BTM Top 5……Kyoto Filming Locations

Inevitably the majority of foreign film productions usually only come to Tokyo when they make their films in Japan but a handful have also taken place in Kyoto and so here are theTokyo Fox top 5……Kyoto Filming Locations…

1. Fushimi-Inari taisha Jinja – One of the coolest places in Japan, this shrine in the mountains has hundreds and hundreds of tori gates with its moment of fame coming when it featured in ‘Memoirs Of A Geisha‘ (2006) as a young Chiyo runs through them in one of the movie’s most defining moments. More details here

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2. Chion-in – A bit of CGI is used in ‘The Last Samurai‘ (2003) as the steep steps at this shrine lead to a very dominating building directly at the top. In reality there is no such place dominating the skyline. The same main entrance gate, which is protected by two guards in that film, is also seen briefly in ’Lost In Translation‘ (2003) as Charlotte (Scarlett Johanson) heads in that direction. More details here and here 

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3. Heian-jingu Shrine – Scarlett Johanson walks over the stepping stones in this shrine’s garden in ‘Lost In Translation‘ (2003) before moments later walking across the impressive shrines grounds. The beautiful bridge amid the gardens also appears briefly in the final moments of ’Memoirs Of A Geisha‘ (2006). More details here and here

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4. Kiyomizudera – A very major sight in its own right and nearly always part of one’s itinerary when visiting Kyoto. It featured highly in one extensive scene in ’Wasabi‘ (2000) with Hubert (Jean Reno) and his former colleague Momo investigating Miko’s death whereby they find some important clues among the wooden placades. The three storey pagoda features a few times in ’Memoirs Of A Geisha‘ (2006) between scenes to  show that a new day or season has begun. More details here and here

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5. Yoshimine-dera Temple – It may be Fushimi-inari where the young Chiyo starts her run but a bit of movie magic has her ending up at this temple where she throws the Chairman’s coin into the saisenbako and makes a wish in ‘Memoirs Of A Geisha‘ (2006). Be aware that this temple is a 3o minute bus ride away from Mukomachi station on the JR Kyoto Line. More details here

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