Japan has been a celebrated tourist destination spot since times immemorial. From the sprawling green countryside to the infamous cherry blossom season to the bustling seashore, Japan seems to have it all. Filmmakers often try to incorporate montages of the awe-inspiring sceneries in order to invoke emotions in the local and international audiences. There are countless films that show us the unseen sides of Japan- be it the colorful nightlife or daytime rush or the quiet life of farmers and fishermen. And viewers just cannot get enough of these movies, noting the places down for future travels. Without any further ado, here is a list of the Top 10 Most Picturesque Japanese Films.
1. Tokyo Oasis
This film gives more of an abstract look at life in Tokyo and follows actress Touka who decides to embark on a journey across the vast expanse in the metropolitan city. With only four primary characters, this film manages to tell a bigger story- the story of Tokyo itself, not the city but the people.
2. I Wish
I Wish tells the story of two brothers who decide to make a wish when the newly constructed bullet line connecting their cities sees two bullet trains passing by each other at full speed. Their parents are divorced, so both brothers live in separate regions in Kyushu Island: one in Fukuoka City, and the other in Kagoshima Prefecture, which provides a wide amount of travel destinations that we can note alongside the film.
3. Nabbie's Love
This story follows Nanako who moves back to her native island Aguni to live with her grandparents after quitting her job in Tokyo, only to catch her grandmother Nabbie cheating on her grandfather. The story goes on to elaborate on the tragic reasons behind this act. All throughout we get to see the beautiful lifestyle and glimpse of the people on this island.
4. Cherry Blossoms
This tragic story follows Rudi, who embarks on a journey across Japan after his wife passes away in her sleep, grappling with his own terminal illness. This gorgeous narrative gives us a different perspective on the infamous cherry blossom festival of Japan- one through a man who is trying to make the best of his life.
5. 10 Promises To My Dog
Akari finds her world crumbling around her, her mother's health is in critical condition and her father is a workaholic. She copes with all of these problems by caring for a golden retriever puppy she finds in her home one day, named Socks. Primarily set in the seaside town of Hakodate, the film progresses later in Sapporo, when she moves away with her father.
6. Train Man
This box office hit was shot in a span of 25 days. It gives us an insight into the nightlife of Japan. The story begins when a man rescues a woman from harassment by a drunk on a train. Filled with gratitude, the woman sends him a Hermes teacup set. The story unfolds beautifully while also giving a crisp view of daily life in Japan.
7. Kiseki No Ringo
This beautiful and touching story follows the struggles of the Kimura family. Akinori decides to grow his apples entirely through organic means when his wife has drastic allergic reactions to the pesticides used. His attempts are met with scorn and ridicule by the community and his family as well. This film is set in Aomori Prefecture, the largest apple-growing region in the nation and the simple scenic views provide the film with a dreamy effect.
8. Village Of Dreams
This film is set in an Aichi village and follows the lives of nine-year-old twins Yukihiko and Seiko during post-war 20th century Japan. This insight into the industrial hub of Japan shows us the simple intonated and intricately nuanced lives of villagers seamed into a tapestry of different experiences of rural life at its finest.
9. Hankyu Densha
Set in Hyogo prefecture, the story is a mix of narratives from the eyes of several different protagonists including a college girl with an abusive boyfriend, a recently single woman in her 30s, several students in high school, and a grandmother with her granddaughter. This story moves back and forth between the city of Nishinomiya and the sleepy town Takarazuka, connecting them primarily through relatable experiences.
This film follows the tale of Saikiko who lives in Tokyo. Upon hearing about her mother's terminal illness, she rushes back to her hometown Tokushima to care for her, even though they both are not that close. This film offers several phenomenal glimpses into Shikoku Island and its culture and views and we also get to see one of Tokushima’s most exclusive and important annual events, the Awa Odori dance festival.