While feeling a prophet complex could be verging on blasphemy, coming up I felt like Moses with an outstretched staff.... The expressway signs warned of heavy rain from Izumi. By the time we reached Izumi - without a drop- the warnings had shifted bop north to. And by rather time we reached ther the warnings were for Ichinoseki. We took the road up through Higashi Naruse - one of Japan's designated "beautiful villages". In central Akita we needed to make a decision - the mountain road ( which tends to have little traffic) or the expressway which can be slow as it is only one lane in quite a few places. Hiro looked at the clouds and looked at the map and tried unsuccessfully to see if his mother had news updates. We opted for the expressway; It was a good decision...the way we didn't go had landslides with fatalities, extreme flooding, and blocked roads. We had to make a roundabout detour coming into Odate as a local bridge had an electric pole positioned precariously in raging floodwaters.
We arrived, 13 hours after leaving without a spot of rain: a very lucky trip.
Photos are of the newspaper pictures of Odate & surrounds & roads in Odate the following day.