8 Best Japanese Movies On Amazon Prime 2021

by Erika Shinomoto
Top Japanese Movies On Amazon Prime

Looking for the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime? Check out some of the greatest Japanese movies on Prime Video that you’d love to watch. Read further to know more.

Movies are a way of escaping reality for me. Whenever I want to forget all that is happening around me, I turn towards movies.

However, movies are not mere escapades for me. These are also a way for me to experience different realms and cultures, without actually having to move away from my comfortable bed. 

Which are the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime?

  • Tokyo Story
  • The Departure
  • After the Storm
  • Uzumasa Limelight
  • The Garden of Words
  • Yojimbo
  • Cat Heaven Island
  • Norwegian Woods

Movies help me reach places I can never dream of reaching. I love watching movies from different countries, especially the Japanese ones. 

These best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime help me experience Japan the way I never would be able to. 

These Japanese movies help you take a virtual trip to Japan and its culture. Are you eager to spend some time on your couch exploring Japan? If yes, I have put together this list of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime that you can enjoy. 

Here’s your Amazon Prime Japan movie list below, grab your popcorn already!

Best Japanese Movies on Amazon Prime: Summary

Best Japanese Movies on Amazon PrimeGenreEditor’s Rating
Tokyo StoryDrama8.7/10
The DepartureDocumentary7.6/10
After The StormComedy, Drama7.4/10
Uzumasa LimelightAction, Drama7.1/10
The Garden of WordsDrama7.5/10
YojimboAction8.2/10
Cat Heaven IslandDocumentary7.0/10
Norwegian WoodDrama, Romance7.3/10

Top Japanese Movies on Amazon Prime

Tokyo Story

Genre: Drama |  Age Rating: 13+ | Editor’s Rating: 8.7/10 | Director: Yasujiro Ozu | Run Time: 2 hrs 16 mins

japanese movie thriller

This is one of the Japanese drama movies that definitely should be on your must-watch list. This is a story that follows the life of a retired couple. This story portrays their journey when they visit their children in postwar Tokyo. 

This makes us think of this as a movie that has a sweet and emotional family reunion and a lot of happiness and pleasantries. 

However, that is not the case. When the couple visits their children, they realize that they have actually become a burden on them. Tokyo story is one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime.

Their children are too busy with their own lives to take their parents into consideration. The couple, disheartened, return home and after a few days, the mother dies.

Tokyo Story is a simple yet touching story that takes into picture things that are a part of all our lives – family relations, conflicts, and the predicament of old age. 

These are themes that we all can relate to. The film does not have excessive dramatization, and yet it really touches us deep into the heart with its moving storyline. Watch this on prime video Japan.

Related: Checkout best Japanese dramas on Netflix, they’re too fun to watch!

The Departure

Genre: Documentary |  Age Rating: 13+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.6/10 | Director: Lana Wilson | Run Time: 1 hr 27 mins

 best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime

This is another great movie that I am sure you will enjoy watching. This is a documentary movie that will deeply move you. This is one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime that teaches a lot about life. 

The story is about a Buddhist priest in Japan who earlier was a punk. The priest has found his motive in life. 

He helps suicidal patients and works with them to help them find reasons to live. However, this work has cost him his own health, both emotionally and physically. 

The movie makes us think hard on the subject of life, and so, is a meditation in itself. It’s counted as one of the most recommended Japanese slice of life movies.

Related: Check out the best Japanese anime of all times if you’re looking for anime recommendations!

After The Storm

Genre: Comedy, Drama |  Age Rating: 13+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.4/10 | Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda | Run Time: 1 hr 57 mins

Japanese slice of life movies

After the Storm is one of the most hilarious tender comedies that you can find. This is an extremely satisfying movie that touches upon the subject of family dynamics. This comic drama is one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime. 

The movie follows the story of a private detective. The central character dwells on his past glory, where he was a prize-winning author. His time of fame had come after his father’s death. 

In the story, we can see him struggling to reconcile with his aging mother, gorgeous ex-wife, and his 11-year-old son. He tries to do all of this while also battling with his ego and addictions to gambling. 

This is a domestic melodrama that keeps you hooked to the screen from the beginning to the end. 

However, more than that, this movie lets us into the world of modern Japanese family life. Include this in your list of best movies on Amazon Prime and have a great time watching it.

Related: Check out  best Japanese anime with strong female characters for a dose of feminism!

Uzumasa Limelight 

Genre: Action, Drama |  Age Rating: NR | Editor’s Rating: 7.1/10 | Director: Ken Ochiai | Run Time: 1 hr 44 mins

Japanese movie on Amazon Prime

The Japanese movie on Amazon Prime depicts the end of an era of classic films that contained sword-fighting dramas. This is amongst the top Japanese action movies.

The movies of this era also showcased kirareyaku, who are a group of actors who had roles that required them to be killed artfully in the films. 

The movie is almost like a tribute to these heroes. The movie tells us about the fate that these ‘unsung heroes’ are entitled to. This is also one of the Japanese thriller movies that’s a must-watch.

The message that this movie gives reaches everyone and touches deep down into our souls. 

This is an especially intriguing movie for all those who have witnessed the effects of the economy and societal changes. Uzumasa Limelight is definitely one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime.

Related: Here’s a list of best Japanese shows to understand Japanese if you’re a beginner and want to learn the language!

The Garden Of Words

Genre: Drama |  Age Rating: 16+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.5/10 | Director: Makoto Shinkai  | Run Time: 46 mins

 Japanese movies to watch

This is one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime which is actually a short film by one of the most renowned persons in Japan – Makoto Shinkai. It’s one of the loveliest Japanese movies to watch.

Shinkai is known for his mastery of fantastical landscaping in the anime world. This short story follows the life of a teenage boy who is quite lonely in his life. However, despite his loneliness, this boy has a passion for shoemaking. 

The story takes us to a rainy day when this boy meets a lady who is about ten years older than him. Days go by and we see a sweet friendship developing between the two.

They both have their shared struggles that play a very important role in bringing them together. It’s one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime. 

This  is a movie about love – love of dreams and of human connections. This is a movie that you should watch on a rainy day or on days when you want to feel that warmth creep deep inside you. 

Include this on your list of best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime and thank me later for the recommendation.

Related: Check out these best Japanese Netflix shows that are worth watching!

Yojimbo

Genre: Action |  Age Rating: 18+ | Editor’s Rating: 8.2/10 | Director: Akira Kurosawa | Run Time: 1 hr 50 mins

amazon prime japan movie list

This is truly a masterpiece that is delivered to us by the legendary Akira Kurosawa and one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime that I’ve watched. The movie absolutely portrays the beauty of classic Japanese cinema. 

The story is about a samurai. Our central character, in the movie, reaches a village where we can see two rival gangs fighting each other for a position of power. 

The bosses from these rival teams try to hire our samurai as a bodyguard, however, neither of these bosses is trustworthy. 

The samurai plays both sides and lets the two opposing teams fight each other. He lets this fight happen until peace is finally restored. Yojimbo is one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime that’s packed with action. 

The movie is highly thrilling and absolutely entertaining. It truly is a must-watch for all those who want to experience the beauty of Japanese cinema.

Related: Check out the best Japanese anime series on Netflix for a quick binge!

Cat Heaven Island

Genre: Documentary |  Age Rating: 7+ | Editor’s Rating: 7/10 | Director: Landon Donoho | Run Time: 55 mins

japanese movies to watch

Do you love cats? If yes, then this is the movie for you. It features hundreds of absolutely adorable cats. This is one of the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime for cat lovers!

The story is also heart-melting and will have you feeling all fuzzy inside. This is a short film about the island of Pashirojima. 

The island has feline inhabitants whose number outnumber the elderly residents living there. The film has an undertone to it. It gives us a glimpse into the dwindling community of Japan and its rich culture. 

You will definitely enjoy this wonderful movie even if you are not a cat lover. The movie is sad, sweet, interesting, inspiring, and hopeful – all at the same time. The movie really does take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Norwegian Wood

Genre: Drama, Romance |  Age Rating: 713+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.3/10 | Director: Anh Hung Tran | Run Time: 2 hrs 13 mins

Japanese drama movie

This movie is a complete masterpiece and a joy for all Haruki Murakami fans. The movie is based on Murakami’s novel and is a tale about love, loss, and pain. 

The theme of the movie is such that we can all relate to it in one way or the other. It truly speaks to all of us who have experienced the feelings of love and loss, and the pain that follows it. 

The story is set in Japan in the 1960s and follows the life of college student Toru Watanabe. The story revolves around this character’s relationship with two women – Naoko and Midori. 

Both of these women represent something different for him. Naoki connects Watanabe with his best friend whom he lost to a tragedy. Midori, on the other hand, represents his future. It’s one of the must-watch Japanese romance movies on amazon prime

She is everything that Naoko is not. If you have read and loved the book by Murakami, I am sure you will enjoy this movie too. It’s definitely one of my favorite and the best Japanese movies on Amazon Prime.

Which is the best Japanese movie on Amazon Prime?

I’ve watched several Japanese movies on Amazon Prime but I found Tokyo Story to be the best Japanese movie on Prime because of its plot, characters, and graphics.

Tokyo Story is a Japanese drama of an aging couple who take a long journey from their village to visit their adult children in Tokyo. Their children are all busy in their own professional lives and don’t have time to spend with their parents. The responsibility falls on their daughter-in-law whose husband was killed in a war. It’s a family drama that has bitter-sweet scenes. It’s available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Japanese Movies for You

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best Japanese movies that you can watch on Amazon Prime. These are some of the movies that I absolutely love and rewatch every time I want to get lost in Japanese culture. 

Have you watched any of these before? If you have, what did you like (or dislike) about them? Let me know.

 Also, if you have some excellent Japanese movie recommendations for me, do let me know so I can binge-watch them as soon as possible. 

If you have not yet watched any of these movies, what are you waiting for? Go watch these movies and enjoy a roller coaster ride of emotions, feelings, and experiences. 

Also Read: 

  1. Best Manga Recommendations
  2. Best Japanese Female Authors
  3. Best Japanese Novels
Tokyo Story

Director: Yasujirō Ozu

Date Created: 1970-01-01 00:32

Editor's Rating:
8.7

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