In a Lost in Translation-style, Director Jason Paul Laxamana gives us a coming-of-age story about two Filipinos finding love and maturity in a foreign land.
The majority of the story is set in the beautiful Saga Prefecture in Japan but the place did not just serve as a backdrop for the two main characters, it is almost like a character in itself. In the film, a famous actress (Julia Baretto) flies to Japan on a whim and meets a blue-collar immigrant (Gerald Anderson) while Saga has become like a friend they can run into to give comfort and peace.
You have to watch the film to see how the wonder of Saga played out, but if you haven’t, we can tell you just about what to expect! We’ve got a list of the places featured in the film and please take note because these might be the next places you’ll fall in love with and visit in a heartbeat!
1. Oyster BBQ Restaurant SONO
This is where Louie, Gerald’s character, was working when she met Hazel, Julia’s character. Before exploring around Saga, why not start with a good meal here? The place looks super comfy and with its spacious area, you can definitely bring a whole ‘barkada’ here, but it definitely seems to be solo-flight friendly as well. The best part is, you can pick and cook your own food from their set of fresh seafood offerings! Maybe you can even chitchat with the very caring owner, Ms Sadako! I wonder if she’s real though.
2. Rokuroza Pottery
Rokuroza is a small studio where you can try out things such as porcelain making. What an artsy way to relax indeed! Hazel and Louie themselves bonded over here while painting a ceramic plate. You can ship your masterpiece to your home but it takes a couple of weeks though. Quite a wait, but when you finally receive it, I’m sure it will feel like such an achievement.
3. Takezaki Castle
This historic castle is at the edge of the peninsula overlooking the sea. It was used to watch out for incoming enemies. Unfortunately, we have to settle for this re-creation because the original castle was ruined and reduced to nothing but walls. But I love how it reminds you that destruction or failure is not the end because you can always rebuild anything, just like how Hazel and Louie have started over again with their own lives.
4. Kaichu Torii (Torii under the sea)
Torii gates, in Japanese culture, symbolize the transition from mundane to sacred. These red giants appear and disappear depending on ocean tides. In the film, we can see Hazel and Louie walking through these gates and as soon as the scene ends, there’s a weird refreshing feeling that comes about. The whole view itself is like a result of cleansing. Who wouldn’t want then to visit such a sacred place with such a scenic view!
5. Saga Shrine
Even though the Saga Shrine was not given spotlight in the film’s final cut, it still deserves a full mention in this article. Usually, they say that tourists are attracted to shrines like this because there’s a belief that you can wish here and make your dreams come true! So whether you’re alone or you’re with someone when you go here, you can definitely believe and try, there’s no harm to it! Besides, don’t we all have dreams we still long for?
There’s so much to discover indeed in Japan and Between Maybes has proven that even the quietest and tourist-less places in it can give you the best vacation you could ever imagine.
Right now, while you’re reading this, you may only be dreaming to set foot in these places, but you never know, like Hazel and Louie, you can definitely make things happen!