Upon graduating from elementary school, Takaki Tono and his close friend Akari Shinohara drifted apart. Akari moved to Tochigi Prefecture due to her parents' jobs, while Takaki attended a junior high in Tokyo. The two kept in contact by writing letters, but despite the special feelings that existed between them, the only thing that persisted was time. When Takaki became aware that his family would move to Kagoshima, he decided to go see Akari since they would be too far apart to visit each other after he moved. However, when the day came, a severe snowstorm delayed Takaki's trip, and it would be hours before he reached Iwafune, where they promised to meet.
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