TF Top 10……”Alternative” Tokyo Filming Locations

Japan’s capital city has fairly strict laws when it comes to filming on the streets of Tokyo which is why we so often see scenes shot in hotels and in the back of taxi’s driving through the neon lights. It’s certainly not easy for the production companies to get permits and so guerrilla-style filming has been done a fair bit in the past. The other option is to seek out the “alternative” types of places which feature in this post such as stores, public buildings, nightclubs and so on.

Previously, this site has presented you with movie-related Tokyo compilations of the top places to stay and eat as well as bridges and temples/shrines and now it’s time to showcase the best of the rest. Here, in no particular order, is the Tokyo Fox top 10…”alternative” Tokyo filming locations…

1. Big Apple Slot & Pachinko Parlour @ 1-16-1 Soto-kanda – ‘The Wolverine‘ (2013)

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 22.25.47  IMG_4429

Logan and Mariko escape Yakuza gangsters at a funeral in Zojoji and end up taking  respite in this gambling place via Takadanobaba….and Sydney! More details here

2. Tsuchiya Dental Surgery @ 1-4-12 Chiyoda-Ku – ‘Babel‘ (2006)

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 13.57.10  

Who wouldn’t want to go to the very same dentist where confused schoolgirl Chieko tries to kiss the dentist as he inspects her teeth!! Attempting such a thing really is not advised though! This place is close to exit 1 of Kojimachi station. More details here

3. Japan Sword @ 3-8-1 Toranomon – ‘Into The Sun‘ (2005)

intothesun3  April 2011 088

Why Steven Seagal needs a sword I don’t know! Based on his other movies he seems more than capable of defeating gangs, armies and whole countries with just his bare hands!  More details here

4. A.P.C. Underground @ 4-27-6-B1 Jingu-mae – ‘Lost In Translation‘ (2003)

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 08.27.12  6Nov2009 032

This fashionable designer clothing store in Harajuku is where the strip club scene was filmed and was the only part of the film ‘faked’ as all the other locations played true in the movie. More details here

5. Cemetery @ 3-27-5 Yoyogi – ‘The Grudge‘ (2004)

grudgecemetrynovember 2011 034

Karen shows her boyfriend this place on their way to University as they peer over the wall but it’s difficult to replicate that shot now as it’s been replaced with a metal one and is roped off for some reason. More details here

6. Wako Co., Ltd @ 4-5-11 Ginza. – ‘Godzilla‘ (1954)

DSC07280  DSC07279

The radioactive monster lizard rips the clock off this department store which has a rich history. Gojira wasn’t first in destroying it as the Hattori Clock Tower (originating from 1894) was demolished in 1921 so that a new one could be rebuilt but reconstruction was delayed due to the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. The new tower was completed in 1932 before being knocked down in this classic Toho movie! More details here

7. British Embassy @ 1 Ichibancho – ‘Walk, Don’t Run‘ (1966)

April 2011 108  April 2011 111

Unable to get a room at Hotel Okura, Cary Grant goes to this Embassy which lies to the west of the Imperial Palace. It is here that he sees an advert for an apartment which he soon fast-talks his way into sharing with Samantha Eggar. More details here

8. Womb @ Maruyamacho 2-16 – ‘Babel‘ (2006)

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.05.16  25November2011 039

Chieko and friends end up in this nightclub which is situated in Shibuya in the middle of the love hotel area. They dance to ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire albeit the Shinichi Osawa remix. More details here

8. National Diet Building @ 1-7-1 Nagata-cho – ‘Godzilla‘ (1954)

25Sept '09 028  DSC07264

Completed in 1936, this national assembly hall gets destroyed by Godzilla as he tears Tokyo to shreds. When the Diet is in session you can sit in the public gallery of either the House of Representatives or the House of Councillors and at other times there are guided tours of the building. Bring your passport. More details here

10. Nakano Shimbashi Station @  – ‘You Only Live Twice’ (1967)

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 23.01.59  IMG_4521

James Bond and Aki flee to this subway station which turns out to be the private transportation hub of Japanese secret service leader “Tiger” Tanaka. As one can imagine, the south-west corner where filming took place place, looks very different over four decades later. More details here

Bonus: The Crest Tower @ 2-11-6 Tsukuda – ‘Babel‘ (2004)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 10.17.16  IMG_4268

Chieko is interviewed by two police officers in the lobby within the apartment block where she lives with her father, Yasujiro Wataya in Tsukuda. The name of the building is The Crest Tower and it is private property so behave with respect and discretion. More details here

Click here to read ‘TF Top 10……Tokyo Movie-Related Places To Eat’

Click here to read ‘TF Top 10……Alternative Temples And Shrines’ (features some movie-related places of worship)

Click here to read ‘TF Top 5……Tokyo Movie Locations Where You Can Stay’ 

Click here to read ‘TF Top 5……Tokyo Bridges In Cinema’ 

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Japan Filming Locations, Movie Locations and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.