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We Made a Beautiful Bouquet: 3 real-life locations in Japan’s latest romance movie

We Made a Beautiful Bouquet: 3 real-life locations in Japan’s latest romance movie

If you’re looking for a tender coming-of-age Japanese romance movie, boy, do I have one to recommend to you. 

 

“We Made a Beautiful Bouquet” (花束みたいな恋をした Hanataba mitai na koi wo shita) tells the story of two strangers, Kinu (Arimura Kasumi 有村 架純) & Mugi (Suda Masaki 菅田 将暉), who meet by chance after missing their last train at Meidaimae Station on Tokyo’s Keio Inokashira Line (京王 井の頭線). Through that fateful night in January 2015, the two learnt that they share a lot in common, and developed feelings for one another. The movie follows the ups-and-downs of their relationship that spanned across 5 years, up to 2020.

 

After missing the last train, Mugi and Kinu decided to WALK from Meidaimae Station to Chofu Station, which is at least a 2-hour walk according to Google Maps. (Image credit: hana-koi.jp)

 

I’m not one for movie reviews, but catching the sneak preview of the movie at Golden Village left me feeling very emoi (エモい emotional). Maybe it’s because of the movie’s realistic portrayal of a budding romance that was nipped by the reality of adulthood. Or maybe it’s nostalgia—a majority of the film took place in Chofu (調布市 Chōfu-shi), a city in West Tokyo that I was familiar with during my time as an exchange student in TUFS. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that I miss being in Tokyo—every scenic shot in this movie made my travel-deprived heart ache even more. 

 

(Video credit: hana-koi.jp / Golden Village)

 

hanakoi SSS07952.jpg (2.75 MB)

(Image credit: hana-koi.jp)

 

Nevertheless, “We Made a Beautiful Bouquet” was beautifully shot, and its success when it was released in Japan early this year proved to be a great collaboration between director Doi Nobuhiro (土井裕泰) and critically-acclaimed screenwriter Sakamoto Yuji (坂元裕二), alongside a wonderful cast of actors (and band). If you want to relive the moments shared in this movie, here are three real-life locations where Kinu and Mugi were at that I personally want to check out.

 

1. Tama River

(Image credit: Urawa Zero / CC BY 2.0)

 

Tama River (多摩川 Tamagawa) is one of Tokyo’s major rivers that stretches 138km long, flowing mainly through West Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture from Yamanashi Prefecture. This river frequently makes an appearance throughout the movie and our protagonists even rented an apartment with an awesome view of the Tama River from their balcony. Tama River was also where Mugi and Kinu take daily 30-minute strolls along their way to and fro Chofu Station.

 

2. Kimuraya, Setagaya

(Image credit: @s_h.ota)

 

(Image credit: Map data © 2021 Google)

 

The next location we’re heading to is a cozy and unpretentious bakery called Kimuraya (木村屋). In the movie, Mugi and Kinu stumbled upon this local bakery along their daily commute and chanced upon a yakisoba pan (焼きそばパン), a snack that features a hot dog bun filled with  yakisoba! Established in 1964, the real Kimuraya is run by an old couple who also makes an appearance in the movie! Although the bakery is said to be in Chofu in the movie, the actual location of this particular Kimuraya is further out in Setagaya Ward (世田谷区 Setagaya-ku), about 15 minutes away by train from Chofu Station on the Keio Inokashira Line. 

 

Kimuraya (木村屋)
Address: 3-30-14 Kasuya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0063
Nearest station: Chitose-Karasuyama Station (千歳烏山駅)
Opening hours: 7:45am–7pm (Weekdays), 8am–7pm (Weekends) (Closed on Tuesdays)
Tel: +81 3309-0916

 

3. Sagara Sun Beach & Sawayaka, Shizuoka Prefecture

(Image credit: hana-koi.jp)

 

Okay, this is a double-entry but I simply had to introduce the two locations where Mugi and Kinu visited in their short day trip to Shizuoka Prefecture: Sagara Sun Beach (さがらサンビーチ) and Sawayaka (さわやか). Sagara Sun Beach offers great views of the Pacific Ocean, and it’s a perfect place to relax with your significant other on a sandy white beach and clear waters.

 

(Image credit: NISSANEV / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

After a visit to the beach, head down to Sawayaka, a Shizuoka-only sumiyaki (炭焼き charcoal grilled) restaurant chain famous for their juicy hamburg steak. Like Mugi and Kinu, many visitors would specifically eat (and queue for a long time) at Sayawaka when visiting Shizuoka. With over 30 joints located all across Shizuoka, pick the one nearest to you and wait patiently for your turn! 

 

Sagara Sun Beach (さがらサンビーチ)
Address: 275 Sagara, Makinohara, Shizuoka 421-0522
Nearest station: Kanaya Station (金谷駅)
Access: From Kanaya Station, take the Shizutetsu Justline Bus and get off at the ”Sagara Eigyosyo” bus stop
Tel: +81 548-52-0151

Sawayaka (さわやか)
Address: Multiple locations in Shizuoka Prefecture

 

Giveaway: Movie tickets to "We Made a Beautiful Bouquet"

(Image credit: hana-koi.jp)

 

Have I convinced you enough to watch this movie? Here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to catch “We Made a Beautiful Bouquet” when it’s out in Singapore!

 

To participate in this giveaway, all you have to do is head down to JAPAN RAIL CAFE’s Instagram post and:

  1. Follow @JAPANRAILCAFE
  2. Tag someone who you want to watch “We Made a Beautiful Bouquet” with
  3. Share your favourite Japanese street snack in the comments!

 

Winners will be announced on 17 June—the same day that you can officially catch this movie at selected Golden Village cinemas! Terms & conditions apply.

 

(Image credit: hana-koi.jp)

 

Even if you’re not a huge fan of romantic movies, I highly recommend you to watch  “We Made a Beautiful Bouquet” in local theatres. If you simply just miss being in Japan, this movie is the best remedy to cure your travel-sickness for the time being.

 

Header image credit: hana-koi.jp

 

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