Shizuku Tsukishima is a 14-year-old girl who attends Mukaihara Junior High School, where she is best friends with Yūko Harada. She lives in a Tokyo suburb with her parents Asako, Seiya and older sister Shiho, and is keen on reading books, particularly fairy tales. One summer evening, she looks through the checkout cards in her library books and discovers they were all checked out previously by someone named Seiji Amasawa.
Shizuku meets Yūko at the school and reveals “Concrete Roads,” her “Take Me Home, Country Roads” parody written for the school graduation and criticizing the deforestation of Tama New Town. Yūko reveals that she has a crush on a boy named Sugimura, who happens to be Shizuku’s friend. Yūko and Shizuku walk home when she realizes she left her book at the school. She runs back to discover a boy reading her book which he returns, but not without teasing her and slighting her lyrics, which leaves her feeling irritable for the rest of the evening. On the next day, while on her way to the library to deliver her father’s lunch to him, Shizuku encounters a peculiar cat commuting on the train, and follows it to discover an antique shop run by Shirō Nishi. In the shop there is a cat statuette nicknamed The Baron as well as a centuries old antique clock. Realizing she’s late for the library, Shizuku runs out feeling ecstatic about finding “a place where stories begin”, only to run into the boy she had met the previous day, who returns the lunchbox she left behind. He comments on how much food is in the box and rides away, singing her song, leaving Shizuku in another foul mood.