If you are one of the million tourists who are bummed about missing out on witnessing Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms blooms, taking a dip in the refreshing Onsens, indulging in Japanese cuisine or visiting the sacred Mount Fuji — fret no more. We have rounded up five films that you can watch from the comfort of your home during self-quarantine and virtually travel to Japan. By Amitha Ameen
1. Cherry Blossoms
This award-winning 2008 film has a sweet-natured storyline that is a blend of deceptively simple plot twists and travelogues. A moving story-line on aging, loss and the complicated but beautiful relationship between couples and their children. Scenes in the film portray Shinjuku, Mt Fuji and Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park during peak cherry blossom season, enabling you to virtually travel to Japan.
2. Nobody Knows/Dare Mo Shiranai
Inspired by true events and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, the story revolves around four step-siblings who live with their mother in a tiny apartment in the city. The catch here is that each child has a different biological father. The gripping and heartbreaking drama follows their claustrophobic lives and other trials and tribulations.
3. The Garden Of Words
Anime and Japan go hand-in-hand. Watch this 50-minute romantic drama, Garden of Words if you want something different. The story follows a high-school student who has a chance encounter with an older woman in a park and the consequence of events that follow. The film proudly showcases anime’s ability to put out stories that one can resonate with and that are mature.
4. Adrift in Tokyo
A loose adaptation of Yoshinaga Fujita’s book of the same name, the film tells the story of a couple and how they bond, thanks to an eye-opening journey through the streets of Tokyo. Plenty of Japanese humour, cultural references and light moments, Satoshi Miki’s Adrift in Tokyo is a great film to watch to closely examine modern Japan.
5. Lost In Translation
A personal favourite starring splendid performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Director Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation follows the journey of a young newly married woman and her unlikely friendship with an American actor, as they both try to navigate their feeling of loneliness of living in a new place while discovering all that is great about Tokyo.