Toei Movie Village, Kyoto
A film-culture hall with a western-style, academic appearance is a genuine museum of Japanese cinema. Here you can review the careers of the great actors, actresses and directors of Japanese cinema, and trace the history of Japanese film through clips and photos.
The Toei Movie Village is where many television shows and movie scenes are filmed. You may even see a show being filmed when you come. When I went, I got to see one of the Japanese actors that was in The Last Samurai! The park also features costumes and sets from some of Japan's most famous shows. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese films and tv series, you probably won't appreciate these as much as the Japanese. They also have performances and demonstrations that you watch.
Perhaps not the main reason anyone would travel to Kyoto, but still a very entertaining and enjoyable opportunity for those visiting - especially if you have kids who are becoming quite sick of temples and shrines. It is the Toei Uzumasa Eiga Mura (or "Movieland") and it is a Studio Theme Park (Japan Style!). Visitors are given the opportunity to step back in time and experience Edo-era Japan, at this working set of one of the nation's major film studios. Spend the day strolling through the themed village with different attractions and shows, and view the studios and sets where many period films are made. One can even take costume and become a Samurai or Geisha! (The best part is you can walk around the park IN costume - my friend did this and turned many heads!)
The admission is relatively inexpensive, compared to other parks like DisneyLand/Sea and USJ, and you will be able to find something to keep everyone interested! And for those game enough, the 'Obake yashiki' (Haunted House) will frighten even the most fearsome samurai - I kid you not! And if you don't believe me, go see for yourself...
Toei is one of Japan's most famous and oldest movie companies, best known for their production of samurai and superhero TV series and movies. Visitors here can see a combined theme park/museum with reconstructions of historic buildings from the Edo period as wells as various performances such as a Ninja fight. You may even see a real TV production taking place. The musuem will probably be of less interest to gaijin visitors but seems to give a quite comprehensive history of the movie business in Japan. It was quite fun to see the costumes of the 'Super Sentai' characters from a famous Japanese superhero show, adapted in the West as the 'Power Rangers'.
A good day out and a much needed respite for anybody who is feeling temple fatigue in Kyoto.
An interesting place to visit in Japan is the Toei Movie Land, located in Kyoto. In this "movie" park, numerous movies and over 200 television dramas are filmed every year. I watched a Ninja swordfight at the movie land's outdoor set, while afterwards several spectators were allowed to partake in a "swordfight" with the actors. You can step into the simulation theater to watch images on the screen (as your seat shakes and rattles with each exciting moment!), and also roam the many shops and streets inside this "mini-town" that truly is unique to Japan! Each time I watch a Godzilla movie, I now recognize and notice part of the Toei Movie Land set!
This is a small themepark with lots of little Japanese rooms. (which are used as a film set). When they are not being used for filming visitors can explore through them. When we were there there was only one advertisement being shot and the rest of the place was free to explore.
They were filming a mobile phone commercials with lots of extra's all in japanese costume.
There is a ghost house here and shops as well.
If you like Japanese architecture you will probably like this.
This is me with one of the actors out of the commercial. If you ask them nicely they might let you have a photo with them.
When you are at Toei Movie Land, don't miss to take pictures with one or two acters in Edo period costume.