The Sumiyoshi Shrine sits atop Hiyoriyama in downtown Niigata City. Hiyoriyama is the highest natural point in the area and, until Japanese adopted western building styles, gave an unobstructed view of the mouth of the nearby Shinano River as well as its roadstead. Hiyoriyama was formerly the site of a military lookout, and the earliest surviving depiction of the knoll shows two guards, one of them surveying the view seawards through a telescope. Drawn in 1831, the picture also shows the pine tree that appears in the second photo. That the pine is the same I have on the unimpeachable authority of the caretaker of Sumiyoshi Shrine, an expert on local history whose fascinating site, replete with photos, maps, original woodcuts, and other items, may be viewed at http://www.najiranet.com/.