Wednesday is always a half day at Kitty's youchien (nursery school), so Erina drove us up towards Nantan where there is a nature trek below the Hiyoshi dam (completed in 1998). The drive itself was enough to keep me from dozing in the car as usual. The road cut through mountains and then flanked a wide, slow flowing river that is said to come alight with fireflies in the plum rains. Parking at the very edge of the concrete dam, we strolled across its top (a massive reservoir on one side, a sculpted park and refresh area on the other, including swimming pool, restaurants and an onsen) before taking the steps down to a stretch of grass neatly kept for golfing in fine weather.
Below the massive turbine halls there is a spout of water and a circular bridge that allows you to look in all directions. The kids found the empty lawns and empty stage (for Summer events) down by the river the most exciting thing about the whole journey and happily ran between the golf-flags until it was time to go home.