The Japanese definitely know how to make a person feel things, and if you’ve watched even one Japanese slice-of-life drama, you know what I’m talking about.
And, this spills over into the romance genre, and I’ll tell you for free that some of the numbers in this post had me ugly crying like I was being paid $100 a minute.
All this is just to say, I’ve rounded up my all-time favorite romantic Japanese movies I feel everyone should watch at least three times (and you sure will).
There’s everything from high school love, to a droolworthy second-chance romance, and a romantic BL Japanese movie that completely stole my heart – you’re going to live them!
10 best romantic Japanese movies to binge-watch this weekend:
1. Sky Of Love
Mika’s a high school freshman, just starting out, and one day, she bumps into Hiro, a stylishly dressed boy at school, and bolts in surprise.
Somehow, love blossoms between them, and they spend blissful days together, but there seems to be trouble on the horizon.
I can’t say how much I loved this romantic Japanese movie, and the female lead played by Aragaki Yui was simply stunning.
2. Kimi Ni Todoke
Kuronuma Sawako’s a sweet but somewhat socially awkward high school student.
Her classmates tease her with the nickname “Sadako” because she looks like the character from the movie Ring.
She’s a loner, quietly going about her day, and she doesn’t know thatKazehaya Shota, a classmate known for his easygoing and friendly personality, is completely in love with her (but he thinks she hates his guts).
This romantic Japanese movie is available to watch on Netflix now, and you can also watch the series starring Suzuka Ouji and Minami Sara.
3. I Give My First Love To You
Mayu and Takuma have been buddies since they were kids.
But when they were just 8, they found out that Takuma had a serious illness that would take him before he hit 20.
And as they grew up, they fell in love, and Mayu stuck by him even when he tried to distance her.
Then, some new faces came into the picture, and now Mayu and Takuma are suddenly confused about their feelings for each other.
4. Paradise Kiss
Yukari Hayasaka is a high school student who is fed up with the non-stop studying.
One day, she stumbles upon a bunch of student fashion designers looking for a model for their “Paradise Kiss” clothing line.
With zero fashion knowledge, Yukari is initially shocked by their quirky ways, but she quickly falls for their free-spirited mindset and unwavering pursuit of dreams.
I watched this romantic Japanese movie in my second year of junior secondary school and whenever I hear any beat that remotely sounds like Everything’s Gonna Be Alright by Sweetbox, I feel warm all over (you’ll understand this once you’ve watched it).
5. Blue Spring Ride
Back in middle school, Yoshioka Futaba had a soft spot for Tanaka Kou because he stood out as a kind-hearted guy among the rest.
Sadly, Kou moved away, and they lost touch.
Fast forward to Futaba’s first year in high school, she bumps into him again.
Now he goes by Mabuchi Kou, and there’s a noticeable shift in his demeanor compared to their middle school days.
This is another standout Japanese high school romance movie that I absolutely loved and, if you give it a chance, it’s going to make a space in your heart.
6. Close Range Love
Kururugi Yuni’s only weakness is English, and when a new English teacher is hired at her school, she starts receiving one-on-one tutoring from him.
The new teacher, Sakurai Haruka is handsome and compassionate, and soon Yuni falls for him.
The Japanese never shy away from exploring taboo relationships, and while the execution isn’t always perfect, it still makes for a good story.
Close Range Love is about a teacher-student relationship that’s thrilling just as it’s interesting, and if you want to sample a different flavor of love this weekend, this Japanese romance movie is a must-watch.
7. High School Debut
When Haruna Nagashima isn’t playing softball, she’s thinking about it, so when she gets to high school and decides that it’s time to find a boyfriend, she realizes that she doesn’t know much about how to attract a boy.
Somehow, she meets Yoh Komiyama, and he agrees to coach her as long as she promises not to fall for him.
A recipe for disaster, anyone? It sure was and you guys, the growth of their love was the sweetest thing – it almost have me a cavity.
8. No Touching At All
Shima’s first day at work gets interesting when he bumps into a hungover guy in the elevator – who turns out to be his new boss, Togawa.
While Togawa may come off as a bit gruff, Shima senses a hidden kindness in him.
These two have their share of past wounds, but Togawa wears his heart on his sleeve, while Shima seems stuck in the past.
Right off the bat, there was a lot to love about this BL Japanese romantic movie, but one thing I can’t forget is the chemistry between the leads and how it genuinely felt like they were meant for each other.
9. My Tomorrow Your Yesterday
This Japanese movie is based on the novel Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru by Takafumi Nanatsuki.
It follows the story of Takatoshi Minamiyama, an art major at a Kyoto university.
One day, while on the train to school, he spots Emi Fukuju and it’s love at first sight.
Takatoshi musters the courage to approach her, and they start dating, but their happiness dissolves when Emi shares her hidden secret.
10. The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese
Kyoichi Otomo, ad whiz with commitment issues, meets long-lost friend Wataru Imagase.
Wataru, now at a versatile agency, is investigating Kyoichi’s affairs for his wife.
But there’s a surprise twist: Wataru’s been crushing on Kyoichi for 7 years and wants a secret affair.
Have you watched any of the movies in this post? If you haven’t, do you think you could give them a chance??
I can’t say this enough, but every romantic Japanese movie in this post came to me at a special time in my life, so they all have a designated area in my heart.
So, give them a try and I’m sure you’d love at least one (or all) of them.
And, don’t forget to check out the related posts below if you want even more recommendations of amaze-balls Japanese movies to watch now.