Zetsumeshi Road


The Road to Red Restaurants List

Zetsumeshi Road

is a series of 24-minute episodes in which an employee ("sarari man") goes looking for "endangered" food on the weekend. The stories are based on true events, but are portrayed with actors. The protagonist Tomi drives about 100 to 200 km out of Tokyo on Friday evening and spends the night in his Honda FREED minivan. On Saturday, he has lunch at a Japanese restaurant with endangered foods. In the evening he returns to Tokyo, where his wife Kanae and his daughter Tsumugi have returned from their weekend trip to shows of a boy band.
The series shows everyday life in Japan and the surroundings of Tokyo as well as typical Japanese food. In addition, there is always a philosophically tinged subplot.

Movie Date

Title: Zetsumeshi Road
Original title: 絶メシロード
Published: 2020
Length: 24 minutes, 12 episodes in season 1

Director: Yusuke Sugai, Yuichi Onuma, Hiroto Hara
Script: Hayashi Mori, Hiroki Murakami, Manbo Yashiro

Takayuki Hamamatsu: Tamio Suda "sarari man"
Wakana Sakai: Kanae Suda, his wife
Ruka Nishimura: Tsumugi Suda, his daughter
Koji Yamamoto: Tsutomo Kaburagi, another camper
and many other actors in the episodes.

Episode 1

Takachan - Udon

After 132 km, Tamio reaches a parking lot on the shore of Lake Yamanaka (山中湖畔) on Friday evening. The next day he prays for better weather at the Kitaguchi-Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine (北口本宮冨士浅間神社). At TAKACHAN UDON (たかちゃん うどん) he eats a meat udon.
The subplot involves a presentation that he is editing for his subordinate colleague Horiuchi.

Episode 2

Tomi Big Choice - Pork sauté

Tomi spends the night at the Nakanoshima Bridge (中の島大橋), the highest pedestrian bridge in Japan. He meets Tsutomo, a camper in a Toyota motorhome, for the first time. In Kisarazu-shi (木更津市) he finds the TOMI (とみ) restaurant with a huge choice. He orders the most expensive dish in the restaurant, pork sauté.
The subplot is about visions at work and the meaning of life.

Episode 3

Chinese Restaurant Kochin - Ramen

This time Tomi spends the night in a parking lot at Lake Haruna (榛名湖) 1.084 m. There are a lot of stones in the Kochin (香珍) restaurant. It is better for the elderly owner if all guests order the same thing. So Tomi takes a large portion of ramen.
The subplot is about Kohai (後輩) and Sempai (先輩) in the company, i.e. Junior and Senior colleagues.

Episode 4

Tonkatsu Hajime - Pork meat

Tomi stays at Ito Marine Town (伊東マリンタウン), a seaside hot spring resort, 131 km from home. On Saturday morning he visits the spa and washes himself extremely thoroughly. He meets the other camper Tsutomo again, who shows him the inside of his 62,000 Euro motorhome. On Saturday he finds the restaurant Tonkatsu Hajime (とんかつ はじめ). There he receives the mixed plate, which is very plentiful and mandatory for all new customers.
The subplot involves his body odor, which is criticized by his daughter, and a competition of ideas with Horiuchi.

Episode 5

Kokoro - Daily special

Tomi first goes to the industrial port of Kashima (KASHIMA Kombinat, 鹿嶋 コンビナート) to see it at night. The next morning he drives past the Kawaguchi Shrine (川口神社) and comes to Japan's largest fishing port, Choshi. In the restaurant KOKORO (心) he receives the daily special with the desired sea food and is chatting with the somewhat bitter female owner.
The subplot is about frictions in everyday marital life.

Episode 6

The Cabin - Hamburger Stew and Curry

Tomi goes to Yokosuka-shi (横須賀市), south of Tokyo. The ambience has southern flair with palm-lined streets. (By the way, the port is the HQ of the US 7th Fleet). The restaurant "The Cabin" was once famous for its jazz sessions.
The subplot is about the colleague Nishino, who opens a tea trade, about hobbies and the ubiquitous wishes "Enjoy life. Have fun!".

Episode 7

Paris - Omu Reis

Tamio stays overnight in Minoyama Park (美の山公園) 583 m above sea level and visits the Chichibu Bridge and the Chichibu Shrine. He finds an old-fashioned restaurant in the historic center of Chichibu-shi (秩父市). Noteworthy is the lettering PARIS (ーリパ) on a black background above the door, which is written in traditional way from right to left respecting the french pronouncation.
The grandson in the restaurant has always helped his grandfather, the owner, but it is unclear whether he will continue to run the restaurant.
The subplot is about the colleague Horiuchi and his activities on social media. Tamio is considering whether he should become active there too.

Episode 8

Yakisoba Sakurai - Yakisoba

This time Tamio takes the Tohoku Highway (東北自動車道) to the north. He spends the night at the Kazo Watarase (道の駅加須わたらせ) rest area, visits the Watarase reservoir and a place where the four prefectures of Saitama, Kochigi, Gunma and Tochigi meet.
At Yakisoba Sakurai(やきそば さくらい) restaurant in Tochigi-shi (栃木市), there is just a single table, a coffee before lunch and a fit businessman as client paying digitally. The life story of the owners is unusual.
The subplot is about smoking and the importance of a cleanly maintained home.

Episode 9

Road Park Menoura - Noto Ramen fresh seafood

Tamio is stuck in Kanazawa-shi (金沢市) on business at the weekend, 400 km northwest of Tokyo. He meets Kaburagi-san, previously known by his first name Tsutomo. He is the camper from episodes 2 and 4, who is now taking Tamio to the Noto Peninsula (能登半島), known for the earthquake on January 1st, 2024. They argue and Kaburagi-san takes over the Zetsumeshi part in this episode. He enjoys having lunch in the Road Park Menoura (ロードパーク 女の浦).
The dominant subplot is Kaburagi-san's controversy with his wife Keiko because of the expensive mobile home.

Episode 10

Toyama PORK - Pork Pilaf and Pork Soup

It's still the Saturday of the weekend of episode 9. Since Tsutomo Kaburagi can't meet his wife, he's contacting Tomio, who met his daughter Tsumugi in Kanazawa-shi. She actually wanted to attend a concert there. Finally all three drive together to Unazuki (宇奈月) for car camping. There is a dam, a lake and hot springs in Ononuma Park (尾の沼公園) TOCHI no YU (とちの湯). On the return trip on Sunday, Tsutomo drops father and daughter off in Toyama-shi (富山市) and is looking for Zetsumeshi there. He finds the Restaurant PORK (ポーク).
The main theme of the episode is the relationship between father and daughter, both for Tomio and Tsumugi as well as the owners of the restaurant. There is also the question of whether parents should allow their children to choose their own professions. Additional confusion is caused by misleading expressions in the Toyama dialect.

Episode 11

Shimakatsu - Yam Mountain Roots

This time, Tamio goes to the westernmost part of the Tokyo area (Tokyo-to), to the Ogochi Dam (小河内ダム), which dams up Lake Okutama (奥多摩湖). Tamio actually wanted to watch the stars, but because of the rain he can only enjoy his home planetarium. The dam was completed in 1957. At that time, 6,000 people from 945 households in the village in the valley had to change their homes.
Tamio eats excellent local produce at the restaurant Shimakatsu (島勝). A strange guest makes him see fantasies.
In the subplot, colleague Horiuchi is beaten up by the boss and finds little support from Tomio.

Episode 12

Restaurant S.S - Ordinary menu and fried chicken

The destination of the final episode is in Nagano-ken. Tamio goes to Lake Suwa (諏訪湖) to spend the night. On Saturday he first enjoys the wonderful view from the Takabotchi Plateau (高ボッチ高原) and then finds the restaurant S.S (食堂 S.S) along the road. He overcomes himself and manages to order the ordinary daily menu (普通定食, ふつう ていしょく). He likes it so much that he orders an addition (アンコール): fried chicken with rice.
The owner and his wife tell him the history of the restaurant, which was opened by his father in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics. They had difficult times.
Tamio is already expected at home by his wife Kanae and his daughter Tsumugi. They want to celebrate the announced Japan tour of their beloved pop group Tear Drops. Tamio is also happy because he then can continue his Zetsumeshi adventures.