Did you know that Japan has one of the oldest and largest filming industries in the world? It has been producing films since 1897 and for more than 100 years has continued to expand around the globe. In its history, one aspect that is particularly interesting are the various attractive locations used during filming.
Here are three of the legendary locations which will help you jog your memory on some of the best Japanese movies you’ve ever seen. This may also spur some of you to venture out to some of these locations on your adventures around Japan!
Tokyo is a focal point of almost everything in the country including attractive filming locations. It has a good international profile which makes it a great cinematic setting. One famous movie which was shot in the city was “Godzilla” (1954) directed by Ishiro Honda. Godzilla, at 165 feet high is seen unleashing a very destructive rampage as it tramples through Tokyo. Even Tokyo Tower is seen being destroyed as well as the National Diet Building.
Also, one of the James Bond series, “You Only Live Twice”, also used Tokyo for some of its locations. The story is centered around the American NASA Spacecraft that has been hijacked and landed in Japan. James Bond is then seen flying to Tokyo where he spends most of his mission.
A great number of unspoiled virgin forests can be found in the city of Akita, which also has so many cultural and historical tourist attractions. Therefore, Akita has been used in several Japanese films such as Princess Mononoke, a historical fantasy anime film by Hayao Miyazaki. As the story is all about a young warrior struggling between the world of humans and gods of the forests, some of the scenes were directly inspired by the mountain ranges over Akita and Aomori.
Hyogo Prefecture is most popular for Himeji Castle, also known as the White Heron Castle. Behind this castle, is a temple called Engyo-ji, which played a major role in “The Last Samurai” film. It served as Katsumoto’s temple and is actually the location where Algren (Tom Cruise) and Katsumoto (Watanabe) met. The mountain village is also seen with this backdrop. Another part in the movie used the setting of the garden temple where both characters are in discussion.
So, there you have it. These three legendary locations assisted significantly in the making of these three great movies, and much more. Why not re-live some of those famous move scenes and include these popular filming locations into your Japan itinerary?!