If you’ve ever visited Japan, chances are your first stop in the country has been a big, bustling metropolis like Osaka or Tokyo. While the enormous flat screens, heaving intersections and impressive skyscrapers make for some memorable photo moments, it’s the serene, picturesque country towns that really hold the true essence and beauty of Japan.
For those of us who can’t make a trip out to soak in the serenity of the countryside, there’s a short, three-and-a-half minute film that will transport us there. If you loved Chihiro’s tranquil train ride in the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away, you’ll love this touching video, which introduces us to a stationmaster called Miyako, who waves at all her departing passengers—and keeps waving until they disappear into the horizon—showing us just how moving a simple gesture can be.
The film, simply titled Miyako, was shot by the clearly enormously talented Erez Sitzer, who came across a very special place in Hyogo Prefecture called Hokkeguchi Station. Surrounded by nought but rice fields and distant hills, the station is a small, quaint structure servicing a single-carriage train on the Hōjō line.
While the place is certainly picturesque, it’s a young stationmaster called Miyako who enhances the beauty of the scene with her gloved hands, charming banter, and careful, precise movements.
When the train departs and continues on its journey towards the pale pink horizon, Miyako does something strangely moving. It’s a gesture seen at stations around the world, but the way in which she does it is enough to make your chest swell and bring a tear to your eye.
Now if only we could convince our significant others to send us off to work every morning in the same manner as Miyako. Wouldn’t that be something?