|This is the story about one small coffee shop located in the northern island of Hokkaido.|
Yukichi Wakui used to work as a successful businessman at a prestigious trading firm. He worked for several years in New York as well as other cities around the world. When his wife Megumi died at the age of 47 in a car accident three years ago, he decided to leave the company. He was only 57. When Megumi died in the accident, her 18-year-old son Takuro was at the wheel.
Yukichi decides to move to Megumi's hometown Furano, Hokkaido, and leave his son - whom he blames for his wife's death - behind. There he starts a small coffee shop named "The Forest Clock."
Will the wall of ice between father and son ever melt?
|Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)|
|1. ||Ashita 明日 [Hirahara Ayaka 平原綾香]|| [ LYRICS ]|
|Drama Reviews (13)|
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Excellent, Moving, Beautiful - but a Rushed Ending [Rating: 8/10]|
I just finished watching Yasashii Jikan, and I know it will always be one of my favorites despite some criticisms and the lack of a strong theme. The story, characterization and setting were all phenomenal, and the mood overall is so palpable it's almost like another character itself. The Forest Clock coffee house is a place you'll find yourself missing when you're not watching this and wanting to visit when you've finished (it's a real, functioning cafe in Furano, Hokkaido, BTW); Wakui-san, the staff and the motley crew of regulars there seem almost like family - people you will find yourself thinking about long after you've stopped watching. Terao Akira is perfectly cast for the role of Wakui, at times bringing to mind the depth and intensity of Clint Eastwood; Ninomiya Kazunari and Nagasawa Masami fit their roles with conviction and incredible emotional range. Yo Kimiko's elegant and understated Tomoko was actually a scene-stealer in several spots - in the scene where she shows up a little tipsy at Forest Clock and teases Wakui-san, Tomoko managed to be laugh-out-loud funny, adorable and incredibly wise all at once.
My first criticism is that the father-son estrangement story, though generally written and played excellently, missed some opportunities for deeper, more moving drama - like gooseflesh-type scenes where the two almost meet but just miss each other (like HaTa-san and TeruTeruBozu in "With Love,") and I think the two characters were made aware of each other's whereabouts too early on, short-circuiting more dramatic opportunities within the story.
The other criticism is that the ending was anticlimactic after all of that great buildup. Episodes 10 and 11 both seemed a little rushed. There was a noticeably hastened pacing after the previous 9 and a whole lot of resolution points jammed into them, yet other subplot loose ends were left unresolved. Given that the series ran 11 episodes rather than an even 12, I'm speculating that perhaps the production ran over budget and a late decision was made to truncate the series with a hastier wrap-up? I had expected the climactic reunion scene to come to a head at the ceramics competition, an event Wakui's son Takuro was eagerly anticipating, but that event wasn't even presented. Again, I think the ending could've been done in a way that took better advantage of the buildup to that point, but that's not to say I was seriously disappointed either. It's just not the emotional wallop that I'd expected.
Some have commented that they found the conversational scenes at the cafe bar to be boring, but aside from the context of this being a slow-paced melodrama, to me they were one of the most fascinating aspects of it. It was an interesting glimpse into the lives of small-business entrepreneurs and their social and business acquaintances, and some uproarious humor on occasion. Takuro-kun's apprenticeship was fascinating too, and his sensei Ryokosuke was a crackup - almost like he stepped off of the pages of Tolkien or Rowling. Great job by Maro Akaji in that role.
Finally, the theme song "Ashita" is indeed spectacular. That's Hirahara Ayaka? I didn't even recognize her - or more specifically, the song is so overwhelming in its gentle beauty that it left me too spellbound to wonder who gave voice to it. It's as good as "Avec Toi Toujours," the theme song for the dorama "Fufudo," sung by Missa Johnouchi. I wish the rest of the soundtrack were more than just light piano music, but I will likely order it anyway. "Ashita" alone is worth it.
If you are patient by nature, Yasashii Jikan is well worth the time spent - a truly memorable, often magical slice-of-life.
|Reviewed by Sakebitosan on 2 December 2009|
|2. ||Slow, but captivating [Rating: 10/10]|
I think the first thing I noticed about this drama was the music. The music is abosolutely breathtaking. Set against the snowy slopes of Hokkaidou, this drama uses Japan's beautiful scenery to the largest extent it can. It provides a beautiful, serenity-filled ambiance. It also, however, sets a rather slow pace - a slow pace that scares off fans who want drama, action, romance, and thrills, and aren't willing to wait patiently for a gentle drama to unfold.
Terao Akira is magnificant in his portrayal as a father embittered by the loss of his wife, and unable to face the son he loves dearly because of the role his son had in his wife's death - a reckless driving accident.
And Ninomiya Kazunari is nothing short of astounding in his role as the tentative son, hoping for the love that he is too scared to seek from his father. Ninomiya learns to deal with his rebellious past and the consequences of his actions, while Terao learns to deal with the loss of his wife.
And over time, the two must come together to reunite - in one of the most touching scenes Japanese drama has seen.
I found this drama captivating, and was glad at the change in genre - for something like Hana Yori Dango, I find it impossible to pace myself, buy would rather watch every episode back to back. But for Yasashii Jikan, I found myself watching an episode a day, and mulling it over before I went to bed every night. It was truly a magnificent drama, and I do pity those who can't finish it because it is too "slow". That is the nature of it, and for those who cannot handle slow, I suggest you seek a faster-paced drama. For those in need of a gentle, dynamically-performed drama, I recommend you take a look at Yasashii Jikan.
|Reviewed by summershine on 1 October 2007|
|3. ||Perfect in Every Way [Rating: 10/10]|
Yasashii Jikan is one of those dramas that take you for a slow, peaceful drive down a lane bridged with sweet smelling cherry blossoms with soft light filtering through on the wings of birds.
The story is riddled in a tragedy that unfolds like the tongue of a flame. At first the heat is gentle, and then slowly it begins to warm… then burn. A tale of father and son, I was instantly intrigued by the notion of learning about each character even tho the two never meet until much later. There are various characters that sweep in and out of the storyline and each one is nicely written and incorporated. I don’t think there was a single situation that made me feel a character was being misused/overused or simply unnecessary. It’s rare when a drama is so able to knead importance into each character mold.
Terao Akira instantly captivated me and I’ll be sure to pick up some of his other dramas. Nino managed not to annoy the crap out of me, and I’m convinced now that he is one of the very rare talented Johnny-boy actors. Nagasawa Masami was okay, but I was very grateful for Yo Kimiko, whom I adore.
I give this drama a 10/10. The theme song is beautiful, the filming is beautiful, the actors are beautiful, and the story is beautiful. What more could you ask for?
|Reviewed by Wynter on 13 April 2008|
|4. ||I'm sorry, but I couldn't forgive this one [Rating: 6/10]|
A VERY slow drama about a son who has been emotionally distanced from his father, although actually living physically right beside him since their falling out. To be honest, I was a little disappointed and annoyed with this drama - while the ending was predictable and satisfying, I wasn't moved by it in the way I originally thought I was going to be. And now thinking about it, there really wasn't much of a plot involved but rather a gradual revealing of the son and father's past. It was quite frustratingly slow, and although I usually have the tendency to forgive such slow paced dramas if they finish well, I don't believe the end of the drama justifies the sometimes painful process it took to get there. I felt Nagasawa's performance was incredibly strained and she didn't seem very comfortable portraying her role. While Ninomiya did a competent job, he seems a bit lacking not only in his own input into the character, but the character itself which lacked charm and warmness. The exquisite scenery and the father's acting presence saved the drama from falling into a melodramatic mess. 6.5/10
|Reviewed by dekatrain on 11 December 2007|
|5. ||Good and slow [Rating: 8/10]|
This drama set up with a really good first episode. It made me watch the whole drama in a row, each episode of it. It got a bit slower at half way and the ending was as expected. Though the ending was the point I was really expecting and it happened :)
This is not a tearjerker but a slowly based basic human drama with amazing acting. I've never liked Nino that much (even though he's been in lot of dramas I love) so I was lucky to find out this one was more about the father than the son. Nonetheless he did a splendid job and I must say I value him more from now on. All the actors/actresses were good ones. Though I disliked the character Masami played at some point :)
If you like slowly paced human drama with not much of surprising twists in the plot and you like the setting, this one will suck you in fully! In the end you get exactly what you wanted in the beginning of the show. That is also the only downside of this one... a drop of surprising moments couldn't have hurt.
Ps. Those scenes of Hokkaido are really making me wanna move there :)
|Reviewed by morical on 19 July 2009|
|6. ||One of Nino's Best... [Rating: 8/10]|
I know many people didn't like it, but you have to watch ALL of it, it gets very compelling in the end...the point of the story is to understand the relationship between a father and son split between their own rules of life...The ending was fair, sweet too, but it feels like there should have been a little more to it...I don't know, maybe revealing more of the father and sons relationship when it was healed...
Ninomiya does a very good job in portraying the character, although on some parts, he does seem to...miss a piece of emotion to the charcter...
The location was ABSOLUTELY beautiful, Hokkaido has the best snow I've ever seen, and the theme to this drama was perfect too, Hirahara Ayaka is a wonderful singer...
This drama I recommend for people with patients, want to enjoy a calm, still show, and understands the portrayal of this story...^_^
|Reviewed by Kirari Ililah on 10 April 2005|
|7. ||Time well spent! [Rating: 9/10]|
Watching this dorama was comparable to watching a picture in a picture frame slowly change and move you from one tableau to the next. While the pace was a bit slow for me, it certainly was quite appropriate and used the time exceptionally well to present the carefully prepared set and props. Certainly a dorama that heads off the beaten path a bit in presenation but its well worth your time.
|Reviewed by Shindou on 6 September 2008|
|8. ||Charming [Rating: 10/10]|
I found the slow nature of this drama really well done. It left me feeling content and peaceful and I really loved the performances in this drama. Don't expect any major developments or thrills though there are some events it's really not a show that relies on them to keep your interest. I also have to say the soundtrack was perfect for this I loved the theme song especially.
|Reviewed by MonsterZero65 on 18 August 2010|
|9. ||A very good dorama [Rating: 10/10]|
This is the drama that made me like Nino...finally. From the first few minutes of the drama you know that it'll be good. Nino's acting is amazing and so is the guy who plays his father. The drama is slow, but like a cup of coffee, you have to savour it and take your time. The ending left me in tears. Amazing drama, you gotta watch it.
|Reviewed by dreamraine on 13 January 2006|
|10. ||Lovely! [Rating: 9/10]|
This is a lovely series. I cried a fair bit in just the first few episodes. Such a sad beginning, but what a lovely, graceful ending. Really a must see, with wonderful acting all around and beautiful scenery.
|Reviewed by Susan on 5 August 2006|
|11. ||picturesque surroundings [Rating: 8/10]|
it's very beautiful and has a very strong setting. a bit slow paced. i just loved it when it nearly got to the end. you have to watch all of it to make a good judgement. very memorable
|Reviewed by monta on 3 March 2007|
|12. ||No bells-and-whistles entertainment here [Rating: 9/10]|
Masterfully executed with taste and sensitivity, this slow-paced drama is pure delight with its first-rate cast, great music score and a perfectly fitting winter backdrop.
|Reviewed by shari on 4 June 2007|
|13. ||Not to be missed, deep and true [Rating: 10/10]|
Perhaps the most beautifully told, subtle drama Ive seen yet. Extraordinary scenery and filmwork, first class acting...I could go on an on...........
|Reviewed by Eve on 12 November 2007|
|Comments From Users (90)|
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Comments by fybabe [Rating: 10/10]|
I've finished it! It's soooo beautiful! I watched it for Nino at first (never seen him act before), but he blended into the story so well that you actually lost your attention on him and concentrate on the plot/other characters instead. I don't find it 'slow' like most of the other reviews. Rather I thought it's shot like a movie style/pace than the average dorama.
And the theme song is awesome!
However, I thought that Nino could have portrayed a more 'rebellious' type character according to the story. He is too docile to have that comflicting edgyness...
BUT, strangely, the ending is so hopelessly touching that the whole time I just want to give Nino a big hug... he really tugs at your heartstrings at the end.
A must watch if you're looking for something more warm and mellow then the average quick and noisy stereotypes.
|2. ||Comments by sucigam [Rating: 8/10]|
This is a drama you really have to be in the right mood to watch since it's slow moving with an emphasis on characters rather than story. It gets quite compelling as I became more attatched to the characters as the story progressed and when it finally ended I was genuinely moved. The writer of the show obviously has a very good understanding of his characters(especially his older ones) and the only downfalls come from some scenes that become way to melodramatic(pretty much any scene nagasawa is crying). On a side note, Yo Kimiko also has the best performance I've seen from her by FAR, I was very impressed with how she under acted her role.
Reccomended watching on a lazy weekend :).
|3. ||Comments by moonchyld [Rating: 7/10]|
watched it for nagasawa masami. i kinda found her portrayal here disturbing, esp when she blanks out as she drops plates.. her expression shows something deeper and more warped than the explanation that she has suicidal tendencies. anyway the drama was overall not too bad, but it's not the kind that would get you hooked. i didn't see how the customers and their stories had any effect on the progression of the drama, that's why I guess most people found this extremely dragging. With the title, I think the drama is meant to be slow and gentle and beautiful; it is - but it lacked the most important thing of all - depth.
|4. ||Comments by EstherM [Rating: 10/10]|
An instant classic. It just feels right on so many levels. The sets and the scenery are amazing, as well as timeless - this drama will age really well. Pace is slow but not too slow, and it´s easy to watch again and again. Acting is well done - even the weakest links give performances of their lives. The day-to-day live of our protagonists feels real and we can relate to their personal dramas or demons. Guest stars and secondary characters are also well fleshed out. In short: a lovely tale!
|5. ||Comments by mmyy [Rating: 9/10]|
This is from the same writer as Haikei, Chichiue-sama, again with the potentially amazing Nino in it. I loved Haikei, and Yasashii Jikan did not disappoint. It's amazingly humane and warm, with a very touching portrayal of a strained relationship between father and son. I haven't seen Nino cried so much in a show. This is a slow piece by general standards, but I found it gripping enough to finish it in two days. A serious, down-to-earth human drama can be entertaining too.
|6. ||Comments by aiscess [Rating: 8/10]|
For the story, I give it an 7 and +1 for the setting, since I come from a country with no winter season. About the fated reunion, since it's father and son, and not the usual father and daughter or mother and son, their reuniting scene was not too emotional. I was not really surprise. Master's misunderstandings of Taku was already answered as the episodes went on so it was not that hard for him when they finally saw each other. But not on Taku's case though.
|7. ||Comments by loveaomori [Rating: 1/10]|
A man working at a cafe who wait 11 episodes to meet his son whom he argued with.... No!! It's not what you think!! It's not interesting at all!!!!!! It will be more interesting to take a camera and film me in toilets. Yes certainly more interesting. And the young waitress just pissed me off! Oh I broke a plate!! sorry!! oh I'm completely stupid!! oh sorry! Nothing in this dorama. The only satisfaction in it is....... sorry I can't find one! je t'ai casse!
|8. ||Comments by Tiffany [Rating: 5/10]|
What can I say? Ninomiya is a brilliant actor; everytime I watch his doramas, I feel that he is PERFECT for that role! I have yet to find a dorama that proves this wrong. However, as for this series itself, I felt it moved at too slow of a pace to truly enjoy. It was not just the storyline that moved slowly, but every person seemed to be moving in slow motion, and that proved to be incredibly frustrating.
|9. ||Comments by Eyeyore [Rating: 9/10]|
Got to get myself a coffee grinder, book myself a ticket to Hokkaido in autumn…..and oops, cut down on my coffee – it’s my 12th cup now. I am going crazy over this all guys’ story. You don't need a pretty gal in this setting or the branded clothes to catch the eye. The story is slow all right, but the crackling firewood, sound from grinding coffee beans, birds chirping is so calming.
|10. ||Comments by sadacori [Rating: 8/10]|
This is a nice story about an estranged father and son, who gradually come to find themselves wanting to reunite with each other.
I thought this was a poignant story and the acting was done well. I was particularly surprised at the fine job that Nino did in this drama, as the son with a tormented past.
Though this drama is slow-paced, it was a well-told story and I recommend it.
|11. ||Comments by Shindou [Rating: 9/10]|
Well-written and well-acted! The script and cinematography was excellent in this series with some very artistic shots. Terao Akira and Nino both do an exemplary job portraying their characters. My favourite part of the series were all those one on ones between Terao Akira and Ohtake Shinobu - certainly added colour to the storyline and a bit more depth to the characters. Bravo!
|12. ||Comments by kaonashi [Rating: 7/10]|
Surely not a drama where you can't wait to find out how it'll end, but if you're in the mood for a slow & gentle drama, it's not that bad. The episodes are fairly short & they're not overdoing the story or dragging out on things.
I'd say this drama's good for beeing a mediocre one & I'm giving it a 7- for its peaceful touch & beautiful scenery.
|13. ||Comments by dekatrain [Rating: 6/10]|
A VERY slow drama about a son who has been emotionally distanced from his father, although actually living physically right beside him since their falling out. To be honest, I was a little disappointed and annoyed with this drama - while the ending was predictable and satisfying, I wasn't moved by it in the way I originally thought I was going to be.
|14. ||Comments by Kawaii Kinomoto [Rating: 8/10]|
it's so sad how nino always gets stuck with the horrible/broken up families in his dramas... lol... but OMG!!!! THIS SHOW IS SOOOOOOO SAD!!!! IT MADE ME CRY SO MUCH!!!! plot is kinda slow and boring(especially some of the scenes in the coffee house) but really sweet and cute as well!! great acting... especially from nino!!! luv ya tons nino!!!!
|15. ||Comments by Jessicasoon [Rating: 8/10]|
it's abit slow and silent for me due to the numerous old people talks. but nino's parts are so touching that i racked the points up for this drama by alot. i don't really like the young female lead. she's crazy. nino deserves better girls. i cried so much for nino so i'll say it's worth nino's effort in this drama.
|16. ||Comments by yo-chan [Rating: 9/10]|
Yasashii Jikan is just the perfect title for this. It's slow an quiet, yet a really really beautiful dorama! Within the beautiful landscape of Hokkaido we get to know father and son, who, with the help of a girl, get together again after years of emotional isolation.
Nino does such a good job at this!
|17. ||Comments by Kirari Ililah [Rating: 8/10]|
One of Nino's best character portrayals, some ups and downs, but one of his great roles...
This drama you should be patient with, and enjoy the elegance they reveal, with the location, and father & son relationship that steadily becomes more intense, the truth revealed between both characters...
|18. ||Comments by kinkitsuyo [Rating: 9/10]|
Watched 2 episodes so far... I shld be continuing with it... ( I am watching for the sake of Nino) Compared to other jdoramas of the same season, this is significantly slower pace (partly explained the drop in ratings). However, scenery is nice, and cast is not toobad so far.
|19. ||Comments by Kiyomi L. Denise [Rating: 5/10]|
Yeap. Bought it. BOUGHT IT!!! Oh My God. I regret. Since I bought it, i have to finish WATCHING it!! My, my... Right, it wasn't THAT bad. But look at my rating, it wasn't THAT good either. Anyway, for Nino, anything's worth it... *sob* (i shouldn't have bought it)...
|20. ||Comments by atleast13 [Rating: ?/10]|
honestly, i love all nino dramas. this guy can act. but i often wonder what if he's given the role of a happy guy. would he be able to pull it off. this guy belongs to the darkside. terao is a very, very good actor. but he only has 4 dramas so i wonder if he's new.
|21. ||Comments by WhiteHawk [Rating: 10/10]|
Although the pace is different from that of other dramas, the cast is excellent and the writing is top-notch. The main plot is very human, and the sub-plots are very entertaining. And it's set on Hokkaido, so the scenery is wonderful. Even the heavy snows.
|22. ||Comments by ainangst [Rating: 10/10]|
very calming, very beautiful. Wonderful cast (Master RULEZ! masami so sweet...her character is so flawed its endearing). Ninomiya Kazunari made me cry yet again...now its tears of joy. Perfect climax for the story. Still thinking of Taku's tears...
|23. ||Comments by Marit [Rating: 8/10]|
I don`t understand why ppl tell it is not worth watching or that it is not very good jdorama.. I love it.. Love the atmosphere there.. althought yes, it is a slowpaced jdorama, but why should it be a jdorama that has in every episode action? :S
|24. ||Comments by selphie086 [Rating: 6/10]|
It's a slow plot,a little too slow for me sometimes.I enjoyed the father-son relationship thing but the in between stories that happened was a little too draggy for me.Watched it initially for Nino.He gave a wonderful performance here.
|25. ||Comments by shortmei [Rating: 9/10]|
Slow-paced but extremely heartwarming. Lovely view of Hokkaido too. The father-son relationship was quite interesting and had me wanting to know how things turned out. Definitely a drama I don't regret seeing.
|26. ||Comments by Susan [Rating: 9/10]|
This is a lovely series. I cried a fair bit in just the first few episodes. Such a sad beginning, but what a lovely, graceful ending. Really a must see, with wonderful acting all around and beautiful scenery.
|27. ||Comments by Ged [Rating: ?/10]|
Oh, not quite done yet, two episodes left to watch. But It is a wonderful touching story. Even though it is a littel slow sometimes, I enjoyed the change of pace, and the relaxed atmosphere of the Cafe.
|28. ||Comments by sasukekun6 [Rating: 7/10]|
Extremely slow paced but is a good story. It might be difficult to watch for someone really new to J-dramas. The casting was alright but not awesome. The scenery was very nice.
|29. ||Comments by Hinano [Rating: 3/10]|
I couldn't even make it through episode 1 & out of curiosity I scrolled through 2 & 3 and ended up deleting everything. I won't even watch this for Nino's sake u_u;
|30. ||Comments by buzzybug [Rating: 10/10]|
Another superb acting by a superb actor!!! I can see a different Nino in here... and Azu-chan did a very good job too... I love the scenery, and the soundtrack, is good
Read all 90 comments from users
|Users who voted for this drama (18)|
An amazing drama that only a few appreciative can enjoy. The music was astounding, Hirahara Ayaka being the perfect singer for this with her songs. Ashita and Arigatou...
Of course I can't forget to mention Nino. 'Tis the first drama of his I've ever watched after seeing him in Iwo Jima, and my expectations were met and much more.
Everytime I watch an episode I can't help but feel peaceful and absorbed into the drama, as if I'm a bystander watching the wonderful nature of Hokkaidou and seeing the life of the people there with my own eyes.
For those that have patience and has a finely tuned taste, I highly recommend you watch this.
truly deserve my vote. At first i didn't like the way Nino portrayed Taku, but half through watching the series, i came to understand Taku's role & forget about Nino.
It calms the soul & you'll discover a different side of Japanese Dorama
I love the scenery, the whole idea of such a coffe shop and of course the intricate relationships portrait. The slow pace and the snow just enhanced the magic.
First time I really noticed Yo Kimiko as an impressive actress.
A beautifully crafted, gently-paced drama about father and son relationships. And Hokkaido, Hokkaido...if I could live there I would, what a beautiful place!
A touching tale of the relationship and love between a father and son set in a slow moving storyline. The cinematography and OST fits the story very well.
Tugs at my heartstrings at the end... Don't misunderstand me, definitely not a tear jerker. Just a really warm and touching story between father and son.
Wonderful setting. I actually loved the sluggish pace of the drama. Excellent acting and a heartwarming drama. Would definitely see again.
very heavy, in my opinion.. plot is good albeit a bit dragging.. every episode is a guaranteed tearjerker..
for the song, for calming my nerves, for the snow, for the autumn leaves, for the witty script
One of the best dramas of the year. Great actors and great script.
beautifully made! and as always, nino-chan's acting was superb!
soo beautiful and heart touching T___T :D
Perfect in every way.