This American martial-arts thriller film starring Christopher Lambert was mostly shot in Nagoya city with such locales including it’s castle, City Hall (below) and main Station. However, the action does eventually move to “an island several hundred miles away” which in reality is just 75 kilometres west of Japan’s fourth most populated city.
Around the 67 minute mark, a castle appears and when I first watched the film many years ago I just assumed it was Nagoya Castle. However, after visiting that place in 2017 I soon realised that all was not as it seemed. It then later dawned on me that it was actually a castle I’d been to and one that can rival Himeji Castle for appearing in movies as it also features prominently in average kids movie ‘3 Ninjas Kick Back‘ (1994).
Lying on the east coast of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture is a small city called Hikone which is home to one of only five castles listed as National Treasures in Japan. This Edo-period castle is approximately 15 minutes on foot from Hikone Station on the JR West Biwako Line, and it is considered to be the most significant historical building in Shiga-ken.
Hikone’s three storied castle is relatively small but it’s design combines multiple different architecture styles, and the whole castle area is really picturesque with it’s inner and outer moats.
This segment of the ‘The Hunted‘ was bookmarked by shots of the castle in the background of Genkyu-en which is included in the 800 yen castle ticket. For the record, it is possible to enter the garden only for 200 yen but castle-only tickets are not available. Genkyu-en is a beautiful landscaped Japanese garden which really helps propel the castle up the rankings in my mind.
The three screenshot match-ups below are all on the walk up to the castle and easy to find. These scenes are some of the more comedic as it’s where Paul Racine (Lambert) meets the drunken bladesmith Oshima and, despite the language barrier, is trained in the skill of swordsmanship by him.
Click here to read ‘The Japanese Castle Which Can Rival Himeji-jo For Appearing In Movies’
Click here to read ‘Nagoya Filming Locations – The Hunted (1995)’
Click here to read ‘Review: Films Set In Japan – The Hunted (1995)’
Click here to read ‘Kansai Filming Locations: 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)’