From here on, the Kisokaido Highway runs through the province of Oumi.
Kashiwabara is well-known as the producing center of moxa used in moxa
cautery (a kind of Oriental medical treatment). Apparently, the stores
in the picture deal in medical herbs. The signs "Kintoki Rice Cake" and
"Sake and Refreshments" mean the diversified operation of the store. The
store under the style of "Kameya" is still operating as "Ibukido" today.
Samegai has the famous sights of "Three Waters and Four Rocks." The Three
Waters are the spring water of Isame, the Juo-sui water and the Saigyo-sui
water, and the Four Rocks are the Yamatotakeru-no-mikoto Koshikake rock,
the Kurakake (Saddle Hanging) rock, the Kani (Crab) rock and the Myojin
Yoko rock. The scene depicts the neighborhood the Six Teahouses where
daimyo processions often stopped
to take a rest.
A little over 3 km from Samekai is the post town of Banba. This is an
honest rendering of the post town itself, a rare case among the Kiso Highway
Series pictures. "Iseya" written on a signboard under the eaves is the
business name of the print publisher, and "Utagawa" is advertising Utagawa
The name of Toriimoto came from the torii (Shinto shrine archway) of the
Grand Shrine of Taga in Takamiya. Though the Kisokaido Highway (Oumi Road)
always ran some distance away from Lake Biwa, the sight of the lake in
the distance from the Surihari Pass was a scenic masterpiece.
Takamiya prospered as a post town near the Grand Shrine of Taga dedicated
to the god of longevity. This town was also known as the producing center
of hemp cloth in Takamiya stripes. This picture is a realistic landscape
of the post town and the mountain range of Suzuka in the middle braced
by a large pine tree on each side.
The river is the Echi River, and the bridge is the Miyuki Bridge
today. The signpost reading "Toll Free" may indicate that people could
cross this bridge without charge because it was one installed there temporarily.
On the opposite side of the river is Mt. Kannonji (Kinugake) at left,
and beyond it are the remains of Azuchi Castle.
On a flat land with an abundance of waters and greenery, travelers went
on their way much more easily around the post town of Musa. They are now
crossing a makeshift bridge made of two riverboats tied together across
a stream in the Hino River.
In the picture is a series of tea houses near the post town of Moriyama.
The mountain beyond may be Mt. Mikami, which is called "Mt. Fuji of Oumi."
This is a spring-time highway scene with cherry blossoms in full bloom.
With only two stages remaining on the Kiso Highway, travel is nearing
Kusatsu was the post town where the Kiso Highway and the Tokaido Highway
converged. A threesome of women in light travel attire are walking away,
chatting with each other. A young wife with a towel wrapped around her
head is crossing a small bridge, a parasol on a shoulder and a caller's
present in one hand.
Otsu is the final stage on the Kisokaido Highway. This town has many slopes.
From the busy "Hatcho-dori" street, Lake Biwa is visible in the distance.
Kyoto is just beyond the hill of Ousaka. The signboard reading "Zen" means
that this picture completes the series of Kiso Highway ukiyoe prints.