1hr 51mins

The Zen Diary is based on one of Japan’s leading authors, Tsutomu Mizukami’s essay on food and cooking. This meditative film blends a full array of Zen cuisine recipes and the beautiful scenery of Japan’s four seasons within a soul-enriching story of the bonds of memory and love.

This film screens as part of The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024.

The theme for this year's programme is: Unforgettable: Memories, Times and Reflections in Japanese Cinema

To see our full season click here:

Unfortunately no Audio Description track is available for this feature.
Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024
Yuji Nakae
Contains Foreign Language Subtitles

Tsutomu (Kenji Sawada) is a writer who resides in a secluded mountain cabin in Nagano.

Tsutomu lives with his dog and the ashes of his late wife, Yaeko, who passed away 13 years ago.

His days are filled with harvesting vegetables, all of which he uses to prepare his meals.

He uses the cooking method he learnt when he was seconded to a temple when he was young.

His girlfriend and editor, Machiko (Takako Matsu), occasionally visits from Tokyo.

Their shared cooking experiences deepen their relationship. His quirky mother-in-law, Chie (Tomoko Naraoka), is another of his close bonds in his relatively solitary life.

One day, Tsutomu finds Chie dead in her house, and he gradually faces the loss of her.

He takes on the task of arranging her funeral and a big feast to commemorate her food.

Following the funeral, Tsutomu invites Machiko to stay with him at the mountain cabin permanently, an offer she considers seriously.

However, a turn of events occurs that could change their relationship, leaving both with new emotions and decisions to

Book your tickets

Tue 26 Mar