Do You know what Takeshi’s Castle is, don’t you? The generations of 80’s and beyond must have known about this one TV show. Some 90’s generations might even be lucky enough to get to watch the show during childhood.
Takeshi’s Castle, which in its original language is entitled Fuun! Takeshi-jo, is the name of a game show produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). This show was first aired in Japan on 1986 to 1990, it’s been a long time.
What I know for sure, as I recall, when it started boardcasted the show Takeshi’s Castle was booming everywhere. The character names became so popular all of a sudden, such as Mister Takeshi, his red-nosed advisor, the lively reporter, and the handsome guard Jo Michiru (who is 57 years old now). Even there were local TV who launched some adaptation programs of it, though those did not last long.
Back to Takeshi’s Castle. Anyone who have ever watched the show might still remember the main concept of this show. More than 100 participants are collected by General Hayato Tani (not less handsome than Jo Michiru) to “invade” the residence of Mister Takeshi (acted by Takeshi Kitano, a famous Japanese actor).
The participants must go through a series of physical tests such as climbing a high and slipery wall, having a gun fight with Takeshi’s guards, and crossing the Gibraltar bridge. There are sometimes a series of physical tests replaced with non-physical tests such as singing karaoke while dancing.
At the end of each episode, the last participants remaining will face Mister Takeshi and his guards. It’s lucky enough if there are more than a dozen participants remaining and could make a teamwork. Soometimes there are only 1-2 survivors, which would get knocked-out right away even before Mister Takeshi (and his guards) started moving.The point is, Takeshi’s Castle is so much fun. Epic! And it was not just me who got addicted to watch Takeshi’s Castle. Besides Indonesia, this game show has also been boardcasted on many other countries, from the Asia continent (such as Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, and Phillipine), America, and even Europe (such as England, Germany, France, and so on).
Even Arab country and Brazil also boardcasted the guts of Mister Takeshi in protecting his castle. So it is not wrong of me to say that Takeshi’s Castle is the most famous castle in the world, right?
From so many interesting things that I can write about Takeshi’s Castle, there is one thing that took my curiousity. Where was the location of Takeshi’s Castle?
The shooting location of Takeshi’s Castle show is always on a wide space.
There were areas similar to a yard, lake, and hill/mountain. With varied levels of game and many setting places, they must need a place much larger than a soccer field. But where was it?
I tried to trace the trails of Takeshi’s Castle which actually has collapsed since the last boardcast in 1990. The result of my search with Grandpa Google, it is known that the shooting location of Takeshi’s Castle was done at the private property of TBS as the creator of this game show. Precisely, the shooting was done at the Midoriyama studio (literally means Mount Green) belongs to TBS.
Ever heard of Yokohama? I have ever written a brief review about Yokohama as one of the best destinations for side trip from Tokyo. The Midoriyama studio, is located on Aoba district, Yokohama. The complete address is 2100, Midoriyama, Aoba-ku, Yokohama, Jepang.
Midoriyama Studio has a pretty spacious area. It reaches up to 80,000 square meters! At the area as wide as several soccer fields (anyone help me to count it?), there are not only 20,000 square meters of vast yard and artificial hill that became the shooting location of Takeshi’s Castle, but there are also several other areas that were popular as outdoor shooting location.
There were also a studio building with various advanced productions of equipments, as well as a golf course. The point is, here at Midoriyama, there were not just some trails of Takeshi’s Castle, but also several other popular shows such as Ninja Warrior, etc.
And finally, after years of being a Jo Michiru’s admirer, ahem, Takeshi’s Castle (Just got heartbroken after knowing Jo Michiru’s current age), I finally know where was the location of that nearly-unbeatable fortress.
Nearly, because the precentage of participants winning and failing was much higher on the failing one. For you who actually have plans to visit Yokohama while travelling to Tokyo, and are interested to take a sneak peek on the paradise of Japanese TV show production, here is the notes about the access:
From Shin-Yokohama Station, get on the JR Yokohama Line to Machida Station. Transfer to Odakyu Odawara Line, get off at Tsurukawa Station. Go on with a bus and make a stop at Midoriyama. For Google Maps, you can check here.
Unfortunately I don’t really know if this studio is open for tourists or not. Even though you have already reached there and it turns out that you can’t get in to the shooting area, no need to worry.
This studio location is pretty close with a theme park called Kodomo-no-Kuni, which is said to have the best ice skating ring in Tokyo area. So even if you fail to see the shooting location of Takeshi’s Castle, you can just go on to have fun at the children’s country (= Kodomo-no-kuni).
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