Emi Ota and her friend Okiku stay briefly at a mountain inn and then return to Tokyo. Later, Nanmura, a soldier on leave, steps on an ornamental hairpin in the public bath at the inn. Emi writes to the inn saying she has lost a hairpin and, when she discovers that it injured Nanmura, returns to apologize. The longer term visitors at the inn meet together to discuss the hairpin incident. These include a grumpy Professor, a young couple Mr and Mrs Hiroyasu, and an old man staying with his two grandsons. They hope to see a romance blossom between Nanmura and Emi, after Nanmura declares that there is something almost poetic in finding a hairpin in the bath.