(edit: clickbait title removed, apologies for those that had to endure it)
So, like, streaming services exist in Japan (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other Japan-only services), but for whatever reason renting physical copies of movies is still pretty huge over here.
I’m not sure if the streaming services haven’t been able to get decent libraries over here due to stuck-in-the-mud producers/distributors (though it would be my guess), or just people preferring the quality of discs?
Anyway, it just so happened that some anime movie I’d heard of came out a couple of days ago, and the prospect of spending ~¥6000 (~£40) on a DVD that I’ll only watch once was rather unpalatable. So I went to my local Tsutaya (Blockbuster-like company I guess), somehow managed to get a membership card (that was actually legitimately fun) and picked up the movie for ~¥350 (~£2.50) plus a couple of others.
Semi-related aside: I went to see the new Avengers movie the other day at a cinema here, and I don’t think I’ve ever been in a quieter movie screening in my life. The only down side was that early on in the movie there were quite a few really funny moments, but I was the only one laughing, so yeah, sorry for further-ruining the reputation of foreigners in Osaka.
Oh, and it’s not just movies, they also rent out CDs and Books (I think mostly comics/manga). But not games. That’s been illegal for a long time in Japan – which is funny because renting out CDs has been illegal in the USA for a long time, but games are fine there.
So if you truly miss the nostalgic Friday evenings, poring over the selection of new titles to rent at your local Blockbuster, I can definitely recommend not coming to Japan – just get Netflix you weirdo :p