Long Vacation

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Long Vacation
Long Vacation DVD/Blu-Ray cover
GenreDrama, romance
Written byEriko Kitagawa[1]
Directed byKōzō Nagayama
Masayuki Suzuki
Hirotsugu Usui
StarringTakuya Kimura
Tomoko Yamaguchi
Opening themeLa La La Love Song (Toshinobu Kubota)
Country of originJapan
Original languageJapanese
No. of series1
No. of episodes11
Original release
NetworkFuji TV
Release15 April (1996-04-15) –
24 June 1996 (1996-06-24)

Long Vacation (ロングバケーション, also known as ロンバケ[2]) is a Japanese television drama series from Fuji Television, first shown in Japan from 15 April to 24 June 1996.[3]

The show's high ratings in Japan made Takuya Kimura popular in the Asia-Pacific region and is known as "The King of Ratings".[4] It also made Tomoko Yamaguchi a known actress in Japan.[5]

The characters in the series have something in common: if not jobless, they can do no better than secure a temporary job. This is a portrayal of a time when Japan was plagued by deep recession, when its people suffered profound depression from constant failure to earn a stable income. The series also portrays how relationships are made and broken, and explores how people come to depend on each other for solace.


Minami and Sena meet when Sena's apartment-mate, Asakura, jilts Minami on their wedding day. Minami learns from Sena that Asakura has left, whereabouts unknown. Sena allows Minami to move into the apartment, since she is penniless, having given all her money to Asakura, and cannot pay the rent on her apartment.

This is the beginning of a romance between Sena and Minami. Minami and Sena confide in and console each other about their relationship problems and their lack of success in life. Sena has a crush on his junior, Ryoko. However, Ryoko does not feel the same, instead, she falls for Minami's little brother Shinji.

Minami meets a professional photographer, Sugisaki, who proposes marriage. Although Sugisaki fits Minami's ideal, she feels unsure about her feeling. Meanwhile, Sena has a chance of winning a piano competition and going to Boston, joining the symphony orchestra. After he wins the contest, he proposes Minami to marry and go with him to Boston.



Episode Date Rating (%)
01 15 April 1996 30.6
02 22 April 1996 28.3
03 29 April 1996 29.0
04 6 May 1996 27.6
05 13 May 1996 27.9
06 20 May 1996 25.5
07 27 May 1996 27.7
08 3 June 1996 29.9
09 10 June 1996 29.1
10 17 June 1996 28.6
11 24 June 1996 36.7


The theme song was La La La Love Song by Toshinobu Kubota.[6]


Long Vacation was released on DVD in Japan on 21 November 2001.[7] At the time it was released, it had a limited edition booklet released alongside the first 5,000 DVD copies.[8]


A novelization of Long Vacation was written by Eriko Kitagawa.[9]


It was formerly broadcast in Hong Kong.[9] In the US, it was formerly aired via KTSF TV with English subtitles.[9]

On 22 July 2020, Viu announced that they have acquired the streaming rights to broadcast Long Vacation to Southeast Asia with regional subtitles alongside Love Generation, A Sleeping Forest, The Ordinary People, Hundred Million Stars From The Sky and the Hero series.[10]


When the series debuted in Japan, it was so popular with the female audience that the expression The Office Lady disappears on Monday from the city (月曜日はOLが街から消える, Getsuyōbi wa OL ga machi kara kieru) was used to highlight its fanbase.[3] This was because the series was broadcast on Monday evenings. The episodes had an average rating of 29.5% of viewers, with the final episode reaching 36.7%.[3] According to a research study conducted by NHK in 2009, the bulk of viewers were those who were teenagers (13 or older), at 40% of viewers, the second group were from those in their twenties at 34%. [11]

The series was popular with viewers in Hong Kong thanks to pirated VCD copies sold there before the show was legally broadcast.[9]

On 11 November 2019, Fuji TV announced that photos and props from the show were on display at Fuji TV's Headquarters in Odaiba to highlight the most popular dramas viewed through the Heisei Era in an exhibit until January 2020.[3]

According to Television, Japan and Globalization, the themes of finding happiness are embodied through Minami when she mentions of her right to seek happiness by herself instead of getting married.[12] This view is centered on people's lives when they look for existential meaning.[12]


  1. ^ Schilling, Mark (20 February 2009). "'Halfway'". The Japan Times.
  2. ^ "ロングバケーション ロケ地ガイド". loca.ash.jp.
  3. ^ a b c d "【ロングバケーション】 「主人公が『好き』と言わないラブストーリーを目指した」<平成の月9を振り返る>". 3 November 2019.
  4. ^ Corp, ABS-CBN. "12 Iconic Takuya Kimura Dramas to Watch on Viu". Metro.Style.
  5. ^ "山口智子「(木村拓哉は)輝きが半端じゃなかった」大ヒットドラマ『ロングバケーション』の裏話を語る<おしゃれクリップ>". Web The Television. 15 July 2020.
  6. ^ "The Baddest - Hit Parade (CD) Toshinobu Kubota". South China Morning Post. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  7. ^ "ロングバケーション". 21 November 2001.
  8. ^ "ポニーキャニオン - ロングバケーション:DVD". 27 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Clements & Tamamuro 2003, p. 165.
  10. ^ "Viu acquires exclusive OTT rights to 12 iconic Takuya Kimura dramas". 23 July 2020.
  11. ^ Abe, Yasuhiko. "テレビドラマの「軸」なき変転 ~20代女性のドラマ受容の考察~" (PDF). NHK放送文化研究所年報2009.
  12. ^ a b Yoshihiro, Tsai & Choi 2010, p. 213.


  • Clements, Jonathan; Tamamuro, Motoko (2003). The Dorama Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese TV Drama Since 1953. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1880656815.
  • Yoshihiro, Mitsuhiro; Tsai, Eva; Choi, JungBong (2010). Television, Japan, and Globalization. University of Michigan Center For Japanese Studies. ISBN 978-1929280599.

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