The Light Shines Only There is set in the grittiest fringes of Hokkaido, a port town in a permanent polluted haze. The traumatized Tatsuo spends his days drifting aimlessly and his nights drinking to oblivion. At a smoke-filled pachinko bar, he meets Takuji, a brash blonde teen parolee, who impulsively invites him to the seaside hovel she shares with her bedridden father, careworn mother, and world-weary older sister Chinatsu. As Tatsuo and Chinatsu take tentative steps towards a relationship, a ray of light in their hopeless world, the happy go lucky Takuji latches on to Tatsuo with unforeseen consequences.