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We've teamed up with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) to bring you some of the best of Japanese cinema, and a serious dose of wanderlust. 

From Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, and everywhere in between, this is the perfect opportunity to take stock of some dreamy film locations and even plan some film set visits. 

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Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time.  

Japan Fans can claim an additional free month. Simply add the code JNTO21 when you sign up for subscription.  

Urban Locations

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Tokyo StoryTokyo Story

Drama1953136 minsDirector: Yasujiro Ozu

A constant fixture in critics' polls, Yasujiro Ozu's most enduring masterpiece is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty, expectation and regret.

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Stray DogStray Dog

Crime1949122 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s masterful mix of film noir and police thriller set on the sweltering mean streets of occupied Tokyo.

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Dangan RunnerDangan Runner

Drama199782 minsDirector: Sabu

Acclaimed Japanese director Sabu (Happiness, Miss Zombie) with this frenetic, kinetic action comedy set on the bustling streets of Tokyo, the story of three losers brought together by fate.

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Nobody KnowsNobody Knows

Drama2003141 minsDirector: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Koreeda’s drama about four children left to fend for themselves is a heartbreaking study of childhood neglect.

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Shinjuku Triad SocietyShinjuku Triad Society

Gangster1995102 minsDirector: Takashi Miike

Amid a war between Taiwanese Triads and Japanese Yakuza, a mixed-race cop hunts a psychotic criminal who traffics in children's organs.

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Tokyo-GaTokyo-Ga

Documentary198592 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Profiling one of the great directors of World Cinema, Wim Wenders delivers this moving portrait of Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu.

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Tokyo TwilightTokyo Twilight

Drama1957141 minsDirector: Yasujiro Ozu

Abandoned by their mother, sisters Akiko (Ineko Arima) and Takako (Setsuko Hara) live with their father Shukichi (Chishu Ryu). When Akiko falls into desperate trouble, she turns away from her family.

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Tokyo TribeTokyo Tribe

Action and Adventure2014116 minsDirector: Sion Sono

Sion Sono's unique brand of subversive cinema explodes onscreen once again with this ingenious hybrid of Yakuza gang action and hip-hop musical.

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IkiruIkiru

Drama1952143 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Takashi Shimura is superb as a bureaucrat diagnosed with cancer in Akira Kurosawa’s lyrical and moving film about how we find meaning in our lives.

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Sweet BeanSweet Bean

Drama2015113 minsDirector: Naomi Kawase

A struggling street food vendor accepts help from an elderly lady with a sensational recipe up her sleeve, in Naomi Kawase's bittersweet drama of culinary redemption.

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High and LowHigh and Low

Crime1963143 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s procedural crime masterpiece, from Ed McBain’s gritty novel, follows an industrialist who faces an agonising choice as a result of a botched kidnapping by ruthless criminals.

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Drunken AngelDrunken Angel

Film noir194898 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Part gangster film, part melodrama and part social critique, Akira Kurosawa's first critical success follows the troubled friendship between a disillusioned doctor and a young yakuza.

Rural Locations

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RanRan

Drama1985154 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s visually spectacular epic transplants Shakespeare’s King Lear from Celtic Britain to feudal Japan.

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Seven SamuraiSeven Samurai

Drama1954207 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Farmers hire a band of samurai to defend them against marauding bandits in Kurosawa’s influential epic, a touchstone for action movies ever since.

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Late SpringLate Spring

Drama1949108 minsDirector: Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujiro Ozu's influential masterpiece is a tender meditation on family politics, sacrifice and the status quo.

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RashomonRashomon

Crime195088 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.

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A Scene at the SeaA Scene at the Sea

Drama1991101 minsDirector: Takeshi Kitano

An atypically lyrical offering from Takeshi Kitano, charting the course of a relationship between a boy and his girlfriend – both profoundly deaf – when the former decides to teach himself to surf.

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The Mourning ForestThe Mourning Forest

Drama200797 minsDirector: Naomi Kawase

A beautiful and contemplative portrait of grief from Cannes-winning filmmaker Naomi Kawase (Sweet Bean, Still the Water).

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Journey to the ShoreJourney to the Shore

Drama2015128 minsDirector: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

The living and the dead coexist in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cannes-winning meditation on love and loss.

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Ugetsu MonogatariUgetsu Monogatari

Romance195397 minsDirector: Kenji Mizoguchi

Kenji Mizoguchi's haunting evocation of a feudal world where brutal realism intermingles with the supernatural.

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SonatineSonatine

Crime199394 minsDirector: Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano's masterful and meditative gangster film, about a yakuza sent to the beautiful beaches of Okinawa where he has time to ruminate on his fate.

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KwaidanKwaidan

Horror1964183 minsDirector: Masaki Kobayashi

This stunningly beautiful anthology of Japanese ghost stories is one of the most meticulously crafted supernatural films ever made.

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The Woodsman and the RainThe Woodsman and the Rain

Comedy2011128 minsDirector: Shûichi Okita

A redneck lumberjack is recruited to work on a rookie producer's inane zombie movie, in this hilarious movie-making satire.

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Sansho DayuSansho Dayu

Period drama1954125 minsDirector: Kenji Mizoguchi

Mizoguchi’s historical epic is among the greatest of all Japanese films, and a masterpiece of humanist cinema.

More Japanese films on our Japan 2020 landing page