Japan as a must-go travel destination is not really up for debate. There have been many features and travel photos to support the fact. The country’s culture and landscape make traveling there feel meaningful and adventurous. It’s such an interesting and photogenic country.
It’s no wonder that some of the most popular films and even a television series have made Japan as their setting, inspiring many of their fans to see these places for themselves as well. If you’re planning to visit Japan, check out some of the film and teleserye locations to finally convince you to finally book that ticket and experience the country yourself.
Kita Kita (2017)
Starring: Alessandra de Rossi, Empoy Marquez
Directed by: Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo
Produced by: Viva Films and Spring Films
Wholly set in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, "Kita Kita" is a Filipino movie that, according to its director, would not have worked had it been in set in the Philippines.
It’s a story of two isolated Filipinos (Lea and Tonyo, played by Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez, respectively) living in Japan, saving each other from heartbreak.
This independent movie enjoyed both critical and box office success. And since Lea is a tour guide, Kita Kita is a virtual tour of Hokkaido’s famous tourist destinations and have even inspired more Filipinos to make the beautiful city part of their Japan itinerary.
The actors made the most of their time in Hokkaido, trying out the culinary offerings, apart from seeing the sites.
Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. It is famous for its annual Snow Festival that features large ice sculptures. The city is also famous for its beer and it even has a museum for it. It is also the best place to try your hand at skiing.
While you’re there, you can go up the Sapporo Tower, Sapporo Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Kokoro no Sato Jozan. May to October is also a good time to go to Hokkaido, particularly to Zerubu Hill where you can frolic among the flowers (like Tonyo and Leah in Kita Kita) or ride an ATV to see more of the countryside.
Getting to Hokkaido from Tokyo is a cinch, and it’s not as far as you think. JAL has over 15 flights to Sapporo from Haneda and back every day, at almost every hour.
In the Name of Love (2011)
Starring: Aga Muhlach, Angel Locsin
Directed by: Olivia Lamasan
Produced by: ABS-CBN Film Productions
Set in the time when many Filipinos work in Japan as entertainers, Aga Muhlach and Angel Locsin play a pair of star-crossed lovers who share a painful past and later meet again in less than ideal circumstances. The scenes in Tokyo feature the city’s bright neon lights, but the dance sequence among the flowers with Mt. Fuji in the background is the most memorable of all.
Mt. Fuji is one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world and for a good reason. It is the country’s tallest peak, standing tall at 3,776 meters. While climbing Mt. Fuji is an option, there are other (more relaxing) activities that you can check out like enjoying the hot springs in Oshino Hakkai Springs, taking a pleasure cruise in a Giant Swan on Lake Yamanakako, visiting the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine, among the many places under the shadow of Japan’s most iconic volcano.
Sid and Aya (Not a Love Story) (2018)
Starring: Dingdong Dantes and Anne Curtis
Directed by: Irene Villamor
Produced by: Viva Fims, N2 Productions
This movie is about two beautiful people who come together and fall in love, but it’s not your typical love story. A successful but friendless stockbroker who suffers from insomnia hires a woman to keep him company during his sleepless nights. They banter, they bond over dinners and coffee, and they went to Tokyo, Japan where Aya went to work as an entertainer. The movie features the exciting nightlife in Tokyo that could be something to write home about.
Arrive at the heart of the city when traveling on JAL's Manila - Tokyo (Haneda) flight to immediately enjoy the country’s sprawling capital. It is a city from the future — with its bright neon lights, skyscrapers — that was seamlessly melded with historic Japan. The Imperial Palace, shrines, and gardens ought to look out of place in a busy metropolis such a Tokyo, but everything all works really well. No wonder it’s a favorite setting for shows and movies around the world.
Exploring Tokyo after dark is like plunging into a surreal dimension where anything and everything is possible. There are so many things to check out in the city, but you can start with the Robot Restaurant found in Kubukicho, Shinjuku district to party with robots and pretty girls. Kawaii Monster Cafe gives you a taste of the colorful Tokyo pop culture with special entertainment. If you need a break from the glaring lights of Tokyo’s nightlife, you could go on an izakaya pub crawl in Asakusa, the retro and historical part of Tokyo.
Born for You (television series)
Starring Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona
Created by: Rondel P. Lindayag and Reggie Amigo
Sam Kazuko (Janella Salvador) is a hopeless romantic Filipino who grew up in Japan. She wants to be a famous singer and to find her destined soulmate. She meets Kevin Sebastian (Elmo Magalona), a teen heartthrob in the Philippines. They had a meet cute in the famously busy Shibuya Crossing and the two fall in love. Sam follows Kevin to the Philippines where she worked as a singing flower delivery girl.
The Shibuya is the famous scramble crossing featured in many photos and IG travel posts because of its beautiful chaos at the intersection. Located in front of the Shibuya Station where the famous Hachiko statue could be found, crossing the street has never been this exciting. And who knows who you’ll bump into? Should you want the perfect photo of the crossing, there are a few spots that are good vantage points to take the shot from such as: Mag’s Park’s terrace on the MAGNET Building, the Starbucks at Shibuya Tsutaya, from inside the Shibuya Station, and the L’Occitane Cafe.
While you’re at Shibuya, go explore the side streets where you’ll find small shops, street art, cafes, and other details that give Tokyo its unique personality.
Fly to Japan with Japan Airline’s Manila-Tokyo via Haneda Airport that leaves Manila in the evening and lets you hit the ground running as early as 4:55 a.m. in Tokyo. JAL is the only airline with the flight schedule that lets you make the most of your stay in Japan. And more time in Japan means more time to hunt these famous places and recreate scenes from your favorite movies and shows for the folks back home. For more information, visit Japan Airlines on their website.
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