Kanagawa town sets up commission to facilitate filming using its natural settings

Courtesy of Manazuru town government
A scene from the short film “4 to 6” shot at Mitsuishi beach in Manazuru, Kanagawa Prefecture, in February

MANAZURU, Kanagawa — The town of Manazuru in Kanagawa Prefecture has set up a film commission to make it easier for movie and drama productions to film in the town.

It is the first film commission in the prefecture’s western area, according to the prefectural tourism association.

About 20 movies and dramas are shot in the town every year.

“We hope we can promote Manazuru by having even more productions shot in the town,” said an official of the town’s industrial tourism department.

The commission, along with local communities, will support filming, such as by arranging locations, extras and meals for staff. Film productions could boost publicity for the town as a filming location and revitalize the local economy when, for example, film and drama fans visit.

It is the 18th film commission in the prefecture, the association said.

Manazuru, which is close to Tokyo and blessed with beautiful nature such as the sea and mountains, is often chosen for movie and drama locations. Twenty-one productions were made every year between 2017 and 2019, with 18 works shot in the town in 2020.

Even amid the pandemic, Manazauru became the location of 17 works this year as of Sept. 15. They included TV travel programs, variety shows, commercials and photo books. Among films shot in the town are “Caution, Hazardous Wife” and “Hirugao (Afternoon Face).” Popular dramas “The Confidenceman JP” and “Aibou: Tokyo Detective Duo” were also shot in the town.

Before the commission was formed, town sections in charge of facilities that productions have applied to use were in charge of making necessary arrangements for the productions. However, the town has decided to consolidate such operations to enhance convenience and make it easier to solicit productions.

The commission is seeking properties that can be used for filming and is looking for extras among residents and workers in the town.

“Manazuru is characterized by fishing villages; the streets are reminiscent of the Showa era [1926-89] and the nature we have here is fantastic,” a commission official said. “We want to put Manazuru on the map through more exposure.”