Created by Soo Hugh, ‘Pachinko’ is a drama TV series on Apple TV+. Based on the eponymous bestselling novel by Min Jin Lee, it follows the journey of four generations of a Korean family, as they immigrate to Japan and then to America. Over several years, the dynamics of the family change from the time they depart their homeland till they adapt to the foreign cultures they encounter.
All of this is further connected to the various phases in the life of Sunja, the protagonist, who makes the ultimate sacrifice for her family’s future. ‘Pachinko’ is set against the backdrops of Korea, Japan, and America, and its rich visual imagery creates the perfect timeline for the narrative, which spans over several decades. Curious to know where this interesting show is filmed? Here are all the details you need!
Pachinko Filming Locations
‘Pachinko’ is primarily filmed in South Korea and Canada, specifically in places like Busan, Andong, Mokpo, and parts of British Columbia. The South Korean leg of filming for season 1 most likely took place in late 2020. Production then moved to British Columbia, finally wrapping up in April 2021. Now, let’s take a closer look at the filming sites.
Busan, South Korea
The majority of ‘Pachinko’ is lensed in Busan, a sprawling port city and maritime logistics center in South Korea. A number of scenes from season 1 were shot at the popular Haeundae Beach, which hosts many events each year. Busan is best known for its beautiful beaches, vast mountains, hot springs, and nature reserves.
Apart from the 678 AD Buddhist shrine Beomeosa, numerous other landmarks in Busan are Nampo-dong, Taejongdae, Gamcheon Cultural Village, and Cheonseongjinseong Fortress. An extremely popular filming destination, the city also hosts the prestigious Busan International Film Festival every fall. It features in the superhit movie ‘Black Panther‘ as well.
Andong, South Korea
Parts of ‘Pachinko’ are filmed in Andong, the capital of North Gyeongsang Province. Production for season 1 took place at the Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site from the Joseon Dynasty. It houses Joseon-style architecture, literature, folk traditions and is an important part of Korean heritage. Besides the fact that the Nakdong River flows through the city, it is known for tourist attractions like the Municipal Folk Museum, Seonseonghyun Cultural Heritage Complex, Gyemyeongsan Recreation Forest, and Bongjeongsa Buddhist temple.
Mokpo, South Korea
Important parts of the show have been filmed in Mokpo, a city at the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula. It was a crucial business and transport hub during the Japanese Occupation. Mokpo houses the National Maritime Museum, which features exhibits of Korean naval and shipping customs. In addition, in October every year, the famous fishing festival of Largehead Hairtail takes place around Yeongsan Lake and attracts many tourists.
Vancouver, British Columbia
The seaport city of Vancouver is yet another filming site for ‘Pachinko.’ Popularly called “Hollywood North,” Vancouver is a highly sought-after filming destination due to its ideal cloud cover, beautiful landscape surrounded by mountains, a giant network of trained actors and crew members, and the presence of several hi-tech film studios. Furthermore, the city provides handsome tax rebates on filming.
Over the years, Vancouver has witnessed the production of many movies like ‘Honey Girls,’ ‘The Adam Project,’ ‘Rescued by Ruby,’ and ‘Deadpool 2.’ The ethnically diverse city is also a hub of art, culture, music, and theater. Several iconic landmarks in Vancouver are the Orpheum Theater, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Museum of Anthropology.
Coquitlam, British Columbia
One more filming site for ‘Pachinko’ is Coquitlam, a city in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The cast and crew lensed multiple sequences at the Riverview Hospital, a former mental health facility located at 2601 Lougheed Highway. Coquitlam is known for its lush green open spaces – like the Pinecone Burke Provincial Park and the Como Lake Park – as well as numerous theaters and art studios. TV series like ‘The Flash,’ ‘The Good Doctor,’ and ‘Arrow‘ have been filmed in the charming city.
Surrey, British Columbia
The picturesque city of Surrey is also a filming spot for ‘Pachinko.’ Major portions of the first season were taped in Surrey Film City, a vast film studio complex located at the former Pacific Press Plant on 88th Avenue in Kennedy Heights. In particular, the backlot area of the studios was used for outdoor scenes. Surrey has hosted many productions like the movie ‘The Unforgivable‘ and TV series like ‘Riverdale,’ ‘The Stand,’ and ‘Altered Carbon.’ The Museum of Surrey, Surrey Municipal Hall, and Heritage Square are some of the main attractions in the city.
Richmond, British Columbia
Pivotal parts of ‘Pachinko’ have been lensed in Richmond, a coastal city with significant Asian cultural influences, particularly in the Golden Village District. The Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site at 5180 Westwater Drive and the village of Steveston are the main shooting spots used for season 1. The early 1900s style architecture of the latter has been featured in the movie ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse‘ as well as TV shows like ‘Chesapeake Shores,’ ‘Bates Motel,’ and ‘Once Upon a Time.’
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