“The Nakagin Capsule Tower featured as the love hotel in ‘The Wolverine‘ right?”
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people utter words to that effect. To an extent, they are all correct as the famous building is of course seen on screen around the 45 minute mark. However, Hugh Jackman and Co never went to this particular area of Ginza (8-10-6 Ginza, Chūō-ku) as the tower was added digitally. Those street scenes around the “tower” were actually shot in Sydney.
Australia actually substitutes for Japan for the first time when the Chinese Garden of Friendship appears. I covered that in a previous Tokyo Fox post entitled ‘Australia 2019 Pt IX: The “Tokyo” Temple In The Wolverine Movie‘ but will re-cap it all later. A kilometre walk (15 minutes on foot) eastwards from those gardens takes you into the Surry Hills area and that is where a street scene was shot.
Brisbane Street was transformed to look like a Tokyo street with Japanese signs and Asian people throughout. The tall building on the left and the lower part of the one on the right can be seen in both the screenshot and my photo.
CGI has then been used to impose the Nakagin Capsule Tower on top of the cream coloured building. The picture of me below was of course taken in Tokyo which is about 7,800 kilometres (4850 miles) away from Sydney. It was taken five years ago when I cycled the Wolverine trail in the order which it appears on screen. As you can see, the buildings in the background are different.
Before all that were the more famous action scenes at the temple in Tokyo. Sure, it all begins with a funeral at Zojoji Temple in Minato-ku on 29 minutes but there are no ponds or water features there at all. When it starts to kick off and all the fighting begins two minutes later, it’s the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney which is seen.
Bonna Point Reserve on Prince Charles Parade in Kurnell is really out on a limb in the far southern parts of Sydney, some two hours from the CBD. Just a few weeks before my trip to Australia I found out that it had been used for some “Nagasaki” scenes (blended in with Omishima and Tomonoura in Japan) including the POW camp during WWII. I certainly wasn’t expecting to find too much but if I didn’t go then I’d always be curious.
Lanterns were added to the area and the important manhole cover was not really there. It’s a known fact that filming did take place here but I was unable to really recognise any of it too seriously other than a groyne in the background and the land in the distance of the sea.
Click here to read ‘The Wolverine Filming Locations’
Click here to read ‘Review: Films Set In Japan – The Wolverine (2013)’
There is a short scene filmed in the suburb of Parramatta in western Sydney later in the movie around the intersection of George Street and Smith Street.
The area was transformed into a Japanese locale for a weekend of filming. Sadly, my time in Sydney was very limited so I didn’t have time to get out to Parramatta on this trip which was a shame as it was also used for a scene in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘ (2009).
Click here to read ‘Australia Filming Locations #1 -Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
Click here to read ‘Australia Filming Locations #2 – The Matrix (1999)
Click here to read ‘Australia Filming Locations #3 – Melbourne Special
Click here to read ‘Australia Filming Locations #4 – Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
Click here to read ‘Australia Filming Locations #5 – Knowing (2009)