Follow the daily life of Binchou-tan, a chibi-sized girl who lives alone in an isolated, old house in the mountains. While she may be poor (the house she lives in has holes in the roof and is very old, she has an old sheet with a hole in it, and does not own many possessions), Binchou-tan lives life to the fullest. She gets up, gathers what she needs from the nearby fields, and pays for transportation from various animals with seeds, and acorns. Rice is the only thing Binchou-tan can not provide for herself, so whenever she needs a fresh supply, she must travel to the nearby (1930's-style) village to do odd jobs in order to obtain rice. This is the a look at Binchou-tan's life on a day-to-day basis and that of her friends.
An introduction to Binchō-tan and her peaceful lifestyle. Binchō-tan rides a duck across a river and goes to collect wild vegetables.
Binchō-tan goes to town to find a job to earn money and rice. She does a variety of jobs and shows off her unique talents for filtering water, cooking rice and deodorising shoes and refrigerators. On the way home, she admires some panties featuring Pukashuu, but cannot afford them. However, she finds a pair on sale, featuring her second favorite character, Tamakaeru, which makes her very happy. She returns home and, after a meal, has happy dreams.
It is Binchō-tan's birthday and she receives gifts from her friend, Ubamega. She goes to town to look for work. On the way she hurts her knee and meets Chiku-tan, who tends to her wound. Chiku-tan is also looking for work. The two find jobs and go their separate ways. On the way home, Binchō-tan falls and spills her rice. Chiku-tan appears and helps her pick it up. She invites Binchō-tan back to her house for a surprise birthday party. This episode also introduces Kunugi-tan, who watches Binchō-tan with interest, several times throughout the day.
It's raining and Chiku-tan invents a device for walking in the rain without getting wet, which she calls a chikuma. Unfortunately, it is actually a takeuma, which has already been invented. She goes for a walk and meets Binchō-tan. The two sit in an old car and play word games. The sun comes out and they visit a bamboo grove. Kunugi-tan admires a rainbow from her balcony.
Chiku-tan has a new invention for reaching job flyers. She gets a job serving lunch at Kunugi-tan's school, but finds that it is for two days later, when she is meant to attend a fair. As the fair is the reason she wanted to earn money in the first place, she trades jobs with Binchō-tan, for a job a day earlier in a bakery. Binchō-tan is told that she must dress nicely for her job. While Chiku-tan works, Binchō-tan spends the next day washing her treasured kimono. She wears it proudly to work the next day, but it rains and Kunugi-tan's coach splashes her with mud. After a days work, she meets Kunugi-tan, who apologises and offers her money for a new kimono. Binchō-tan declines, as the kimono was a special gift from her grandmother. Chiku-tan attends the fair, only to find it is cancelled because of the rain.
On the way to work, Binchō-tan watches her favorite show through the window of a TV store. At a crucial moment, the channel is changed. Binchō-tan spends the day wondering how it ended. She works at the temple where Ren-tan lives but the two do not meet. Chiku-tan and Chiku-rin are at a shop, trying their luck in a raffle, but they do not win. Ren-tan arrives and wins the grand prize. She shares it with the two sisters. Binchō-tan receives some dango for her work at the temple and leaves half as an offering at a jizō. She watches a rerun of the TV show on her way home. Later that night, Ren-tan communes with the spirits. A passing Chiku-tan mistakes her for a ghost and spends the rest of the night terrified.
Aroe is introduced. She has burst her paddling pool and decides to go to a swimming pool instead, but loses her entrance fee. Lightheaded from lack of water, she stumbles home but falls. Chiku-tan comes to her aid by pouring her grandfathers sake onto Aroe's head, which makes Aroe even dizzier. Chiku-tan and Chiku-rin make plans to attend a festival and meet Binchō-tan after she has finished her work for the day. Aroe also attends. Ren-tan has a fortune-telling booth. She tells Aroe's fortune and they meet up with Binchō-tan and the Chiku sisters and share some Ramune Ren-tan has won. Kunugi-tan watches the festival from afar. As she is not able to attend, her butler goes to the festival and brings her back some Ramune.
Chiku-tan invents a portable house but it breaks. Binchō-tan's bowl is chipped. On the way to buy a new one, she finds a dog and buys it some food. When she gets to the shop, she cannot afford a bowl. The shop owner asks her where her mother is, which appears to sadden her. She passes a school and watches some children singing with their teacher, before returning home for a lonely supper. She awakes the next morning to find the dog outside her house. She takes him with her to visit Chiku-tan and he takes a liking to the portable house, which resembles a kennel. They decide to keep him and name him Saji. The next day, Binchō-tan is invited back to the school and is asked to work there for a day every week. Chiku-tan is walking Saji and he drags her to the school to see Binchō-tan. The children are excited to see him and he takes a special liking to Kunugi-tan. Kunugi-tan is delighted to finally learn Binchō-tan's name. By the end of the episode, Binchō-tan has somehow acquired a bowl for herself and a bowl for Saji.
Binchō-tan goes to work at the school again and meets Kunugi-tan. While Kunugi-tan is teaching Binchō-tan to write, a beetle flies past and scares Kunugi-tan, who hates bugs. Later, a stag beetle attaches itself to Kunugi-tan's dress and Binchō-tan is not sure how to tell her without scaring her. To Binchō-tan's relief, it flies away before Kunugi-tan notices. The next day, Binchō-tan sends a letter to Kunugi-tan. Chiku-tan goes out to sell medicine on the street. She is having little success when Ren-tan arrives and shows her to a place that is better for business. She sells all of her wares and buys Ren-tan dango as a thank you gift. While they are eating it, the encounter Aroe, who is dizzy from lack of water again.
Binchō-tan goes to collect acorns, chestnuts and wild mushrooms and in the forest. She sets up a stall and trades them for money or food. She receives some sweet potatoes. As there are too many to eat by herself, she gives one to Chiku-tan, one to Kunugi-tan and one to Saji. Saji buries his and Chiku-tan and Binchō-tan decide to visit Ren-tan, help sweep the fallen leaves at the temple and make yakiimo using the leaves. Ren-tan tries to roast some chestnuts but there is a mishap. Chiku-tan invents a device for picking up hot potatoes. Aroe trips on Saji's sweet potato and takes it home. Everyone eats their sweet potatoes at the same time. When Binchō-tan returns home, she writes another letter to Kunugi-tan
Binchō-tan and Chiku-tan forage for berries, mushrooms and other things that grow in the forest to trade for food to store for winter and some winter clothes. They open up a stall which becomes very successful. Ren-tan uses her luck to help Chiku-tan win a bike in a raffle. As a thank you, Chiku-tan gives her some goggles. The next day, Ubamega sends Binchō-tan some New Year's gifts and it snows. Binchōtan, Chiku-tan, Chiku-rin and Ren-tan play in the snow and Chiku-tan discovers that skiing is not as easy as it looks. Kunugi-tan's father visits his daughter and they go on a hot-air balloon trip together. Binchōtan, Chiku-tan and Ren-tan take the bird bus so they can fly with her.
It is New Years Eve and Chiku-tan and Chiku-rin are making mochi. Binchōtan has caught a cold and dreams of her grandmother. She feels lonely until Kunugi-tan, Ren-tan and Chiku-tan arrive to look after her. The next day, Aroe visits a shrine and her fortune tells her that something that with change her luck lies to the northwest, which is where she finds everyone else. Binchōtan writes a letter in the snow to her grandmother.