Oscar-nominated ‘Drive My Car’inspires related events in Hiroshima

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Visitors pose for a photo with a real-sized panel of the Saab that appears in the film “Drive My Car” in Hiroshima.

HIROSHIMA — Several events related to the film “Drive My Car” are being held in Hiroshima Prefecture ahead of the U.S. Academy Awards for which it was nominated for best picture — a first for a Japanese movie.

Most of the film was shot in the prefecture, and it has ignited what is dubbed a “drive boom,” with events from exhibitions to a tour of filming locations being held.

The Hiroshima Film Commission, which collaborated on the shooting, is currently holding an exhibition of photos taken at filming locations to celebrate the movie’s Oscar nomination. The event runs through March 10 at the Shareo shopping center in Hiroshima City and is scheduled to resume from March 16 to 31.

About 30 panels of photos are on display at the venue, including those taken at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Naka Incineration Plant operated by the Hiroshima city government’s Environmental Bureau.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An exhibition of photos of the filming locations is held in the lobby of the Hatchoza theater in the city.

“Now I want to visit these locations,” said Tsuyuko Nakamoto, 57, a company employee in the city who came to see the exhibition. “Being nominated for an Academy Award alone is a big deal. But in addition to that, I hope this movie will help make many people come to the city and think about peace.”

The exhibition is also being held in the lobby of the Hatchoza movie theater where the film is currently showing.

Along with actor Hidetoshi Nishijima, a bright red Saab 900 also stars in the movie. The scene with Nishijima facing actor Toko Miura with the Saab between them was filmed in the parking lot of the Yasu Kominkan community center in the city. And on the very spots where the two actors stood, there are footprint stickers, so visitors can stand on them and take pictures of the same composition as in the film.

The idea was brought up last autumn by Hisao Tamemasa, 60, who works at the center. He figured out the spots from the posters and scenes of the film

The commission also created a real-size panel of the Saab for those who want to take a photo at exhibition venues as if they were the two main characters in the movie. The 1.41-meter-high and 2-meter-wide aluminum panel is currently on display at the exhibitions and will be placed at the tourist information center of Hiroshima Station’s north exit from March 11 to 15.

Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima in cooperation with cab company Tsubame Kotsu, both in the city, has prepared for guests on graduation trips an accommodation plan combined with a tour to visit filming locations by limousine.

The two-hour tour, which departs from JR Hiroshima Station, will take passengers to several filming locations of their choice.

“I hope the plan will help many of our guests make wonderful memories,” said a hotel official in charge.

The plan for two people is available from ¥45,000 per night, including breakfast.