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Guide To Best ‘Lost in Translation’ Spots Tokyo


By Joshua Meyer
January 16, 2018

T has been a decade and a half now since the year Lost in Translation, the romantic comedy-drama starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, first hit theaters. More than any other film, this is the one that foreigners coming to Tokyo for the first time seem to most associate with the city.

Up-to-date with the most recent info as of January 2018, we take a comprehensive look here at the real-life locations featured in the film: from famous landmarks like the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel in Shinjuku to spots that take some more tracking down like the exact karaoke box in Shibuya where Murray and Johansson’s characters sang songs with their Japanese friends.

The New York Bar: Tokyo’s most romantic tourist spot

Inside the New York Bar on the 52nd floor of Shinjuku Park Tower.Photo by Joshua Meyer

Inside the New York Bar on the 52nd floor of Shinjuku Park Tower.

For travelers, expats in their first year of life in Japan or family and friends visiting from abroad, it’s a familiar rite of passage: having drinks in the New York Bar. In Lost in Translation, this is the place where Bob and Charlotte, the two adrift foreigners, played by Murray and Johansson, meet for the first time.

Situated high atop the 52-story Shinjuku Park Tower, it’s also a luxury venue where there’s a ¥2,500 cover charge after the jazz music starts at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. on Sundays.) Beer is ¥1,300 and the cheapest glass of wine is ¥2,000. Allows smoking and it is usually full of foreigners.

Brunch at the New York Grill

The New York Grill during one of its Sunday brunches.Photo by Joshua Meyer

The New York Grill during one of its Sunday brunches.

 You can still admire the décor of stylish murals along with the daytime view of Tokyo, but now the long counter where Bob saddled up on a chair with his Suntory whisky gets turned into an appetizer buffet.

In the lap of luxury at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

Shinjuku Park Tower as seen from the South Observatory of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at night.Photo by Joshua Meyer

Shinjuku Park Tower as seen from the South Observatory of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at night.

Go swimming in the hotel pool or curl up on a window ledge and look out over the city like Charlotte in her room, you can book a stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, which takes up the top 14 floors of the Shinjuku Park Tower. This is a 5-star luxury hotel; room rates vary but are upwards of ¥50,000 per night.

41 floors up at the Peak Bar and Lounge

The bamboo centerpiece near the elevators on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo where the Peak Bar and Lounge is located.Photo by Joshua Meyer

The bamboo centerpiece near the elevators on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo where the Peak Bar and Lounge is located.

To reach the ground floor from the hotel lobby and vice versa, you will need to get off the elevator on the 41st floor and transition through the atrium where the Peak Bar and Lounge, another location glimpsed in the movie, maintains its own special ambiance with sky-lit bamboo. This place also holds some gorgeous night views of the Tokyo skyline.

An oasis of calm at Joganji temple

The exact spot at Joganji Temple where Scarlett Johansson came walking out of the cemetery in the rain in Lost in Translation.Photo by Joshua Meyer

The exact spot at Joganji Temple where Scarlett Johansson came walking out of the cemetery in the rain in Lost in Translation.

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