When Akari and Alicia collect firewood for the winter, Akari meets the first snow bugs (fuzzy white insects) of the season, and one stays with her as they return to the city. When Alicia learns Akari has never been to a hot spring, she invites the three trainees to one on their next day off. As Mr. Mailman and Akari watch smoke rise from the city's chimneys at sunset, he compliments her on the hair bow she gave her snow bug, and that night Alicia lights their fireplace. When Alicia takes the trainees to the hot spring, Akari is startled to learn that it is communal bathing but enjoys the waters. That evening, when she feels guilty for not practicing, Alicia tells her hot springs help one through winter. Akari agrees, saying that cute snow bugs, sunsets, and fireplaces also make one like winter. Returning to the baths, Alicia takes them to a secret corner where the water runs outside into the ocean. Akira and Athena join the party for the night, and as the first snow falls, the snow bugs leave the city for the forest, Akari's included.