58 user 39 critic

The Garden of Words (2013)

Koto no ha no niwa (original title)
1:27 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A 15-year-old boy and 27-year-old woman find an unlikely friendship one rainy day in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.


Makoto Shinkai


Makoto Shinkai
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Miyu Irino ... Takao Akizuki (voice)
Kana Hanazawa Kana Hanazawa ... Yukari Yukino (voice)
Fumi Hirano ... Takao's Mother (voice)
Gou Maeda Gou Maeda ... Takao no ani (voice)
Takeshi Maeda Takeshi Maeda ... Takao's Brother (voice)
Yuka Terasaki Yuka Terasaki ... Takao's Brother's Girlfriend (voice)
Takanori Hoshino Takanori Hoshino ... Itou-sensei (voice)
Suguru Inoue Suguru Inoue ... Matsumoto (voice)
Megumi Han Megumi Han ... Satou (voice)
Mikako Komatsu Mikako Komatsu ... Aizawa (voice)
Yuki Hayashi Yuki Hayashi ... Moriyama (voice)
Wataru Sekine Wataru Sekine ... Young Takao (voice)
Risa Mizuno Risa Mizuno ... (voice)
Hiroshi Shimozaki Hiroshi Shimozaki ... (voice)
Kuniko Ishijima Kuniko Ishijima ... (voice)


Takao, who dreams of becoming a shoemaker, skips school and is sketching shoes in a garden in the middle of Tokyo. He meets a mysterious woman, Yukino, who is older than him. Then, without arranging the times, the two start to see each other again and again, but only on rainy days. Written by unknown

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A boy who tries to make shoes, and a woman who has lost the ability to walk. See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





Japanese | English

Release Date:

31 May 2013 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Garden of Words See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CoMix Wave See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was created using a combination of hand-drawn animation, rotoscoping and computer animation (CGI), with the latter facilitating the realistic appearance of the film's rain sequences. See more »


Yukari Yukino: I've always been here, stuck in the same place
See more »


Referenced in Your Name. (2016) See more »


Lyrics and Music by Senri Oe
Performed by Motohiro Hata
Arrangement: Makoto Minagawa. Akifumi Tada
© 1988 by Sony Music Artists Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A beautiful visual story, with not too much else to tell
11 October 2017 | by ashild-blovvigSee all my reviews

Within the first few seconds, you know you're in for a treat for your eyes. The animation in this movie so well done and pleasing to watch. It's one of the better animations I've seen, at least when it comes to the environment (the people are animated pretty much just like most other anime movies). There are so many details and work put into this.

We meet the boy Takao quickly through his narration. It's both beautiful to listen to and at the same time kind of funny, since he is only 15 and he makes it sound like an angsty diary entry. He like the rain, and shoes. He skips school to go to the park when it rains, where he meets a woman. They seem to have the same idea of going to the park on rainy days. He finds out eventually that he wants to design shoes for her.

The movie is unintentionally funny in its fixation in shoes and feet. In one way, it almost framed in a fetishized way, on the other hand, its very sweet and beautiful to watch.

The movie is very short, so there is not much time for character development or to let the story unravel in a slow pace. I don't know myself why Shinkai didn't make it longer (time or money or both probably), but if he could've made it longer, he should have. It has lots of promise, and would be way more interesting if it could tackle their relationship more, especially based on the massive taboo on age difference in Japan. It misses out on some really good opportunities for telling a deeper story.

There's a climax where there is a lot of feelings and crying going on and it is, unfortunately, bombarded with really loud emotional music. The dialogue is intense and almost violent, and at the same time kind of silly in a strange way. The music almost drowns out the dialogue and there is anger and sadness and love and it all happens so fast and in an intense way it's hard to know what to feel.

I really wanted to like this movie more than I did. It has a lot of potential, the animation, again, is gorgeous, the story is cute, but with not much substance (of course it has some, it tackles some issues of the woman, Yukari, for example, but not deeply enough. Everything is told so fast you'll almost miss it). I do want to see more of Shinkai (this is the first one I see), because I have no doubt he has made things better than this, and I look forward to see it.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed