Fukuyadou Honpo, or Kyoto Love Story – Found on Amazon Prime

I’m going to put my Japanese drama binge to rest for a bit (unless Viki has something irresistible coming up). I’ve watched more Japanese titles this month than I think I’ve seen in the past 2 years combined! But I’ll finish out the month with a title that I’d bookmarked on Amazon Prime: Fukuyadou Honpo, or Kyoto Love Story.

More after the jump (not spoiler-y)

The romances of three sisters, the future generation proprietors of a wagashi sweet shop in Kyoto with 450 years of continuous operation, are ostensibly the focus of this drama. But really, it’s a love letter to kimono, Kyoto, traditional values, and wagashi, with broody men and the women who wait for them to step up. Okay, I take that back: the youngest of the male characters is very positive in what he feels and acts, but he’s still a minor, so of course there are bumpy roads in his path and that of his lovely young lady.

The middle sister has modern sensibilities, but in order to win the heart of the man she has loved since childhood she’s going to have to go traditional. The older sister has a fairly melodramatic storyline, and it seems completely implausible to my mindset in a 2016 universe — even in Japan. The main male lead, the star wagashi chef who the shop’s driving force when it comes to product innovation and quality spends about 2/3rds of his time in a white kitchen uniform that makes him look like a male nurse and the balance in kimono and about 100% of the time staring at the women he’s talking to with burning moody looks and NOT SAYING ANYTHING! At least, not saying what needs to be said in the moment — most of the time. Thankfully, his lady love does speak her mind or this would be a silent drama. On the plus side, he at least does not kiss like a cardboard character, unlike another couple!

Should you watch it? I’d say it’s a “meh” unless you enjoy seeing the variety of kimono fabrics in use today, and street scenes of an unrealistic Kyoto (where are the cars? I think they filmed this on a Kyoto ginza set!). It’s passably entertaining, and if you have Amazon Prime it might be worth it to give it a shot just so they invest in more titles.

#akari-hayami, #fukuyadou-honpo-kyoto-love-story, #hayato-ichihara