For all love movie lovers, especially those who are looking for Japanese romantic movies to watch with their partners – here is a list of the 10 best Japanese Romantic Movies. These great films will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to give your partner an intimate kiss on the cheek.
Japanese Romantic movies have been around for decades now, and they just keep getting better! The film industry in Japan has created some really heartfelt storylines that can be enjoyed by all couples. Here are 10 must-watch Japanese romantic movies that will help you get through those cold winter nights.
Whisper of the Heart
Whisper of the Heart is a 1995 Japanese animated film by director Yoshifumi Kondo. It tells the story of an imaginative and inquisitive girl who leaves her city life behind to live with relatives in order to find some excitement, but instead finds herself lost in translation. The movie was written by Miyazaki Hayao (who also co-wrote this post) and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo. This Japanese romantic movie is one for all love movie lovers!
This anime has garnered both popular successes as well as critical acclaim it ranked among Japan’s top five highest-grossing films from 1984 – 1999, earning over US$110 million at box offices worldwide, making it the most successful release that year outside of Hollywood.
The plot centres on a travelling office worker and his quest to find the perfect place to bury his dog. He arrives at an old resort hotel that is scheduled to be demolished, but he decides to stay there as its last guest even though it would only cost him one night’s accommodation. The movie was written by Miyazaki Hayao (who also co-wrote this post) and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo. This Japanese romantic movie is one for all love movie lovers!
My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (2016)
My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (2016) is a heart-warming film that features two lovers who were separated by an earthquake. A few years after the catastrophic event, they are reunited and their love deepens when a second quake hits Japan. The movie has been praised for its realistic depiction of how it feels to live through disasters in real life. Japanese Romantic Movies like My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday bring out emotions such as longing and sadness while also managing to keep you hooked till the very end with drama and suspense!
In addition to historically accurate depictions, these romantic movies showcase traditional aspects of Japanese culture such as language and food which make them appealing even if you don’t know anything about this country’s customs or society.
The Kingdom and the Beauty (2007)
The Kingdom and the Beauty is a Japanese movie directed by Hideo Nakata. The film tells the story of an ophthalmologist, played by Ken Takakura who falls in love with one of his patients – Shinobu Terajima.
In this story, there are two central characters: Dr Jiro Honda (Ken Takakura), an eye doctor living peacefully with his wife Haruko (Noriko Kitazawa) until he meets Shinobu Terajima (Shinji Takeda). He can’t help but fall for her at first sight when she comes into his office to get examined because she has problems seeing from afar due to astigmatism. Despite being happily married, after meeting Shinobu he starts to have second thoughts about his current relationship and realizes that he is in love with her.
After witnessing a traumatic event, Shinobu’s mood suddenly changes from happy-go-lucky to serious and suicidal. She asks Jiro for poison but he refuses because of their close friendship and she leaves after swearing at him. The next day when Haruko goes out shopping, the housemaid (Keiko Tsushima) tells Jiro that there are seven pills left on the kitchen countertop which incriminates Shinobu as being someone who commits suicide by taking too many pills or overdosing on drugs.
is a Japanese Romantic movie that is based on Haruki Murakami’s novel of the same name. It tells the story of troubled college student Toru Watanabe and his close friend Naoko, who has recently lost her boyfriend Kizuki to suicide. The film opens with Naoko sitting in an empty classroom space before fading into flashbacks about herself and Kizuki as they are growing up together.
In Norwegian Wood, we see how Toru deals with grief by becoming friends with women he doesn’t really care for while always coming back to Naoko despite knowing it will never lead anywhere because of her love for Kizuki.
Love Letter (1995)
Love Letter is a Japanese romantic movie about two people, Kazuya and Yuko. They meet at the school they both work at one day by chance and continue to bump into each other. Both of them are not really looking for love but find themselves developing feelings for one another nevertheless.
The movie shows how their relationship develops through ups and downs in life until ending with all good things must come to an end.
Though I am not usually fond of romance movies, Love Letter was actually quite enjoyable because it felt more real than most Asian films that tend to be too dramatic or over-the-top romances. It’s also interesting because you get glimpses into Japanese culture which makes this film even better if you’re interested in knowing more.
I Give My First Love to You
There is a Japanese movie that I would like to recommend for all love movie lovers. I Give My First Love to You is an award-winning romantic drama film in Japan and it peaked at the number one spot on Oricon’s weekly video charts, selling more than 700,000 copies by November 2008. The story revolves around two people who meet again after many years apart and they start dating each other with their past full of memories still intact.
The main characters are Akira (played by Takao Osawa) and Mizuki (played by Ai Kato). Throughout the whole story, there will be flashbacks from both perspectives about how they met during high school time. They have always been classmates since then but never got close until something happened to Mizuki and Akira was always there for her.
The movie is a romantic drama film that will sweep you off your feet with the story of two people who go through many ups and downs in their relationship, both inside and outside work. This is what makes “Distance” so special because it explores different themes that are not found with other love stories.” Distance” gives everyone something to relate to on some level.
Winning Japanese animated romance/fantasy known as Princesse Mononoké or Princess Mononoke, depending on the translation) directed by Hayao Miyazaki from 1997 based upon his manga series called Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’s (Kaze no Tani no Naushika).
This Japanese romantic movie is an adaptation of the manga. It takes place in the ’80s and it has this retro feel to it. The story revolves around Kanna, who cannot find love due to her father’s superstition that women must not be loved until their 23rd birthday as they are still considered dolls at that age.
She meets Tomio when she runs away from home while on vacation with family friends, but he moves away soon after meeting her. After his departure, Kanna waits for three years so she can finally meet him again and try to confess her feelings for him before turning 23 at which point he will no longer want anything to do with her because she would then become one of those “dolls.”
The film is beautifully shot, with the use of light and shadow. It has an earnest charm to it that makes it hard not to fall in love with Kanna’s story.
This film will make you swoon over its lovely cinematography as well as making your heartstrings tug from the simplicity of their connection.
My Rainy Days (2009)
This is the Japanese story of two people who meet by chance and find solace in their loneliness in one another. Kyohei, a widower with three children, meets Kyoko on his way home from work one day when she falls off her bike after trying to dodge an ambulance that came too close to her.
He helps pick up some groceries she dropped and asks about what happened while they walk back home together. They mention things like their jobs and how long they have lived there as small talk until they get onto the topic of marriage. When Kyohei mentions he has been married before but it didn’t seem to work out because if you don’t love somebody enough, then no matter how hard you try it won’t last forever, Kyoko says she is not good at love.
Kyohei suggests they get married, and he will be her teacher of love. They quickly become a couple but soon realize that the three children from his previous marriage do not want to accept her in their lives or as part of their family. The two are separated by distance until Kyohei decides to take care of it and brings Kyoko back into his life after convincing the kids one by one with patience and time.”
Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (2017)
Based on the bestseller novel of the same name by author Yoru Sumino, this film tells a heartwarming story about love and friendship.
A high school girl named Sakura begins to live with her classmate Shintaro after they both attempt suicide together one night in their junior year.
Over time, she learns that his motive for trying to take his own life was not as malicious as hers: he suffered from an incurable disease called “pancreatic cancer”.
The bond between these two teenagers slowly blossoms into something more than just platonic companionship, but when Sakura’s parents forbid them from seeing each other again due to their age difference, it brings up underlying issues regarding familial relationships.
One Week Friends
One Week Friends is a Japanese romantic comedy. The story revolves around two friends, Yuuki and Morino Akira who make a promise to one another on their first day of high school that if they are still single by the end of next week, they will marry each other. But fate has different plans for them as both Akira and Yuuki find love with someone else which leads to an ultimate break up between the best friend couple at the end of seventh grade. What seems like just one more sweet coming-of-age story might reveal some deeper truths about friendship in its most human form among youth.”
After watching these movies, you will be able to enjoy all of the love stories that Japan has offered over time and in a variety of genres. You may find your new favourite movie or rewatch an old one with fresh eyes. Let us know which ones are your favourites!