The franchise’s hit reboot, Cobra Kai shows Daniel decided to stay in the Los Angeles area and become a car salesman after the Karate Kid movies. In the series Daniel and his family live in Encino, an affluent neighborhood near Reseda.
According to IMDB, nearly all of the locations for The Karate Kid were shot in Los Angeles.
Even though Cobra Kai is based in Encino and Reseda, the show does not film always film there. Most of the locations the show shoots at are actually based in Georgia, according to IMDB.
‘Cobra Kai’ Primarily Shoots Near Atlanta
The primary production for Cobra Kai was shot in Atlanta, Georgia, according to IMDB. A majority of the exterior shots are taken from buildings in the area. Additionally, scenes filmed indoors are done on sound stages in Atlanta. An article on The Pioneer Woman showed that a few of the most recognizable locations are actually in Atlanta or the surrounding area.
The Pioneer Woman says “If you want to visit the Cobra Kai dojo in real life, don’t go looking for it on the West Coast. The strip mall where Johnny opened his business is supposed to be in Los Angeles, but it’s really located in Atlanta.”
Additionally, they say “While LaRusso’s beautiful family home certainly looks like it would fit in a Los Angeles suburb, the house is actually located in Marietta, Georgia. All of the scenes at his beloved dealership, LaRusso Auto Group, were filmed nearby in Union City, Georgia.”
Some Locations Can Still Be Found in LA
Even though most of the production for Cobra Kai takes place in Georgia some locations still need to be shot in Los Angeles. Johnny’s apartment is one of those locations, according to The Pioneer Woman.
They say “Johnny’s one-bedroom walk-up is as close to authentic as it gets. Located in Tarzana, his and Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) apartment building is one of the only locations in the show which was actually filmed in California instead of Georgia.”
The architecture of Johnny and Miguel’s apartment building has a very distinct LA feeling. It is similar to Daniel LaRusso’s old apartment from The Karate Kid, which is also located in Los Angeles, according to Valley Relics Museum.
Ralph Macchio Visited Okinawa for Filming
One of the most memorable sequences from Cobra Kai Season 3 was Daniel LaRusso and his enemy from The Karate Kid Part II, Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), training in Okinawa. Macchio and Okumoto actually flew out to Okinawa to film those scenes, according to Jon Hurwitz, one of the show’s creators.
Hurwitz tweeted about sending Daniel to the real Okinawa.
Karate Kid Part II may have taken place in Okinawa, but it filmed in Hawaii. Daniel LaRusso's first real trip to Okinawa will be in @CobraKaiSeries Season 3. :) Let's hope it doesn't rain the entire time! #CobraKai https://t.co/YJbjAR86qG
— Jon Hurwitz (@jonhurwitz) December 3, 2019
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Tamlyn Tomita, who played Kumiko in The Karate Kid Part II and appeared in Season 3 of Cobra Kai, revealed she did not get to visit Okinawa for filming, even though her character meets Daniel there in the show.
Tomita says “I was bummed out in not being able to go back to my mother country. I know that the Okinawan community was so happy, so jazzed, to have both Ralph and Yuji. It’s what you said earlier at the start of our talk, that it comes full circle.”
Tomita previously appeared in The Karate Kid Part II, which was set in Okinawa. IMDB says that they actually filmed the movie in Oahu, Hawaii rather than Okinawa. They say that “The island was chosen because of its similar climate to Japan, its large Okinawan population and the convenience of shooting on US soil.”