Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Following up on his 1995 Ozu-like work Tokyo Kyodai with this restrained look at lost love, Ichikawa centers his film on Hamanaka (Kyozo Nagatsuka), a middle-aged native of Tokyo's old shitamachi district who returns to his job and his wife after years of meandering about the country. Soon he is establishing a rapprochement with his jilted wife (Mitsuko Baisho) and revamps his father's dusty appliance store into a shop that specializes in computer games. In spite of righting the wrongs in his life, Hamanaka is still unhappy. In what has become neighbor lore, Hamanaka was, in his youth, desperately in love with Tami (Kaori Momoi) who managed the coffee shop across the street from his store. When she dumped him for another man, Hamanaka tried to soldier on and have a normal adult life, which included marrying his current wife. Evidentially the strain proved so much that he bolted for the hills. Years later, Tami is still at the same coffee shop and Hamanaka is, in spite of himself, still in love with her. To make matters even more painful, she seems to still hold feelings for him.