Perfect days is about Hirayama, a public toilet cleaner in Tokyo whose days were perfect with set routines, until the past and future subtly catches up with him.

Living in a tiny but cozy terraced house, he has an curated collection of cassete tapes, books and photographs. Every day, he wakes up to raking leaves, drinks the same coffee from the same vending machine, takes photos of the same tree and reads books before he sleeps. Every week, he buys one book and one tape of film.

Nothing extraordinarily dramatic ever happens in the film, but they are enough to subtly remind him that his days wouldn’t last forever.

What should our relationship with routines be? How could one form routines but not take them for granted? While Hirayama is clearly inclined to follow them and resits forces that disrupts them, he tends to measuredly allow the moment to gradually take over.

Perhaps routines can help keep you on track, but they don’t make the track point the right way or last forever.