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Movies and series about Japanese food

The best movies and series about Japanese food and cuisine.

Akanezora / Beyond the Crimson Sky

Masaki Hamamoto (2007)


Set in the 18th century city of Edo (former name of Tokyo), the film tells the story of a tofu maker.

akenazora cookingwiththehamster
Akenazora | ©

Bread of happiness

Yukiko Mishima (2012)

Film - Guardalo qui / watch it here (Jap, Eng sub)

The story tells of a couple who decide to leave Tokyo to live at Lake Toya, in Hokkaido. In this extremely characteristic setting they decide to open a bakery.

Bread of happiness cookingwithtehamster
Bread of happiness | ©

Budo no namina / A Drop of the Grapevine

Yukiko Mishima (2014)


Film set on the Sorachi plain in Hokkaido, where two brothers run the family winery. In this simply characteristic landscape you can discover the delicious traditional dishes of the area.


a drop of grapevine cookingwiththehamster
A drop of grapevine | ©

Dad's Lunch Box

Masakazu Fukatsu (2017)


Based on a true story: a father prepares bento for her daughter daily during her high school years.

Dad's Lunch Box cookingwiththehamster
Dad's Lunch Box | ©

East side sushi

Anthony Lucero (2014)

Film - Guardalo su Amazon Prime Video / whatch it on Amazon Prime Video (Eng, sub Ita, eng)

Juana is the protagonist of this film, a woman of Mexican descent who works in a Japanese restaurant in California. Right here, she realizes she wants to become a sushi chef and decides to undertake a real fight against all the obstacles and prejudices that this choice entails.

east side sushi cookingwiththehamster
East side sushi | ©

Kamome Diner

Naoko Ogigami (2006)

Film - Guardalo qui / watch it here (Jap, Eng sub)

Comedy based on the novel of the same name by Yōko Mure.

The plot tells the story of Sachie, the owner of a Japanese café in Helsinki. Things aren't going well for her until an otaku crosses the threshold of her restaurant.

Fun fact: the café where the film is set really exists and is located in Pursimiehenkatu 12 in Helsinki. The original name was Kahvila Suomi, while today it is called Ravintola Kamome. It is the reference point for many Japanese in the Finnish capital.

Kamome Diner cookingwiththehamster
Kamome Diner | ©

Karaage USA

Naoki Segi (2014)


Ayane lives in a small town known for delicious Japanese fried chicken but hates this dish. She decides to leave for America, returning five years later with her ex-husband's stepdaughter. At this point she will choose to take part in the "Karaage Carnival".


 Karaage USA cookingwithtehamster
Karaage USA | ©

La via del grembiule - Lo yakuza casalingo

Chiaki Kon (2021)

Anime serie

Based on the manga of the same name by Kōsuke Ōno (2018), this hilarious series tells the adventures of a yakuza who has decided to retire from the underworld to take care of the house, especially by preparing tasty meals. His tranquility, however, is constantly undermined by obscure figures from his past.

Available on Netflix.

La via del grembiule - lo yakuza casalingo cookingwiththehamster
La via del grembiule - lo yakuza casalingo | ©

Le ricette della signora Toku

Eng title: Sweet bean

Naomi Kawase (2015)


Moving film based on the novel of the same name by Durian Sukegawa (あん in Japanese).

The main character is Ms. Toku, an old woman who is incredibly good at preparing anko (red bean jam) for dorayaki. It is precisely a dorayaki kiosk that is the place where hes adventure starts, which will allow spectators to grasp the very controversial aspects of Japanese society.

le ricette della signora toku cookingiwththehamster
Le ricette della signora Toku | ©

Midnight diner: Tokyo stories

Joji Matsuoka (2009)


Japanese series available on Netflix based on the manga of the same name by Yaro Abe set in a Shinjuku izakaya that opens at midnight and closes at dawn.

Master, protagonist and narrator, prepares food, thus giving us an insight into the life and psychology of nocturnal patrons.

It is one of the most beautiful series ever written and produced, with settings rich in details and stories that simply captivate.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo stories cookingwiththehamster
Midnight Diner: Tokyo stories | ©

Ramen shop

Eric Khoo (2018)


The film is set in the Japanese city Takasaki where Masato is the chef of a ramen bar. When he meets Miki, a food blogger, his life changes because from this meeting Masato will discover his origins on the maternal side.

ramen shop cookingwiththehamster
Ramen Shop | ©

Rinco's Restaurant

Mai Tominaga (2010)

Film - Guardalo qui / watch it here (Jap, Eng sub)

Based on Ogawa Ito's novel (The Restaurant of Love Regained), this film tells the story of Ringo (Kou Shibasaki) who, following a strong sentimental shock, loses his voice. The girl then decides to return to her native village. After all the various and difficult vicissitudes, Ringo decides to open his own restaurant.

rinco's restaurant cookingwiththehamster
Rinco's Restaurant | ©

Samurai Gourmet

Masayuki Qusumi (2017)


Takeshi Kasumi is a Japanese retiree with a lot of free time that he decides to use while enjoying different dishes. His hesitations are overthrown by the samurai of the feudal era who lives in him, his indomitable spirit and model.

This series is available on Netflix.

samurai gourmet cookingwiththehamster
Samurai Gourmet | ©


Jūzō Itami (1985)

Film - Guardalo qui / watch it here (Japanese, Eng sub)

Goro and Gun are the two protagonists of this spaghetti western flavor film. The plot revolves around one of the most loved dishes of Japanese cuisine: ramen. Interspersed with numerous humorous sketches, this beautiful film also focuses on the various differences between Japan and the West in understanding and enjoying food.

tampopo cookingwiththehamster
Tampopo | ©

The ramen girl

Robert Allan Ackerman (2008)

Film - Guardalo qui / Watch it here (Ita)

Nice and enjoyable American comedy set in Tokyo.

Abby (Brittany Murphy) decides to learn how to cook ramen from the gruff and distrustful master Maezumi, owner of the ramen bar where she is passionate about the famous traditional dish.

the ramen girl cookingwiththehamster
The ramen girl | ©

Umi no Futa / There Is No Lid on the Sea

Keisuke Toyoshima (2015)


Based on the novel of the same title by Banana Yoshimoto, the film tells the story of Mari, a girl who decides to leave Tokyo to return to her hometown. Here she decides to open a shop of syrup slushes which soon have an effect of reconciliation with her past, also giving pleasant emotions to customers.

There is no lid on the sea cookingwiththehamster
There is no lid on the sea | ©

Sexual Drive

Kôta Yoshida (2021)


Divided into three parts, at the center of which there is always Kurita (a troublesome man carrying a box of chestnuts) and the female libido strongly linked to aphrodisiac foods: natto, mapo tofu and ramen.

Sexual Drive cookingwiththehamster
Sexual Drive | ©

Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman

TV Tokyo, Tohokushinsha Film (2017)

Available on Netflix.

Mini serie full of trash moments totally dedicated to the world of Japanese sweets in Tokyo, something that was actually lacking in the Japanese gastronomic documentary proposal and therefore gives the opportunity to know both traditional and revisited shops and products and particularly appreciated in the Rising Sun.

This serie is based on Saboriman Ametani Kantarou manga.

In the list of episodes, I also indicate the places that actually exist in which to try the sweets.

Ep 01 - Anmitsu - Kanmidokoro Hatsune

Ep 02 - Kakigori - Amaikko (甘いっ子), Kouriya Peace (氷屋ぴぃす)

Ep 03 - Mamekan - Irie (いり江), Umemura (梅むら), Akasaka Sagamiya (赤坂 相模屋)

Ep 04 - Fruits Parfait - Kajitsuen Libre / Riiberu (果実園 リーベル 新宿店)

Ep 04 - Dorayaki - Seijuken (清寿軒)

Ep 05 - Pancakes - Coffee Tengoku (珈琲 天国)

Ep 06 - Bavarian Matcha Cream - Kinozen (紀の善)

Ep 07 - Savarin - Cafe Recherche (カフェ ルシェルシュ)

Ep 08 - Ohagi - Takeno to Ohagi (タケノとおはぎ)

Ep 09 - Eclairs - Rue de Passy (リュードパッシー)

Ep 10 - Caramel Pudding - Esse Due (エッセドゥエ)

Ep 11 - Chocolate - Minimal (ミニマル)

Ep 12 - Mont Blanc - Waguriya (和栗や)

Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman cookingwiththehamster
Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman |

The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House

Hirokazu Kore-eda (2023)


In Gion, the geisha district of Kyoto, the very young Kiyo becomes a makanai, or rather the person in charge of the meals of the okiya (geisha house) where the other young maiko live.

A Netflix series (inspired by the manga Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san by Aiko Koyama) that strikes for the simplicity, tenderness and beauty of kimonos and settings.

The Makanai cookingwiththehamster
The Makanai | ©

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