When shooting films and videos on roads, a road use permit issued by the police chief is necessary. Also, sometimes a road occupation permit issued by the road administrator is required when you place something on, or take something away from, roads for continuous periods of time. Road use permits are not the same as permits to close down streets. This is because closing down a street has a significant impact on traffic, making it difficult to get permits for road closures. Even though Kabuki-Cho in Shinjuku and the intersection in front of Shibuya station are popular locations among overseas film crews, it is hard to obtain road use permits to shoot in downtown areas like this because of security risks. Contact the police or the Tokyo Location Box well in advance of the desired shoot date. In practice, road use permits and road occupation permits may not need to be obtained for small on-street location shooting (three people or less without a tripod and lights).
Applying for Road Use Permits
1.Pinpoint the Location on a Map
First of all, you need to pinpoint the location where the shooting will take place. Then, find out which local police department has jurisdiction over the area. Since some areas’ use as shoot locations are restricted by the police, make an inquiry at the local police department or TLB before starting preparations.
2.Prepare Necessary Documents for Road Use Permits
★ Road use permit application form
★ Accompanying documents
- Layout diagram of location or zone where the shoot is to take place
- Materials that explain in detail the method and configuration of how the shoot is to be conducted (plans, diagrams, etc.)
- Information on the situation of the road and any other roads in the vicinity where the shoot is to take place
※The required accompanying documents differ depending on the traffic situation and other road usage conditions. Please consult with the police department that has jurisdiction over the shoot area.
Submit the necessary documents to the traffic division of the local police department that has jurisdiction over the shoot area with the commission fee. It generally costs about￥3,000 per application.
4.Go and Pick up the Permit
Depending on the circumstances, TLB staff may accompany the film crew on a set on the day of filming.
5.On the Day
Road use permits will be issued within 3 to 5 days after submission of documents. The permits must be carried and able to be presented on demand on the day of the shoot.