On Tuesday in Japan, it was a national holiday.  It was Culture Day, which doesn’t really mean anything except go out and do whatever you want.  It used to be an emperor’s birthday (and thus a holiday).  And every time the emperor dies, a new emperor gets his birthday as a national holiday.  So we retain the old holiday and slap on a new name (Culture Day) and get the new holiday.  This is one reason Japan has so many random holidays!



Fukushima City is surrounded by mountains, so we drove through the mountains and enjoyed the fall scenery.  Then we stopped at this onsen (hot spring) which is located right next to a dam.  (Actually directly in the path of flooding water if the dam should break, but my husband says the dam won’t break, so let’s not worry about it, okay?)



So you can see on this map.   It’s easy to figure out where the dam is located!   That water contained by the dam is the source of Fukushima’s drinking water.  Before the earthquake, we visited and I remember my husband telling that it was wonderful water, so pure, so delicious.  Real mountain spring water.


Going into the onsen.  If you live in Japan, this is old hat for you.  Girls on the left, guys on the right.


Next we walked next door to the soba shop.


It was crowded with elderly people (onsen and soba are apparently a senior thing.)  Anyway, we had to wait about fifteen minutes.  I said to my son, “Nobody here is using a smart phone.  If they were young, all the smart phones would be out!”


At first, I thought “Drat, cars in the photo.”  But in forty years, we’ll say, “Wow, people drove interesting cars way back in 2015!”


Okay, here we are at the dam


Walking along its top.


This is where a bit of water is released to form a stream.



The water side.


The non-water side



Enjoy your autumn!    I know I am.