Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hiroshige's Tokaido: View 51, 土山

Hiroshige's woodcut at top, with present-day views below

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hiroshige's Tokai Road: View 52

Hiroshige depicts a village scene with women in the foreground hanging strips of kampyo, or dried gourd shavings.  The second photo shows bundled kampyo.  The lower two photos show dishes made with kampyo, with the vegetable used as a tie in the bottommost.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hiroshige's Tokai Road: View 53

A traveler along the Tokai Road in reverse, from Kyoto to Edo, might have stayed at the Ishibeya, depicted at top, about a day's journey from Kyoto.  The second photo shows the present-day Ishibeya, while the photo at bottom shows traditional structures in the village, located in Shiga Prefecture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hiroshige: "53 Stops on the Toaki Road": View 54

View 54 shows a tea shop in Otsu, the last stop on the Tokai road before Kyoto.

The second photo shows another of Hiroshige's pictures of the same scene.

Hiroshige's "Fifty-three Stops on the Tokai Road": View 55

# 55: The Great Sanjo Bridge, Kyoto

Hiroshige stood on the western bank of the Kamo River and painted this, the final stop of his series that contained 55 views in all.  He faced east, in the direction of Edo, the capital of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the start of the nearly 500 km long Tokai road, whose end he had reached.

The Great Sanjo Bridge today.

Another Woodcut Master: Hiroshige

Compare Hiroshige's work with that of Hokusai (in the following post).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Yesterday I went to our local outlet of up-scale department store Isetan for the final day of an exhibit devoted to Hokusai, one of Japan's most famous manga and woodblock artists. The above view of Mt. Fuji  is one of a series of 36 the artist created depicting Japan's iconic mountain. Fuji is shown from a vantage that is now part of Shizuoka City.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting to Kyoto: The Kitaguni

I took the overnight train Kitaguni (きたぐに) from Niigata to Kyoto in December, 2009. I recommend the A-class sleeper to those wishing to spend a pleasant night aboard one of the few night trains still operating in Japan.

Photos of the Old Imperial Palace Grounds, Kyoto

More Photos of Kyoto: The Ancient Imperial Palace Grounds