|Grey Heron Rhapsody|
|Air date||April 17, 2011|
|Opening||Hana no Iro|
A Tearful Chef Romance
Grey Heron Rhapsody (Aosagi Rapusodī 蒼鷺ラプソディー) is the 4th episode of Hanasaku Iroha. It first aired on April 24, 2011.
The spring break is now over, and it is the start of school for Ohana, Minko and Nako. In order to pay for his debts, Tarō Jirōmaru is now working part-time at Kissuisō, under the supervision of Enishi Shijima. Ohana says her "good morning" to the both of them, and the two comments on her uniform in return. But Tarō goes a bit too far and Enishi notes of it, making Tarō head of to do more work. Later, at the back of the inn, Ohana is waiting for Minko, as Tōru Miyagishi comments that Ohana's uniform seems too big for her. Hearing this insult, she pulls up her skirt so its rim is at mid-thigh. Minko is already out and Ohana did not notice it.
On their way to school, the three girls converse, until they see a nice black car drive by. Nako points out that it is from the Fukuya Inn, a rival inn to Kissuisō that is the older of the two. Later at the train station, Ohana exclaims about the blooming cherry blossoms nearby, which makes her suddenly remember about a time in the past about her and Kōichi. They were walking on a crowded street, which had cherry blossoms on the side, and Kōichi needed to help Ohana from getting lost in the crowd. She wonders what she should do for her reply to him.
They arrive at school, and Ohana is in Minko's class. Also, everyone in the class is in an uproar to the fact that Ohana is from Tokyo. After class, Ohana tries to talk to Minko, but the girls crowd around her and ask questions. Then the boys start to ask her to take pictures of "Princess Minko". Surprised by these requests, a girl speaking in a Kansai dialect interrupts and escorts Ohana out of the classroom. The girl, Yuina Wakura, who is also referred to as a princess by the boys, saves Ohana. Yuina explains that her Kansai dialect is fake, and she only did it for fun. She also explains that she's the successor to the Fukuya inn Ohana saw earlier in the day, but she doesn't care about it.
At lunchtime, Nako explains to Ohana that Minko is very popular, receiving many love-letters in her shoe box daily. They then hear Minko talking to a boy who's confessing to her. She rejects, but the boy asks what sort of man she likes. She says that he has a sharp tongue, but it truly kind; someone who always takes the initiative and is serious about work. As Ohana and Nako overhear this concrete explanation, Nako knows who Minko is talking about, while the boy is seen to be very sad.
Later in the day, Nako and Ohana talk about the confession to Tomoe Wajima, who seems to be upset. For 'revenge' Tomoe says she'll take a picture of Minko with her hair done up tight and ruin the school-boys' image of Minko. Ohana and Nako are pulling Tomoe back, when she asks the two if they have a boyfriend. Ohana replies that "Kō-chan" is not like that, which makes Tomoe suspicious about the name. Later on, Ohana is trying to reply to Kōichi's text, which she can't find a good reply for.
Going out in the rain for errands, Ohana is amazed to see grey heron. Nako says it lives in the area. The two arrives at the Fukuya inn to tell about an upcoming neighborhood association. Then the owner of the inn appears, which Ohana sees as scary. Outside, it is clear now and is the evening. Nako asks if they can return on a longer path, which Ohana agrees to. As the two walks on a path that approaches a small shrine, Nako explains she came to the Kissuisō inn in order to become more social. But she always comes to that shrine to pray to a goddess, one who gets easily lost. She also explains that there's a Bonbori festival in October that is to guide the gods and goddesses back to Izumo. Ohana is amazed by the thought of a festival, calling out to "Nako-chi" in exclamation. Hearing herself being called that, she is glad that she is being called by a nickname, such as calling Minko calling "Min-chi".
Back at the inn, Ohana is setting the meal for some guests, while Nako needed to answer a call. Ohana tries to set it out, but Tōru intervenes, saying she's doing it wrong. As he sets out the dishes correctly, he asks how she did at school, thinking she didn't making any friends. The two continue to lightly argue when Ohana happens to see Minko. She comes in to help with the setting of the dishes, telling Ohana that she can leave.
In an in-door bath, Ohana is thinking of a way to get friendly with Minko. At that moment, Minko enters the bath. Ohana thinks of talking about how mean Tōru is, and when she does, Minko responds. Thinking this is a good sign, Ohana continues with the insults until Minko suddenly lashes back in anger. Minko starts to talk about how he may be sharp-tongued, but he is always thinking about others; being more determined and kinder than anyone. Feeling those words are familiar, Ohana finally figures out that Minko likes Tōru. After a few moments of silence, Minko leaves the bath in embarrassment.
Ohana tries to act kindly to Minko for the rest of the day, but she only acts cold. The next morning, Ohana follows Minko outside to apologize. But Minko again strikes back in anger, and holds Ohana by her neck. She continues this until the both of them see Tōru picking up Yuina from the Fukuya inn. Seeing this, Minko runs off, while Ohana tries to follow, only to be stopped by the grey heron...
First aired: April 24th, 2011