Home > Films > L > Lost In Translation

Wednesday May 22nd 2024

Lost In Translation | 2003

Lost In Translation filming location: Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo
Lost In Translation filming location: the hotel: Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo

The locations for Lost In Translation can mainly be found in the Shinjuku and Shibuya districts of central Tokyo – with just a little of Kyoto, too.

Shinjuku is the business and entertainment centre of Tokyo, and it’s the dazzling neon signs along Yasukuni Don (Yasukuni Avenue) which dazzle Bob Harris (Bill Murray) on his arrival in the city. They advertise the entrance to Shinjuku’s Kabukico entertainment district, northeast of Shinjuku Station.

Shibuya, three stations south of Shinjuku on the Yamanote Line is the destination for the young, trendy and fashion conscious. Its ‘Times Square’ - the phenomenally busy Shibuya Crossing – is where you would have seen the vast screens, where an animated brontosaurus trundles across the Q-Eye sign.

Like its New York counterpart, the famous ‘scramble’ crossing, located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachiko exit, is in a constant state of change – so don’t expect to find it looking exactly as it did in the film.

The shot was grabbed, guerrilla filming-style, from the second floor Starbucks – no mean feat when you consider that this is one of the busiest branches of the franchise in the world.

Lost In Translation filming location: New York Grill, Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo
Lost In Translation filming location: Bob and Charlotte drink in the hotel: New York Grill, Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo | Photograph: Park Hyatt Tokyo

In town to record a whisky commercial, Bob is staying at the (not inexpensive) Park Hyatt Tokyo, 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, which occupies the top 14 floors of a 52-storey office building in Shinjuku. It’s in the hotel’s top-floor New York Grill that Bob tries to unwind, and meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), who’s similarly adrift in an unfamiliar city.

The temple visited by Charlotte (though she refers to it as a shrine) is Jugan-ji Temple in Shinjuku, near to Nakano-Sakaue Station, two stops from Shinjuku Station on the Marunouchi Line.

Lost In Translation filming location: Karaoke-Kan, Shibuya, Tokyo
Lost In Translation filming location: Bob and Charlotte sing karaoke: Karaoke-Kan, Shibuya, Tokyo

On their evening out together, Bob and Charlotte savage The Pretenders and Roxy Music in the Shibuya branch of ubiquitous Karaoke-Kan chain, Karaoke-Kan, 30-8 Utagawacho.

Charlotte takes the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, where she visits the Heian Shrine (reached by subway from Kyoto to Higashiyama Station) and the Zen temple, Nanzenji Temple (a short walk from Keage Station).

Bob and Charlotte try the sushi at Ichikan, 9-5 Daikanyama, Shibuya-ku, and visit hip nightspot Air, which you would have found in the Nakagawa Building, Sarugaku-cho 2-11, Shibuya-ki, until it closed at the end of 2015.

So far, all the locations have been real but the ‘strip club’ is nothing of the sort – in reality it’s ultra-stylish boutique APC Underground, Jingumae 4-27-6-B1, Shibuya-ku, boasting a minimalist, warped-timber interior designed by French architect Laurent Derco.

The shabu-shabu restaurant (where you cook your own thin slices of raw beef) is Shabu-Zen, which you’ll find in the basement of the Shibuya Creston Hotel, 10-8 Kamiyama cho, Shibuya-ku.