Saturday, May 21, 2016

KYU-FURUKAWA GARDENS! A Go-To Location for Many Japanese Horror Films!

The Western-style residence in Kyu-Furukawa Gardens has been used as a filming location in countless Japanese productions. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

It's hard trying to document the filming locations used in many Japanese genre productions, and the proof is in the lack of quality English-language research done in this area. Little by little, I intend to fill the void, and today I shine my spotlight on a new location.

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens is a beautiful park located in Kita, Tokyo, near Nishigahara Station. The centerpiece of the park is its Western-style residence, and it's easy to see why. You see very few buildings like this in Tokyo. Although it was at one time a private residence, it was converted into a public park in 1956.

The Western-style residence appears in several classic Japanese horror films. It was used as Shin Kishida's vampiric principal character in Evil of Dracula (1974), the spooky house in the Hajime Sato-directed House of Terrors (a.k.a. The Ghost of the Hunchback, 1965), and it also turns up in the Toho mystery Murders in the Doll House (a.k.a. Crazy Doll Trick, 1979).

As much as I wanted to step inside the house, you can only do so if you join a guided tour, which unfortunately I didn't have enough time to do. Still, it was cool to see this filming location from the outside. It does seem tailor-made for horror movies!

It's a beautiful park, regardless of its history on film. I'd highly recommend it to anyone, even if he or she isn't into any of the aforementioned films. There's so much to see and photograph. I'm sure I'll eventually go back and join one of the guided tours.

How cool is it to see where Shin Kishida's vampire character once lived? It's very cool, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to visit yet another incredible filming location. I can't wait to see more!

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