One day, he sees a letter his wife wrote before she died, asking him to spread her ashes by the river near her hometown on the southern island of Kyushu. The request sets him on a journey on which he meets strangers and hears their stories, including another widower (Takeshi Kitano), and two food-stall cooks (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of Smap, and Koichi Sato).
As the story unfolds, the audience sees Eiji's loving memories of his wife contrasting with the lonely stories of his friends on the road who have drifted from their loved ones. Soon, Eiji realises he is different from them - a traveller, not a drifter - because he has his love and memories of his beloved wife.
The old-school film may not have a dramatic storyline or an over-the-top ending, though there is a nice twist in one cook's story. But it is a touching film that forces us to take a break in our hectic lives and think about the relationships that count.
YP Rating: 4/5