The majority of this 2008 film starring the late Brittany Murphy was made in the studios but there were a few short scenes filmed in Shibuya-ku as well as the city of Yokohama.
Many, many thanks to Troy Swezey and Kat D. Grant for their information in the comments on this original post (which has been heavily edited since!) about the Ramen shop and Abby’s apartment which are actual real locales. I originally just assumed they were filmed in the studio but they were indeed shot on the streets of Shibuya in Maruyama-cho.
Let’s start with the ramen restaurant (below) itself which is run by chef Maezumi (Toshiyuki Nishida) and his wife Reiko and is where Abby (Brittany Murphy) learns how to make ramen. It should be no real surprise that it’s not a ramen restaurant and looks a lot different these days. It was dry when I went there unlike when Abby stumbled upon the place that wet night after she’d just broken up with her boyfriend. Best seen around the 27 minute mark, this place can be found at 25-7 Maruyama-cho in Shibuya-ku and it’s about 10 minutes on foot from JR Shibuya station. The closest station is actually Shinsen on the Keio Inokashira Line as it’s only a two minute walk from there but unless you’re using that line it’s probably easier to just reach there from Shibuya station.
Abby’s apartment (below) is just a stone’s throw up the road from there (less than a minutes walk) at 28-8 Maruyama-cho. It is first seen on 6 minutes when Abby’s boyfriend leaves her standing in the street in just a towel.
The exterior of the apartment (below) is seen again around the 66 minute mark when new boyfriend Toshi says goodbye to her as he leaves to go to Shanghai for three years. The cream coloured building with the red frontage at the bottom of the road in my pictures is Melrose Avenue shop which is next to the place which portrayed the restaurant.
Just before that scene outside the apartment the camera homes in on the street from above and we see the overpass (below) that leads you back to Shibuya station.
On 87 minutes Abby is greeted by half a dozen people outside her apartment (with the highway visible in their background below) and walks the short distance down the road to where some kind of matsuri (festival) is taking place in her honour.
Abby is hoisted aloft a portable shrine outside Argos (below) which is opposite the location used for the ramen restaurant. This is where Chef Maezumi hands her the lantern that’s hung outside his shop for 45 years. She takes it to America with her and a year later it’s seen outside her own New York City restaurant which is appropriately named The Ramen Girl.
“There’s a ramen museum in Yokohama?! You’re kidding me!” are Abby’s words on 52 mins when her Japanese love interest Toshi asks her whether she’s been there. Yokohama is actually Japan’s second largest city and just a short train ride south of Tokyo. The full name of the museum is the Shin Yokohama Raumen Museum and it appears about five minutes later (57 mins) as we first see the exterior (below) of the place.
We then get the overview (below) of the Showa 33 (1958?) re-production inside the place which claims to be the first food amusement park to be created anywhere in the world. The address is 2-14-21 Shin-yokohama and the museum has a 300 yen admission fee.
Abby and Toshi eat at Komurasaki (below) ramen restaurant which is where I have eaten every time I’ve visited the place.
They soon exit that place and cross the floor before ducking into the Ryusyanhai (below) ramen shop.
They’re then out on the harbour front (below) with the beautiful Yokohama skyline in the background as they kiss. The large ferris wheel of Cosmo World as well as the sail-shaped building can clearly be seen in the background as they walk along the area at Yamashita Park.
The big ship above is seen and Toshi even refers to it when he says he wanted to run away from his kid mates and sneak onto it and escape Japan.
You can read my review of ‘The Ramen Girl‘ here.