View of a Tokyo street, in low shutter speed to exaggerate the stream of car tail-lights heading into the distance. The photo looks toward the Ginza area of Tokyo. Graffiti overlay featuring a quote from the article: "Some scenes were shot on location…"

Where was Tokyo Drift Filmed? Visit Some of the Fast and Furious Filming Locations

Here You’ll Find:
📹 Was Tokyo Drift Filmed in Tokyo?
Tokyo Drift Places to Visit, Today
Tokyo Drift Locations, No Longer Recognisable
🎬 The Parts Not Filmed in Tokyo
Locations Inspired by Tokyo, You Can Visit
How was Tokyo Drift Filmed?


Many parts of Tokyo Drift were filmed in Hollywood and altered with clever CGI trickery. However, some of the film’s fast and furious filming locations, including the Shibuya Crossing and crowded streets of fascinating Harajuku shops, were captured on location in Tokyo. The city provides a great backdrop for the film and offers fans a different feel than many of the locations used in other Fast and Furious movies. Whether you’re a fan of the fast saga or brand new to it, Tokyo Drift offers an entertaining ride and Tokyo itself is a treasure chest of unforgettable cinematic backdrops to explore.



Shibuya Square rooftop futsal pitch at sunset

Was Tokyo Drift Filmed in Tokyo?

When it was released in 2006, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" was praised for a spirited portrayal of Tokyo street culture. But how much of the movie was actually filmed in Tokyo? It is clear that a lot of the movie was shot on a Hollywood set. However, aerial shots of Tokyo, taken on location, were used to create a sense of authenticity and a number of the connecting scenes of the streets of Tokyo were shot on location. The Shibuya Futsal Court, seen from Han’s apartment, and Harajuku's Takeshita Street where Sean joins his new friend to sell some of Twinkie’s merchandise were shot in the Japanese capital too. In the end, it's clear that Hollywood took some liberties with the cityscape - but at least some of Tokyo Drift is based in reality.


An arial shot of the Daikoku Futo parking area in Yokohama Bay, Tokyo

Tokyo Drift Places to Visit, Today

Sean and Neela grab a bite to eat at a typical Japanese vending machine service station, which is actually at a real place in Tokyo known for it’s custom car meets: the Daikoku Futo car meet in Yokohama. The service station is surrounded by a large parking lot and has long been a popular spot for Tokyo car meets. The vending machines offer a variety of Japanese snacks and drinks, including ramen noodles, rice balls, and cans of chilled drinks, adding to it's prestige as one of the best Tokyo car meet locations. This is a notorious spot for custom car street drifting events, due to its elevated curved motorway off ramps, and it's the perfect place for a car meet in Tokyo, when the Keishichō (police) aren’t on patrol.

If you're a fan of the film, you'll recognise the Tokyo rooftop football pitch seen from Han's apartment. This is the Tokyo location of the Shibuya Adidas Futsal Park, overlooking Shibuya Square and is a real place. This is one of the best locations in Tokyo to visit whether you're a fan of the film, interested in seeing awe inspiring locations or maybe even hoping to show off your skills on the futsal court. In addition to being used as a filming location for Tokyo Drift, the court is also popular with locals and visitors for its futsal games. Adidas Futsal Park Shibuya was built in 2001 and is open to the public from 10 AM to 8 PM. It requires booking in advance to play on it and it is the sort of football pitch that doesn’t allow studded football boots, football trainers are allowed on the court.

Director Justin Lin and his team of filmmakers found they required special film permits to film major scenes in the Japanese capital. However, they were able to capture the real essence of the city with a program of under the radar guerrilla filming throughout the city. Many of the bridging scenes of the cityscape were shot "run and gun" style in order to take advantage of the city's urban surroundings. While Tokyo offered a wealth of diverse locations, it also proved to be a challenging place to shoot due to strict regulations and permits required for filming. Tokyo Drift filming locations took place across various locales throughout Tokyo, giving the film an authentic feel. The Harajuku district, particularly one of the most well-known Tokyo film locations: Takeshita-dori (Takeshita Street) was used, with the Harajuku stores in the background. The edgy Kabukichō area in Shinjuku and Chuo-dori Avenue in Ginza also appear in fleeting shots. The film's producers weren’t able to obtain permits to close off these areas for filming, so filmed using techniques more akin to an armature production, than a blockbuster Hollywood film. The result is a movie that feels like it could take place anywhere in Tokyo, with a diverse array of locations that really capture the essence of the city. Of course, some scenes were shot on sets built specifically for the movie, but the majority of the location footage that joins the acts of the film together, was captured in real locations. This attention to detail is one of the things that makes Tokyo Drift so special, and it's clear that director Justin Lin took great care in choosing his filming locations. Be sure to explore some of these areas of Tokyo for yourself when you visit the Eastern Capital.


A Google Maps Street View of a since demolished bathhouse in the Sumida City area of Tokyo

Tokyo Drift Film Locations, Which are No Longer Recognisable

The house in Tokyo Drift where Sean's dad lived was a real place, although it's been demolished since filming, in mass redevelopment in that area of Tokyo. The house was located on a street in eastern Azabu-Jūban, in the Minato area of Tokyo. It was a relatively small house, which paints a good picture of typical housing in one of the world’s most populous cities and makes it clear why it was chosen as the location for Sean's dad's house in the movie. But it makes for an interesting piece of trivia for fans of the wide and varied Fast and Furious locations, used throughout the franchise.

When it came to filming Tokyo Drift, the producers had to be creative in order to find locations that matched the look and feel of real life in Tokyo. In particular, they looked for an exterior that would be authentic for ‘Wadakura High School’ in Tokyo, which is where some of the main protagonists attend school in the film. The production crew chose to film at a closed school in Kachidoki – which has since been demolished. The area provided a perfect match for the particular Tokyo setting that was required. The building’s drab appearance, paired with some set dressing to add an extra Japanese flavour, made for a believable Tokyo inner-city high school in full operation. The use of a real locations in Tokyo helps to give the film a sense of authenticity.

Tokyo is a city constantly in flux. As redevelopment and regeneration sweep through different neighbourhoods, even a long-standing Tokyo location or two from amongst the sprawling landscape, are occasionally lost in the process. One such place was the Japanese bathhouse featured in Tokyo Drift. The bathhouse was a real place and was located in Kyojima, but has since been demolished. While it may be gone now, the bathhouse played an important role in the film, as Sean was gaining Han’s trust and working off the value of Han’s damaged drift car used earlier in the movie. It was here that Sean collected debt from the man with the paw tattoo on his neck. The demolition of the bathhouse is just one example of how Tokyo is constantly changing. With redevelopment comes new opportunities, but it also means that some of Tokyo's oldest and most iconic locations are no longer around for us to visit and reminisce.



Clouds of tyre smoke surround a car performing a drift display

The Parts of Tokyo Drift Not Filmed in Tokyo

To give the impression that the characters were in a Tokyo location at all times, many of the scenes were edited to emulate real life locations in Japan's capital city. One such location was Hawthorn Plaza, a Los Angeles multi-storey car park which served as a key filming location for the big car meet and where our protagonist is introduced to drift racing and 'DK' the Drift King. Terminal Island and Wilshire Boulevard also made appearances in the movie as filming locations, shedding their distinctive Los Angeles landscapes with the use of clever set design and painstaking CGI effects, to create an accurate depiction of Tokyo. The 'Zokusha' car culture of Tokyo played a big role in the movie and, while Hollywood may have been responsible for filming these scenes, it was clear that a lot of attention had been paid to getting the details right.


A small snapshot of the famous neon lights found on Yasukuni-dori, late at night

Fast & Furious Locations Inspired by Tokyo, That You Can Visit

As Tokyo Drift progresses, Twinkie takes Sean to a parking lot which is hosting a car meet for the type of modified Japanese cars that the film is synonymous for. The meet is set in a lively Tokyo multi-storey car park, full of the sound of engines, people and music. However, this now iconic Tokyo car meet parking lot scene was actually filmed in the car park at Hawthorn Plaza mall in South Los Angeles, with Japanese symbols added to the multi-storey’s signage with typical Hollywood set dressing. This long-abandoned Tokyo Drift car park location was opened as a public parking garage in 1977, but shuttered in 1999. This made it possible for film crew to transform the space to suit the aesthetic required of this Tokyo tale. The Tokyo skyline was added in with CGI for scenes that take place on the top floor of the car park in the Tokyo Drift car meet scene, adding an extra layer of realism. Sean makes his first attempt at drift racing against the Drift King here, a move that proves to be ill-fated.

To see a spectacle like this in real life Tokyo may be a rare opportunity if you don't know Japanese or can't read Kanji. Being in the Shibuya area of Tokyo as the sun sets in the sky and the neon lights come to life, you may witness an impromptu car meet of rare cars if you’re lucky. The Akihabara UDX underground car park, in the Chiyoda City area of Tokyo, regularly has evening car meets too. We also recommend checking out a Tokyo branch of Autobacs or Super Autobacs, to browse the endless shelves of potential Japanese automotive modifications on offer.

The sun blazed overhead in the scene where Sean learns how to drift for the first time, as he manoeuvres his car around the makeshift track on a quiet Terminal Island dock in San Pedro, Los Angeles. Of course the audience gets a Tokyo dockside feel once again from clever set dressing and two Japanese fishermen critiquing Sean’s driving. If you want to catch a glimpse of the Tokyo waterways whilst in the Japanese capital city, why not head to Takeshibafuto Park’s pier or even the tranquil waterside Hamarikyu Gardens.

Tokyo is a city that's constantly in motion. Whether its people on the street or the neon lights that adorn many of its famous buildings, there's always something new to see. One of the most well-known streets for its neon lights is Yasukuni dori in Shinjuku. The car chase that results in Han's big crash goes through some classic shots of Yasukuni dori, bathed in Tokyo’s archetypal neon lights. This street is one of the most famous locations in all of Tokyo, and it's easy to see why. The neon lights and tall buildings make for a perfect backdrop for almost unlimited photo opportunities, and the energy of the city is palpable in this part of town. However, when the movie was filmed, the production team used CGI to create the backdrop rather than filming on location. This decision was made primarily due to the heavy traffic that can be found on Yasukuni dori during all hours of the day and night. If you're ever in Tokyo and want to experience some of the excitement from the movie, head to Yasukuni dori and take a walk down this cinematic street.

While drifting is partially a recreational activity in Japan, it is also popular in other parts of the world. In fact, there are now professional drifting competitions around the globe, with large cash prizes. The cars used for drifting are modified with powerful engines and slick tyres so they can drift around corners at incredible speed, in clouds of tyre smoke. The D1 Grand Prix Drifting Championship is a drifting competition that takes place in Japan. It is the pinnacle of drifting, and features the best drivers in the world. The competition is held at various tracks around Japan, and always draws a large crowd. If you're looking for a real taste of Tokyo Drift, be sure to check out the D1 Grand Prix calendar to see the professionals take to the track.


A professional movie camera mounted securely to a filming car

How was Tokyo Drift Filmed?

Tokyo Drift was filmed using a combination of set dressing techniques and CGI. The filmmakers took advantage of Tokyo's unique location to create a believable and visually stunning world for the film. Some scenes were shot on location in Tokyo, while others were created using Computer Generated Imagery. The combination of real locations and CGI visual effects give the film a realistic look and feel.

The Tokyo Drift team used various production techniques that were technologically advanced for the time. Including LiDAR scans of the cars and backdrops. Which gave the film a more realistic look. The location in Tokyo was also real, which added to the authenticity of the film. The visual effects and special effects were so well executed that the audience couldn’t tell when single scenes comprised of a mixture of scenes shot on a Tokyo location and those created with green screens and alike in Hollywood. One of these locations was the busy Shibuya crossing. While much of the filming took place on closed sets and green screens, there were some scenes that were shot in real locations with visual effects and special effects added in post-production. One such scene in particular was the car chase through the streets of Shibuya.

To create the Shibuya Square scene, the Tokyo Drift team used LiDAR scans and many thousands of high resolution photographs of both the cars and the backdrops. LiDAR is a scanning technology that uses lasers to create a three-dimensional map of an object or environment. LiDAR was cutting edge technology when the film was being produced, but can now be found in everybody’s pocket - on your iPhone! This allowed the team to accurately recreate the streets of Shibuya for filming. The Tokyo Drift crossing location is a must-visit attraction for visitors to Tokyo, as it was for the camera car that captured real life rolling footage of Shibuya and this Tokyo Drift filming in Shibuya was used seamlessly amongst the CGI footage. 

The Fast and Furious series is an international phenomenon with a global fan base. The films are action-packed and visually stunning, making them perfect for cinema goers around the world. If you're a fan of the franchise, or just looking for inspiration for your next big trip to Japan, be sure to check out some of the filming locations from Tokyo Drift! Who knows, you might even be able to snap a selfie with some of Tokyo infamous modified street racing styled cars!