When a door closes, they say another one opens in its place. Yu Nana (Nan Sheng) is a graduate student who has been pursuing her doctorate in psychology for the past eight years. While all of her college friends have secured jobs or married, Nana has been studying hard and preparing for her thesis. All her hard work seems to have been wasted when her thesis fails again and she is denied her Ph.D., plunging Nana into despair.
The next day, Nana receives a strange email from Sasai Eisuke (Terada Takuya), a Japanese businessman. Eisuke came across her picture on social media, and he wrote to Nana asking her to come to Yufuin, an idyllic small town in Oita Prefecture in Japan famous for its hot springs, to pose for a few photos. Nana is the doppelgänger for Eisuke’s fiancée, who died three years ago, and he has no pictures to remember her by because she hated taking pictures. In exchange for sitting for a few pictures, Eisuke promises to give Nana a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.
Wanting to escape from her failures, Nana takes the stranger up on his unusual offer and sets off for a trip to Japan that will change her life.
“By Chance” is a 2018 Japanese film that is produced by a Korean production company and directed by Chinese director Liu Defu.