View looking across Nihon Bridge, Edo, from whence all distances were
measured with a daimyo's cortège
coming into view over the summit. In the foreground is a group of five
fish-vendors (and a sixth partly hidden) getting out of the way, on the
left, and two dogs on the right.
This bridge was located in the centre of Edo and was the starting point
of the Tokaido Highway.
2nd Edition Print
"The first prints were published jointly by Hoeido and Senkakudo......"
"When Take-no-Uchi Hoeido acquired the sole rights, the block was recut to show an assorted crowd which included fish peddlers at the foot of the bridge and the dogs or puppies in the center with some children near them."
Hiroshige (The Albuquerque Museum, 1983)
A street of houses backing on to the seashore, and the tail-end of a daimyo's
procession passing along it; behind the houses ships moored in the bay.
Being the first station on the highway, Shinagawa was thronged with travellers
coming and going. The road was lined with many teahouses, restaurants
and entertainment quarters. The bay, seen in Hiroshige's picture, has
been reclaimed and now forms a part of Tokyo.
A ferry-boat crossing the river, and passengers waiting on the further
bank in front of a cluster of houses; Fuji in the distance. Close to the
further bank is a man on a raft.
Travellers crossing the river here by ferryboat may have felt they were
being carried towards a different world. However, those returning to Edo
looked forward to reentering the familiar homeland. This desolate area
along the seashore is now an important industrial district of Japan.
View of a street along the top of a cliff overlooking Yedo Bay, and female
touts trying to drag travellers into the resthouses.
This station was on a cliff overlooking a magnificent seascape of Edo
Bay. One side of the highway was lined with two storied teahouses which
commanded views of the beautiful bay.The land has been reclaimed from
the bay seen in the picture and now forms a part of Yokohama City.
A bridge over a stream, and across it two coolies are carrying a closed
kago towards a village on the
opposite bank; behind the village rises a low wooden hill.
At this countryside station the travellers had covered a distance of 34
km from Edo and were well into the mood of travelling. By the bridge stands
a restaurant which serves Soba (buckwheat noodle) and waitresses stand
in front beckoning travellers to the restaurant.
A man dismounting form his horse in front of an open tea-house, while
a waitress stands by to receive him.
Those who left Edo in the early morning reached here by evening and spent
their first night at this this station. Beyond this station, the highway
was lined with finely shaped pine trees.
The village by the edge of a stream, and a bridge leading to it, over
which people are passing. In background, overlooking the village on a
wooded hill, above the mists, stands the temple Yugi-o-ji; in the foreground
a torii, and close to it four
blind men following each other by the bank of the stream.
This station was crowded with pilgrims visiting the famous temple at this
station, and the neighbouring shrine. The imposing buildings of Yugyoji
Temple (established in 1325) stand on a hillside in the background. The
torii (archway) leads to the Enoshima Benten Shrine which is dedicated
to the Goddess of Music.
A zigzag road, lined with a few trees, traversing fields, and a courier
running along and passing two other travellers. In the background a dark,
round-topped hill, behind which a white Fuji appears in the distance.
Here, the Tokaido Highway runs along a low causeway by the ocean. The
man running is one of the professional couriers who worked in relays and
covered the distance of 489 km between Edo and Kyoto in about 90 hours.
The approach through rice-fields along a narrow road lined with trees,
to a curved street of huts, overlooking the sea, and travellers entering
the village under a downpour of rain.
This station was an isolated village on the coast. From ancient times,
many poets referred to this seashore in their poems. Now a motorway has
been built along the seashore and passing motorists pay less attention
to this historic place.
A daimyo's cortège being carried
across the River Sakawa; the background a mass of high, jagged hills,
the most distant printed from colour-blocks only.
This station flourished in its position at the entrance to Hakone pass,
the most arduous part of the highway.