A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$4.99 USD or more

languages: english / 日本語 / deutsch / espanol / français / 한국어 / português / ไทย / 简体中文


three women, three stories, three springs.


experience the stories of haru, erika, and manami in A YEAR OF SPRINGS, a visual novel trilogy about a trio of friends navigating their feelings of love, connection, and just wanting to belong.



  • three visual novels with multiple endings
  • an all-new epilogue exclusive to the trilogy collection
  • soft and cute art with a relaxing original soundtrack
  • music player, cg gallery, and other extras


in one night, hot springs, visit the hot springs with haru, a young and anxious trans woman who just wants to enjoy herself on a trip with manami but doesn't want to cause any trouble.

in last day of spring, start off the reiwa era as erika, a well-meaning ex-delinquent who runs into more issues than expected when trying to plan a spa day for haru.

in spring leaves no flowers, help sheltered university student manami think about what friendship and romance mean to her as she spends a day with haru, erika, and her boyfriend.




community copies: the minimum purchase price is set to 5 usd, but by paying above the minimum price, you can donate community copies for other users & also support me in making more games like this.


streaming guidelines: it's ok to stream this game, but please do not stream the epilogue. i put a lot of love into it so i want people to be able to experience that on their own first.


content warning: this trilogy discusses issues that people of different genders and sexualities may face, which is a topic that can be sensitive and personal.


featured in:

  • google indie games festival japan 2022 (top 10)
  • ludonarracon 2022
  • gayming awards 2021 (best lgbtq indie game award nomination)
  • tokyo game show 2021: indie game selected exhibit


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Buy Now$4.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $4.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

a-year-of-springs-win.zip 109 MB
Version 1.05
ayearofsprings-1.05-linux.tar.bz2 93 MB
Version 1.05
a-year-of-springs-osx.zip 91 MB
Version 1.05

community copies

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

community copy

if you are in need & cannot afford A YEAR OF SPRINGS, you can claim a community copy donated by other users. tips at above the minimum recommended price go towards community copies.

if you claim a community copy, i only ask that you pay it forward in the future by buying a copy for a friend if you can, or sharing / reviewing / commenting on the game if you can't.

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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 117 · Next page · Last page

I bought this game with a tip after claiming a community copy, but now it's listed twice in my library. I'm afraid I just wasted a community copy.

i've added another community copy! 

re: multiple copies in the library, unfortunately i think it's a weird quirk of itch's system and if you want to remove one of the library entries you have to contact their support directly.

hey!! i just played this in-person at the goethe institute female protagonists exhibit in taipei, it was awesome!! so cool to see your work there, congrats!!

ahhh thank you for checking out the exhibit!!

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This game talks about a legal requirement to be sterilized before trans people can have their gender legally changed. That has just been ruled unconstitutional by the Japanese Supreme Court! Progress! Japan's top court issues landmark transgender rights rulingーNHK WORLD-JAPAN NEWS - YouTube

for reference though, quoting linked article (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japans-top-court-set-rule-sterilisation-requirement-gender-change-2023-10-24/), "a decision by the judges to ask a lower court to deliberate on a separate clause, requiring that the genital organs of people who want to change their gender resemble those of the opposite gender, was met with disappointment."

that said, this is still definitely good news, even if there is room for improvement! thank you for sharing this here.

i love your games so much and this specific game has been on my wishlist for a while I'm so glad I was able to get it 
your amazing at visual novels and everything ARG I'm so happy !
i will edit this comment when I play through the game

i hope you enjoy! (:

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Thanks for releasing this game for GNU/Linux!

I loved all the characters and stories, but エリカ really stole the show for me.

I thought this line eloquently summed up what made this game great:



The soundtrack is great too!

(I realized the Review function on itch is actually only visible to the game creator, so I copied it here):

While the premise didn't grab me immediately, I gave it a shot on account of the Japanese language option and was pleasantly surprised. I loved this game!

The art is cute, the soundtrack is lovely, and the characters are easy to connect with. It broaches difficult topics in a way that feels refreshing and respectful without being overbearing. These stories are about finding where you belong in the world—and friendship. I think those are things that will resonate with anyone.

It feels very human and honest, especially when you get to those moments the narrative has been building up to for the whole chapter. 

The full game is only a few hours long and I read it in Japanese. The Japanese script is well-written while using simple language that should be approachable even to beginners. I think you should experience this story in Japanese if you know the language!

thank you! it's made in renpy which has default linux support & i highly recommend the engine to anyone who wants to make visual novels (& other games too).

This game has been so beautiful and heartwarming for me. Life as a trans woman is tough, and seeing a game with such a cute art style, of three friends trying their darnedest to support each other and make each other feel loved, (I didn't expect the aroace reveal, but I can say, it was beautiful to see. I know the importance of representation might seem overemphasized sometimes, but I can assure you, the mention of the words "aromantic" and "asexual", the idea that I wasn't alone in this experience, not exactly one of oppression, but of utter confusion and doubt... it brought me to tears). I'm currently endeavoring to transcribe the Japanese translation so that I can better puzzle out the kanji I don't know, and just in general practice my Japanese. This game is so beautiful and sweet, I really can't thank you enough.

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thank you for this comment. it reminds me of the first time i read the words aromantic & asexual in media & the feelings i had at the time myself, so it means a lot that the same words in my game resonated with you.

your art style is very unique

thank you!

i bought the steam version and i have to say, this game is super cute and memorable. i come back to replay it every now and then.

also... i can't thank you enough for the native linux support. i know it's probably not a big deal since the game is written in python but it means a lot ♥️

thank you! i'm glad you enjoyed it on steam. re: linux you should be thanking the ren'py engine with its native linux support! (: it makes it so easy to support linux & i recommend the engine to anybody making visual novels.

I'm interested in giving this game a playthough, but I don't know which language to use! English, or 日本語? The former is my native tongue, but the latter I'm confident in using too. My main question though is what languages was the script original written for (i.e. not localized by a third party)? If it was originally written in Japanese, then I'll absolutely play it that way!

both the english & japanese were done by me, so i would suggest playing in whichever language you feel like!

Thank you very much for your help! I will probably do Japanese then as more reading is more practice with using the language!

decided to check out one night hot springs and immedietly had to come here to buy this!! what a wonderful game. sweet art, and nice realistic writing. as an aroace trans guy this hit me right in the guts. i love it!!

thank you for playing!! 💜

I loved this game!! The soft art style was very comforting and the themes really hit home for me as I was going into it not expecting many lgbt+ topics, but it was a pleasant surprise as a bi trans woman. I think this is the only game that has made me cry (in a good way). I grew to love all of the characters; even though I found Erika to be abrasive at first, I warmed up to her once I saw her more caring side. If you ever decided to make a sequel with the same characters, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I just wish this game were longer tbh, but perhaps I’ll play again sometime in the future. The music is also soothing and I’m currently listening to the soundtrack. The writing was thoughtful and heartfelt. Again, great work and please keep up what you’re doing! :) 

thank you for playing! i'm not planning any sequel at this moment but i appreciate the comment  (:

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I'm not into LGBT+ themed games. Im not even any kind of person from this community. But writing is so beautiful and deep. I LOVE the interactions between characters. I would strongly recommend it for my friends and family. I needed some cozy and cute game like this. 

thank you for checking this game out!

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Your games are beautifully written, very smart and deeply moving. They made me cry, but in a good way. Thank you so much.

thank you very much!

amazing game, the writing was great as well. i really felt for haru. manami as well. thanks for making these.

thank you for playing them!

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100%d the free version of one night hot springs on steam and i loved it enough to claim a community copy and now i feel bad

5 stars

please don't feel bad about claiming a community copy! they're there to be taken.

A very good way to approach transidentity and asexuality through play for people unfamiliar with the subject. In this, translations are a must. We need more games like this!

I as a person under the trans umbrella have to admit this really helps the topic. Being unable to know what bathroom to use, and unsure of what name or such to use. It's all so understood!! I feel so seen with all of them, finding your perhaps ace, or else it's hard!


im a big fan of your games! i claimed a community copy and i really enjoyed it, although i feel very guilty for not paying it tho. im too young to get a credit card and i dont have paypal, also i literally cant pay anything online rn with k plus. im planning to try and make a paypal account in the future and try to transfer some of the money from my k plus account to there to purchase it. ill try to talk to a friend and ask if they wanted the game so i could send them the game either online or using a flash drive. im pretty sure that i will be able to pay for this one day!

as for the game, awesome writing as always. society can be cruel sometimes, and i understand the pain they were in. i relate to the three of them in a way. i dont have much time to write now, thanks for this awesome game!

hey please don't feel guilty - that's what the community copies are for (: thank you for playing!

The cozy atmosphere of this game gives me so much hope for myself and my friends, even when society doesn't seem to be friendly towards us. The characters feel very real, and their stories are ones I will always remember.

The writing is incredible, and I have a special fondness for the last one. I started crying as Manami was starting to realize certain things about herself because of how closely her feelings mirrored mine when I was in her position.

thank you! spring leaves no flowers is special to me too for similar reasons.

This is such a beautiful game. Thank you for making something that really helps understand how someone who is trans might feel and the awkward interactions they usually encounter. My wife is trans and I saw so much of her in Haru. <3

thank you for playing & for the comment! <3

have you considered providing an Android release here on itch as well as on Google Play?

sorry not at the moment! 

I just wanted to say thank you very much for making these games and this collection. The depiction of transgender topics and romance feels very earnest and raw while still having a hopeful spin to it. I love that the characters are flawed but nice friends who remind me a lot of me and the people I know. Everything hits close to home and gets sometimes quite emotional for me and the whole series has been close to my heart since I played all three a year and a half ago. Now I played this collection on console and I really like the epilogue too and it's good to support the creator finally! :D 

hey thank you for the comment! i'm glad you got to enjoy it on console & that the characters in the game feel close to you (:

Everybody in the world is probably talking about "a pet shop after dark", but....!!! HERE I AM, PLAYING THIS INSTEAD........ And I'm really happy I did!!! It's a really beautiful experience.

The uncaring nature of society is really a brutal thing; I mean, I personally have a hard time ever accepting myself and my feelings and anything valuable to me, so. Experiences like this are really important to me. Reminders that, even if you can't exactly think to yourself "I'm valid" or "I'm secure" or "I'm loved", there's so many people in this world who want you to be happy, even if we aren't personally connected.

In terms of the experience itself, the first chapter, "one night, hot springs" really made me feel.... excruciatingly sad, but also really happy, y'know? It had the most put it into it, as far as outcomes go, and so.... There's a lot there to make one feel either dejected or elated. On one hand, giving up is such an easy thing to do, and.... it hurts. Thinking "life would be easier if I didn't bother" is just such a desperately soothing thing at times, but... being who we want to be is a big part of what life is about, right? So... The dichotomy of never trying or trying your best is.... really beautiful. It's a really, really, really good first chapter.

Extremely good because, getting into "last day of spring", the payoff of the experience was very immediate and really powerful. Like!!!! Erika is just.... such a good character. A character that comes off as abrasive but simultaneously tries their hardest to make people happy, for me, is just.... Really powerful. People who're open-minded, understanding, and trying their best to make people feel accepted.... They're really beautiful. So, while the second chapter has its dead ends, which all felt really empty.... the true ending felt, so fricking beautiful. Like.... so much on display is stuff that I have so much trouble, personally, getting over, so.... Seeing a story where such struggles are given a genuinely beautiful conclusion is just, amazing to me.

But the third chapter is also really beautiful in its own way.... I myself identify as asexual, though it's obviously a spectrum and my own place is somewhere different, but.... I mean. It's really fricking impossible to untangle the thoughts of standard, socially acceptable sexuality from my brain sometimes, and understanding that my own perspective genuinely does not have to fit in line with the perspective of the rest of the world is a struggle. So a story like this is really beautiful, too. In terms of romance, I genuinely have no idea where I land, but. The story of forming really deep bonds with people important to you is.... really beautiful. Having people who'll support you no matter the issue, because they want you to be happy, and care about you, is just like... What could be more splendidly sweet and encouraging than that, right? The way it caps off is so perfect!!!!

I suppose I, myself, didn't really experience the build-up of these stories, and the subsequent importance of the epilogue, but.... As somebody who's dived right in, I've genuinely wept a lot of happy tears playing through it! And the epilogue is just..... It's a bit of an overused phrase here, but it really is beautiful. It's a really, really good last note to leave the story on. Deeply encouraging, deeply satisfying, but also.... Like.... God. I want these characters to be happy. They're really wonderful.

As an extra note, just. The music is all really freaking good, too!!! Admittedly my own methods of playing through certain games are probably pretty unusual, but. Sitting at the title screen and chapter select screen for long stretches of time between chapters was such a wonderful experience. The main theme of the story is really beautiful. And, really, the entire game as a whole looks so fricking good... It's a minimalist style, but it's genuinely so fricking good!!!!!!!!!!! I love all of it. ALL OF IT...........

As a personal ramble, I knew a lot things I wanted/identified with for a really long time, but always held it back because, I just simply didn't think any of it was worth bothering with, nor that I deserved any of it anyway. Life is short, society is uncaring, and there's very little assurance that anything I'd want is even possible. So. A story like this, that encourages growth and trying your best to feel valid even if the world is the way it is, it's like.... It's really perfect, y'know? I really appreciate it. So!!!!!!! Thank you for making it!


thank you for this kind comment! i'm really happy that you enjoyed your experience with the game and also want to say that you can play a game however you want! so if you enjoy just having the title screen open for a game and listening to the music, that's valid and awesome.

why'd you take the other two off sale? /general


because i've updated all the games for the trilogy version and want people to play these ones. i've left the first one up on all platforms since it was on steam individually already & i didn't want to remove it.


after playing one night, hot springs for free, i immediatly bought this. I love this game! Will there ever be any more, or will it stay as a trilogy?

thank you for playing! i don't have any plans to continue this trilogy at this time. 

i buying this game to support npckc on playstore and i like the stories so far. Being a different gender with legal gender is tough and stressful. Gladly erika and manami can accept it.

Wondering about haru situation if it's in real life? Must be a lot of pain

A YEAR OF SPRINGS is a work of fiction, but the laws mentioned are still the current situation at the time of this comment (so same-sex marriage is still not legal in japan, trans people still can't change their gender legally without going through the medical procedures specified in the law, &c.).

things are slowly changing for the better - for example, tokyo recently announced it will start recognising same-sex unions - but there is still a lot of room to improve.

The game is very cute and the theme is great. Glad to play a game like it.

(It is also my first time to get to know ren’py. Look very interesting :D)

thanks for playing! also ren'py is a great engine & i highly recommend it to anybody who wants to make visual novels.

I really enjoyed this game, it had a nice story. Thank you for making this.

thank you for playing & for the comment!

I'm two weeks late in responding, but I want to say: Thank you.

I first played the AYoS trilogy last summer.  I knew it was a collection of three older games (all of which were still available in their legacy forms at the time), but I had no idea you didn't originally plan it as a trilogy.  I cried through much of the game, shifting between tears of sadness and joy. 

thank you! & i hope the game brought you more joy than it did sadness. 

I wanted to thank you for creating this wonderful game. It really is a heartwarming story.

thank you for playing it!


Hi. Thank you so much for these games. I know they're about Japan, but they hit so close to home that I almost cried multiple times (I'm trans and ace)


thank you for playing! i am happy the games resonated with you.


It's been like, months since I last played this and I still think of it with so much fondness from time to time. This felt so hopeful and I love how the way the characters were written felt human instead of having their LGBTQIA+ identity as their only identity. Also, the art was so cute!!!

Thank you so much for this <3.


thank you for coming back to share your thoughts! 💜

This game was amazing and a lot of it resonated with me as a trans woman. This story had such a positive impact on me, and I really hope everyone who needs the love this story can bring to them can find this story and experience it for themselves. Truly a work of art. Thank you.


thank you for playing! i hope this game can reach people who need it too 💜

I loved it!! I already told you on twitter lol, but aaaa this game is so beautiful!! <3


hehe thanks for playing & for coming to comment here too (:

I completely forgot that I claimed a community copy back when this released. After having played it on switch and loving this collection finally came back to pay for the game on here. Thank you so much for this series, it means a lot to me :)

thanks for coming back to comment after playing! i'm happy you liked the game.

I love these! It's rather uncommon to see explorations of queer people navigating Japan and its culture in the VN space; i can't help but root for everyone in their journey to live their best lives

Thank you so much for making this series!


thank you for playing! if this is something you are interested in, right now actually japan has a lawsuit for marriage equality going on - here's a website about it >> https://www.marriageforall.jp/en/ 

(i'm in no way affiliated but currently the laws in japan make it hard for queer people to live their best lives, so i want to put attention on actions being taken to make things better) 

Thanks for showing this to me! I'll make sure to look into it

thank you for this. I can't express my gratitude, and I really hope you are proud of these beautiful games. It moved my heart and it made me learn a lot. Thank you<3

thank you for playing! i'm proud to have made something that could move your heart.

Hey Npckc!
Thank you for this amazing game.
I love all of it!

It's my new favorite game of yours, with a tavern for tea and a pet shop after dark.
Just... Keep doing what you do so well!

hey, thank you for playing this game as well as the others! (: i'm glad you liked them. 


So I am admittedly a cheapskate on here and love all the free visual novels on here, but I am so glad I paid the $5 for this one! One of the most wholesome and heartwarming games I've ever played, especially as a trans woman myself. <3

thanks for playing! (: 

Was looking for another LGBTQ+ visual novel to play and fell in love with this one. Very soft aesthetic, and the spa lady gives me hope in humanity. Can't wait to play more!

thank you for playing!

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