Tokyo Filming Locations: Pt X- The Grudge

This American re-make of ‘Ju-On’ begins at Yanagibashi bridge (1 min) where the Kanda river runs into the much bigger Sumida-gawa river. Peter is on the 6th floor of his apartment at 1-2-2 Yanagibashi (below) with his wife/partner in bed when he looks at her fairly normally and then just purposely falls over his balcony plummeting to his death below. When I did my Kanda River bicycle ride back in April little did I know that the starting point was also where ‘The Grudge’ was filmed. It can be seen again on 65 mins when Karen (Sarah Michelle-Gellar) visits the suicide scene. I was standing on the wall next to the river taking a timed photo (below left) with my tripod (whilst holding it aloft to get the highest position possible) when a guy came out and asked if I wanted to go on his rooftop to get a shot. I thought I was in luck big time as his apartment was next to the actual one used in the film but sadly it was too far back to capture the angle I wanted.



Re-creating the lower left screenshot was one of the most nerdy things I’ve done in the name of filming locations and boy was it a long wait to capture the shot seen below left as this area is full of businessmen taking cigarette breaks from their nearby offices. Thankfully the first photo I took with me lying down was satisfactory enough.


The road supposedly leading to “The Grudge” house (built on a sound-stage at Toho Studios) is just outside Minami Shinjuku station on the Keio Line and the address of the fruit and vegetable shop, with a sign inside saying ‘Home Restaurant’, is 1-15-9 Yoyogi. At the start of the film we see Yoko cycling to the house (3 mins) down this street (below left) and a few scenes later (13 mins) Karen walks that way and stops a mother and young daughter (of whom the latter is scared of the foreigner!) to ask for directions. In reality theres pretty much nothing of interest at the top of the street (lower right) which they go up.


Also, in Yoyogi is the cemetry (below right) which Karen shows Doug on their way to University 10 mins into the film. This is located at 3-27-5 Yoyogi and still looks almost identical apart from the brick wall in the film which they peer over has been replaced with a metal one which is roped off for some reason. Before that Shinjuku (below left) and Nishi-Shinjuku 1-19-10 feature briefly as Karen and Doug cross the road and do a bit of walking as a few places are cut together to make it seem as they are all very close.



The photo above right is of the inside of the cemetry which features along with the big white building in the background as Karen and Doug peer over the fence (above left). Moments later the “University of Tokyo” appears (11 mins) but it is actually a medical school which can be found at 1-12-1 Takaido-nishi in Suginami. It was quite nice going here during one of my breaks as there was hardly anyone around which makes it a lot less embarrassing setting up a tripod to take a photo of oneself.


Fungo Dining is a restaurant in Nishi Shinjuku (below) which appears after 57 mins and is where Karen’s boyfriend Doug works part-time. Karen turns up there feeling scared and Doug asks his boss if he can leave earlier to be with her to which he agrees. Not sure if that would really happen though in such a work-obsessed country!


Many thanks to Takako & Rina who, despite never having seen the film, spent their own (work?) time searching for these locations on the net in the kind of Japanese which is way beyond my level.