Set in a purgatory limbo that looks an awful lot like an old brick school on a perfect autumn day. Guides assist the newly dead in selecting their most treasured memory, the one they will take with them to eternity. While some people have no trouble choosing, others agonise over the decision. A multitude of stories emerge, most of them gleaned from the hundreds of interviews Kore-eda conducted with ordinary citizens, some of whom appear in the film. Meanwhile, the staff gather to discuss various cases, especially those in danger of never recovering a truly joyous memory.