Marking the 37th movie in the universally renowned ‘Godzilla’ franchise, ‘Godzilla Minus One’ is a Japanese action-adventure thriller movie that unfolds in post-war Japan when the country was devastated by the effects of the war. Still dealing with the aftermath of the war, Japan and its people have something new to worry about, something much grander and life-threatening — a giant monster. Originally titled ‘Gojira -1.0,’ the fifth movie in the franchise’s Reiwa era is written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki.
Starring talented Japanese actors, including Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando, and Kuranosuke Sasaki. Portraying the era of war, the movie includes visuals of destruction in the form of ruined buildings and rubbles across Japan, taking us back in time and making us wonder where ‘Godzilla Minus One’ was filmed.
Godzilla Minus One Was Shot Across Japan
‘Godzilla Minus One’ was shot entirely in the East Asian island country of Japan. The filming reportedly began in early 2022, particularly in the month of March, and carried on for several months before ultimately wrapping up in June of the same year. According to reports, as the events in the narrative of the film take place between 1945 and 1947, the cast and crew were presented with certain constraints.
To be specific, the costume and hair department had to see to it that the costumes and hairstyles of the extras accurately reflected the time period of the setting; it wasn’t permissible for any of the actors to get their hair dyed and it was mandatory for men with long hairs to get perms. Everyone likely abided by these guidelines to ensure the production went on smoothly. Here are the specific places where the film was lensed.
Nagano Prefecture, Japan
A significant portion of the Japanese film was taped in and around Nagano Prefecture or Nagano-ken in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is located in the heart of Japan’s largest island — Honshu. For the purpose of filming, the cast and crew visited the City Hall at 8-1 Saiwaicho in the town of Okaya in the central part of the landlocked prefecture. Often dubbed the country’s Winter Wonderland, the prefecture is a popular destination for those seeking to savor the breathtaking beauty of the Japanese Alps covered in thick blankets of snow. With multiple spots offering majestic views of nature, offered a variety of locations that proved ideal for complementing the setting of ‘Godzilla Minus One.’
Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Shooting for ‘Godzilla Minus One’ also took place in Ibaraki Prefecture, which is situated in the Kantō region of Honshu. In particular, the filming unit took over the premises of the Tsukuba Naval Air Group Memorial Museum at 654 Asahimachi in the city of Kasama. Some portions were also recorded in the former Kashima Naval Air Base Site in Miho, a building that was abandoned long ago. In addition, reports suggest that the Shimodate General Sports Park in Chikusei also hosted the production of a few scenes.
A portion of the film was also filmed in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Part of the Kantō region of Honshu Island, the sprawling metropolis is one of the world’s most favorable shooting destinations as it serves as a comprehensive stop to satisfy a project’s filming requirements. As it is home to a wide array of sites that could be utilized to enhance the visual aesthetic of the time period ‘Godzilla Minus One’ is set in, it is understandable why the production team chose the city as one of the locations to record the movie.
Other Locations in Japan
For shooting purposes, the production team also traversed through other locations across Japan, including the Aichi Prefecture. As for the maritime portions of the movie, they were reportedly taped at Lake Hamana and in the Enshū Sea. From April to June 2022, a number of community businesses located near the Tenryū River assisted the cast and crew of ‘Godzilla Minus One’ with the modifications and maintenance of boats during the shooting of navy scenes in Enshū.
Furthermore, the city of Hamamatsu served as another prominent filming site for the movie. The makers also constructed a 1:1 scale replica of the real Kyushu J7W Shinden aircraft to shoot some scenes involving the aircraft. Interestingly, the construction of the replica was made possible and economically feasible only because a museum was willing to buy it after the production.
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