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10 Great Japanese Movies About Coffee You Should Watch

Chances are you have no idea how ancient coffee is. It was discovered by shepherds around 800 A.D., but it’s only in the last few centuries that this fruit (yes, coffee is technically a fruit) has become so popular. There are also many subtleties to it that need to be learned to be considered a true coffee connoisseur. If you want to get to the bottom of the myths and the real facts, you can watch movies for coffee lovers. Strengthen your relationship with this amazing drink, and you’ll understand more about not only coffee, but tea as well.

Top Japanese Movies About Coffee

1 Howl’s Moving Castle

Can you guess what a joy working in a coffee shop is for true coffee and tea fans? It’s the dramatic changes in the customers. When they arrive, they look tired, tense, and constantly grumbling. A simple breakfast with coffee turns them into wonderful conversationalists and kind people. Of course, Miyazaki’s animated masterpiece encompasses much more than this (think: fire demons, animated turnip-head men, and thrilling aerial battles). It’s the protagonist’s good deeds that are most noticeable. For example, preparing a delicious-looking breakfast—for the perpetually moody wizard, Howl.

2 Before the Coffee Gets Cold

If you're looking for an enchanting coffee-themed movie, "Before the Coffee Gets Cold" should be at the top of your list. Arimura Kasumi's star power electrifies every scene she's in. Behind the doors of this cozy coffee shop lies a treasure trove of memories, collected over the years since the bygone Showa era, when friends and family gathered to share laughter and tears. From the moment you walk in, the shop envelops you in its cozy, intimate atmosphere. Take a glance at your coffee, and you might just spot a timestamp. The instants after pouring and before the first sip are a siren's call, causing you to slip through the fabric of time and relive a bygone age.

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3 A Coffee Adventure

"A Coffee Adventure," a captivating German movie directed by the acclaimed Jan Ole Gerster. A casual glance might peg this protagonist as aimless, but to know him you'll uncover a whirlwind of frenetic energy masking a tender regard for the elderly. He stumbles through his daily routine, more on autopilot than driven by intention, earning the observation that he's basically good-hearted, but not exactly the most motivated.

Just when the protagonist thought he had a handle on life, Nico bursts onto the scene, sparking a maelstrom of pivotal moments that reshape his reality. What goes through his mind as he finally enjoys his long-awaited cup of coffee at dawn? The filmmakers craft a compelling narrative that seriously explores a universal concern, developing characters that drive the story forward.

4 Coffee Time

To celebrate the centennial of Yasujiro Ozu's birth, renowned filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien, a dedicated admirer of Ozu, directed this film. It's an unusual film, it has a special style, but it's quite enjoyable.

A few years post-release, I found myself in Tokyo's Kanda Jinbocho, seeking out the coffee shop "Erika," featured prominently in the film. Unfortunately, "Erika" had since closed, and the establishment I visited bore the same name but was an entirely different café. The owner mentioned that many patrons visited, mistakenly believing it to be the "Erika" from the movie. For me, this film is etched in my memory as a pilgrimage that didn't go as planned.

5 Kamome Diner

This unique story, crafted by the talented author Murasaki Yoko exclusively for the screen, is a delightful exploration of cross-cultural interactions. Step into a quaint Helsinki eatery, where three Japanese women effortlessly weave a tapestry of endearing moments with the locals. From bean to cup, the journey of coffee is an art form. Learn the tricks of the trade and uncover the captivating legend of Kopi Luwak, a coffee so legendary, it's the stuff of myth and legend.

6 Junkissa Isobe

This one is a delightful human comedy. It follows the story of the main character, played by Hiroyuki Miyasako, who opens a coffee shop simply to become more popular. The plot thickens with the involvement of his daughter, portrayed by Riisa Naka, and the quirky individuals around them. And if you're a fan of Kumiko Aso, like I am, you'll find even more to enjoy in this film.

7 At the End of the World - Waiting with a Gentle Scent

Imagine yourself at Funagoya Coffee Roaster, perched on the very edge of Japan. Here, you'll meet Misaki, a single mother returning to her hometown, the serene seaside at the far reaches of Oku-Noto. With every bean carefully selected, she brings her coffee roasting shop to life, unfolding a narrative of warmth and triumph. The film delicately weaves together the narratives of two individuals, starkly different in their lifestyles and moral compasses. In the space where their lives overlap, a subtle yet powerful transformation unfolds, as they shed false pretenses and awaken to the driving forces that propel them forward.

8 The Hateful Eight

Many different types of coffee appear in the film, including bad coffee and poisonous coffee, but for some reason, the movie makes you want to drink coffee later on. Maybe it's the freezing snowy scenery.

9 Bagdad Cafe

It's not hard to imagine a journey where a simple thermos of coffee becomes the unlikely bridge between two worlds. Amidst the estrangement, Jasmine, a fiery German woman, finds herself abandoned after a ferocious spat with her husband during their travels. She crosses paths with Brenda, the resilient owner of a weathered motel, café, and gas station. With every gentle gesture, Jasmine breathes life into Brenda's wilting heart, remodeling her fragile confidence with an unwavering sense of empathy. At the motel, she finds herself befriending an eccentric bunch of regulars, each with their own story to tell.

10 Coffee & Cigarettes

Cinematic magic happens when multiple storylines converge into a single, captivating film, much like the intricate patterns on a richly textured rug, ultimately forming a stunning whole. Saturate your senses with the vivid imagery, and let your imagination run wild. A morning must-have: a cup of coffee to pair with this film. Through the screen, you'll almost be able to smell the rich aroma of coffee and cigarettes.

Conclusion

Curious about the untold stories behind your morning cup? Dive into these 10 compelling films and stories that expose the heart and soul of coffee, revealing its transformative power on individuals and communities alike. Pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup amidst a group of kindred spirits who understand the fascination with that daily cuppa joe.

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