The major locations for filming in Japan are Tokyo and Osaka. The country is incredibly diverse with many different backdrops available for TV, commercial and film producers.

Popular movies shot in some of Japan’s superb locations include Lost in Translation, Bale, and the Last Samurai. 20th Century Fox’s X-men movie Wolverine was also shot in Japan.

Filming Permits

Filming especially in the capital city of Japan can be a bit restrictive. It may be easier to secure public permits for filming in less prominent locations and for small scale production. You will need to apply for separate permits for every location you want to use. Processing film permits in Japan generally takes about 3 days for simple shoots.

For large scale productions that require you to set up tracks or cut off traffic, it might be harder to obtain permits and more lead time will be required. Some areas also require you to apply for additional official access from local neighborhood associations. Get in touch with us for information about a specific location you have in mind for filming in Japan.

Access for Foreign Journalists

International journalists looking to cover a report in Japan will find their work relatively easy with the help of our local Japanese fixers. Foreign journalists will find institutions and local contributors relatively receptive towards media. Japan is ranked 67th on the World Press Freedom Index which means press transparency is not always guaranteed. However, it is still safe and relatively easy to work in the country.

Tax Incentive

The Japanese government does not offer any tax rebates for filming in Japan. However, it is possible to access subsidies from some regional film commissions. Our local film fixer in Japan can give you more information about this and the process of getting them when applicable.


Are you a director, producer or journalist thinking of filming in Japan? Please drop us a line.