Long Vacation

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Long Vacation
Long vacation.png
Long Vacation title card
GenreDrama, romance
Written byEriko Kitagawa
Directed byKōzō Nagayama
Masayuki Suzuki
Hirotsugu Usui
StarringTakuya Kimura
Tomoko Yamaguchi
Opening themeLa La La Love Song (Toshinobu Kubota) with Naomi Campbell
Country of originJapan
Original language(s)Japanese
No. of series1
No. of episodes11
Original networkFuji TV
Original release15 April –
24 June 1996

Long Vacation (ロングバケーション, also known as ロンバケ) is a Japanese television drama series from Fuji Television, first shown in Japan from 15 April to 24 June 1996. Takuya Kimura and Tomoko Yamaguchi played the lead characters. The series enjoyed high ratings and was the earliest of a series of hit productions starring Kimura. It features music by Cagnet.


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.

Minami meets a professional photographer, Sugisaki, who proposes marriage. Finally Sena has a chance of winning a piano competition and going to Boston, joining the symphony orchestra.

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 portrays how relationships are made and broken, and explores how people come to depend on each other for solace.



  • Hidetoshi Sena (24) – An ambitious pianist with dreams of the big time. After graduating from music school, he teaches at a children's piano school for a small income. He lives in an apartment with a baby grand piano in the living room. Sena practises for piano competitions throughout the series. Despite his seemingly very adept technical ability and Sasaki's high opinion of Sena's playing, Sena constantly meets with failure. The reason for this becomes clearer as the story unfolds. Momoko calls him "Ayrton" because his surname resembles that of former motor-racing world champion Ayrton Senna. He suffers many harsh remarks from arrogant student Takako, but still helps her in her struggle with life.
  • Minami Hayama (31) – An independent and uninhibited 30-year-old woman. Once in demand as a fashion model, she now works as a small-time model on increasingly infrequent jobs. She is unlucky in love: Her fiancé elopes with a younger woman on their wedding day. Through a series of circumstances, Minami comes to stay in Sena's house. Their deepening relationship is a main thread of the drama.
  • Shinji Hayama – Minami's younger brother. A loafer and notorious womanizer, he is also a talented pianist who is later revealed to have had a promising piano career. He comes to Tokyo with his girlfriend Rumiko, relying on pachinko winnings to foot the bill. He later buys a bar and runs it with her.
  • Ryoko Okusawa – A very talented pianist but shy with a sheltered upbringing. She is a student in the same music school that Sena graduated from and considered a future star. Sena develops a crush on her but she seems indifferent toward him. Shinji briefly seduces her but later leaves her.
  • Momoko Koishikawa – Minami's junior in the modelling company and a close friend of Minami. Despite her ditzy manner, she sometimes makes insightful observations and offers useful advice.
  • Rumiko Himuro – Shinji's girlfriend.
  • Professor Sasaki – Sena's mentor and former professor. He often encourages Sena to enter piano competitions.
  • Takako Saito – A child prodigy who is taught by Sena for a brief time. Initially, her attitude toward Sena is disrespectful.
  • Tetsuya Sugisaki – A dashing professional photographer who falls for Minami.


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


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