A whirlwind ride to promote the movie in the land where it all started. 

Ever since we first saw the trailer for Bullet Train back in March, we’ve been wondering if the cast would be able to visit Japan, the land of the bullet train, during its promotional tour.

Well, we finally got our answer yesterday, when the star of the movie, Brad Pitt, appeared in Tokyo alongside director David Leitch, producer Kelly McCormick and co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

To kick off their time in Japan, Pitt and his companions stopped by Koyasan Tokyo Betsuin in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, where they attended a “yakuyoke“, a traditional ceremony to ward off bad luck, or as the Twitter account for the Bullet Train movie describes it: a traditional Bad Luck Cleansing Ritual.

The temple visit was designed to be a lighthearted nod to the film, in which Pitt’s character is famously known for being burdened by bad luck. However, after sitting through the ceremony, where monks chanted sutras while burning gomagi, special pieces of wood with prayers written on them, Pitt said he found the experience to be incredibly moving, saying he almost got teary, and it was something he would never forget.

With his bad luck expunged, Pitt was free to continue the promotional activities today, with Japanese co-star Hiroyuki Sanada joining the group for a “moving red carpet”.

Where was it held? Well, where else in Japan would you hold a red carpet event for a movie called Bullet Train other than…on an actual bullet train.

It was an unconventional red carpet to say the least, and it got a lot of attention from locals, including the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel. The ambassador has built up a proud reputation in Japan as a railway geek, so it was only natural that he arrange a meeting with the stars of Bullet Train, at the start of their bullet train ride in Tokyo.

The photo above shows Taylor-Johnson holding a model of a Shinkansen bullet train, while Brad Pitt, or “Burapi” as he’s fondly known in Japan, is displaying the Pasmo transport card, both of which appear to be gifts from the ambassador.

The Pasmo is only valid on local trains so it won’t get you on the bullet train, but it was a nice gesture for Japan-U.S. relations. The international visitors only had to use their famous faces as their ticket to ride the bullet train, though, and they did just that, hopping on a Tokaido bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto — the same route taken in the movie.

After arriving in Kyoto, Pitt described the train ride as “surreal”, saying “it felt like we were on set again”. He went on to say, “We’ve never quite had a press conference like that before and never will again.”

The group then moved on to Kyoto’s Toho Cinemas Nijo for the Japan premiere of the film, where they met up with a number of other famous local faces, including hugely popular YouTuber Fuwa chan, who voices the character of Hornet in the Japanese dub of the film.

▼ Fuwa-chan recording the fight scene between Hornet and Brad Pitt’s character, Ladybug.

▼ Brad Pitt, wearing his face mask like the locals, at the Japan premiere of the film in Kyoto.

Sanada told the assembled press that he had been waiting for the day when he could come to Kyoto, the final destination in the movie, with the director and cast members from the film. He was excited that the day had finally come, and judging by the smiles on everyone’s face during their visit, they were all glad the day had finally come too.

Source: Twitter/@USAmbJapan via Net Lab, Yomiuri Shimbun
Featured image: Twitter/@USAmbJapan
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