawa Station, which is roughly 35 minutes from downtown Tokyo by train. That puts it a little out of the way, but still well within striking distance for a night out (even if you want to get back to Tokyo in time for dinner at the kotatsu restaurant in Akasaka). And best of all, since Japanese audiences always stay until the end of the credits, you’ll be able to spend an extra-long time inside your kotatsu box seat.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he thinks seating for everything should be kotatsu-style between December and February.