This hallway appears in Ōoku (大奥), a movie released in 2010 starring Ninomiya Kazunari (written family name first), member of the very popular idol group Arashi. I heard early on during my time at Ninna-ji that this hallway had been used in the film and that Ninomiya had been at the temple for filming. The reason I was aware of this information was not because I had been told directly by anyone at the temple, but because many young girls, often visiting on their school trips, get very excited upon entering Goten and start talking about which hallway it was while saying that they could “sense Ninomiya’s presence.”
The movie came out on DVD and BluRay this spring and is available for rent here in Japan. Several Kyoto temples were used to help create interior shots of the castle and other scenes in the movie. You can find a map featuring the locations used for the movie featured here on the Leaf website (Leaf is a travel and leisure magazine for Kyoto and Shiga). There are also pictures of the locations as they appear in the movie!
There are so many things to see in Kyoto that it can be difficult to narrow down where to go. The next time you have a hankering for some Kyoto sightseeing, why not try picking a theme like “movie locations”? Maybe you’ll be able to “feel the presence” of a famous person, too!