START: NIHONBASHI

This bridge was located in the center of Edo (Tokyo) and was the starting point of the Tokaido Highway. In the center of the image, the vanguard of a feudal lord's procession parades over the bridge.

No.1 SHINAGAWA

As the first waystation on the highway going west, this station was thronged with travelers coming and going. The road was lined with teahouses, restaurants, and pleasure quarters.

No.2 KAWASAKI

Travelers crossing the Rokugou River by ferryboat may have been struck by the contrast between urban Edo and the rural area they were now entering.

No.3 KANAGAWA

This station was on a cliff overlooking the magnificent seascape of Edo Bay. Here travelers rested at the many teahouses that commanded views of the bay.

No.4 HODOGAYA

At the countryside station, 34 kilometers from Edo, travelers could relax and enjoy soba (buckwheat noodles) in tranquil surroundings.

No.5 TOTSUKA

Those who left Edo in the early morning reached here by evening and spent their first night at this station. Nearby, the highway was lined with graceful pine trees.

No.6 FUJISAWA

This station was crowded with pilgrims visiting the famous temple seen on the hillside in the background. The torii (archway) leads to the Enoshima Benten Shrine.

No.7 HIRATSUKA

Here, the Tokaido Highway borders the ocean, with Mt. Fuji in the distance. The man running is one of the professional couriers who worked in relays and covered the distance of about 500 kilometers between Edo and Kyoto in about 90 hours.

No.8 OISO

This station was an isolated village on the coast that was often featured in classical Japanese poetry.

No.9 ODAWARA

This station, at the Sakawa River, flourished in its position at the entrance to the Hakone pass, which was the most arduous passage on the highway.

No.10 HAKONE

The Hakone Pass was steep and difficult to climb and harbored bandits. Nonetheless, the scenery and hot springs continued to attract many visitors.

No.11 MISHIMA

A group of travelers is setting out on their journey on a misty morning.

No.12 NUMAZU

Travelers hurry to find lodging for the evening. One is carrying a red long-nosed mask on his back, typical attire of pilgrims to Kompira Shrine. Landscape under a full moon was one of Hiroshige's favorite motifs.

No.13 HARA

Two women traveling with a manservant are passing by rice fields through Hara, considered the best vantage point for views of Mt. Fuji, which rises dramatically in the background.

No.14 YOSHIWARA

This section of highway ran through rice fields and was lined with pine trees for the comfort of travelers. Mt. Fuji is visible through the trees.

No.15 KAMBARA

This snow scene is among the most widely admired of all Japanese woodblock prints and is considered one of the masterpieces of the series.

No.16 YUI

This print, which proved to be very appealing among foreigners, shows a rugged mountain pass that commanded the most magnificent view of the highway.

No.17 OKITSU

Here, two sumo wrestlers are being carried across the Okitsu River near the beautiful seaside pine grove at Mihonomatsubara.

No.18 EJIRI

This station offered the best view of Mihonomatsubara, famous in folk legend as the site where a celestial being desceneded to bathe.

No.19 FUCHU

Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, spent his childhood and retirement years in this town, now Shizuoka City.

No.20 MARIKO

Here, amid the plum blossoms of early spring, travelers enjoy grated yam broth, the local specialty praised by Basho in one of his famous haiku poems.

No.21 OKABE

The road here, one of the most difficult sections of the highway, was enclosed on both sides by steep hills covered with dense forest and thick climbing ivy vines.

No.22 FUJIEDA

This print depicts a lively scene of commercial travelers changing horses under the supervision of station officials.

No.23 SHIMADA

Although the River Oi was famous for its fierce rapids in heavy rain, Hiroshige depicts a very calm scene.

No.24 KANAYA

A panoramic view of the landscape accentuates the wide sandy flats of the river.

No.25 NISSAKA

Travelers have stopped to look at a large rock on the road. According to legend, a pregnant woman was killed by bandits at this spot, and the rock, imbued with the deceased woman's spirit, was said to cry out during the night for her child.

No.26 KAKEGAWA

An elderly couple struggle against the wind while crossing a trestle bridge near flooded rice fields. A shrine atop a nearby mountain attracted pilgrims from all over Japan who came to pray for protection against the calamity of fire.

No.27 FUKUROI

Travelers rest at a rustic teahouse on a desolate section of the highway while an old woman tends a pot hanging from a branch of the tree.

No.28 MITSUKE

Ferryboats wait to carry travelers across the fast-flowing Tenryu River.

No.29 HAMAMATSU

This print depicts a rural scene on the outskirts of Hamamatsu Station with flat bare rice fields in the background. The village and Hamamatsu Castle are visible in the distance.

No.30 MAISAKA

Lake Hamana is connected to the Sea of Enshu at this point on the Tokaido, so travelers had to cross by boat.

No.31 ARAI

The travelers cross Lake Hamana between Maisaka and Arai. The government checkpoint seen in the background remains largely intact today.

No.32 SHIRASUKA

The long procession of a feudal lord descends the Shiomizaka slope from Shirasuka Station.

No.33 FUTAGAWA

Travelers approach a teahouse. Because of the poor soil in this district, only small pine trees and shrubs were able to grow along the highway.

No.34 YOSHIDA

This station, now Toyohashi City, flourished following the construction of the castle in 1505 (shown here under repair) and the famous bridge.

No.35 GOYU

On the main street of the post town, female touts aggressively drag customers into a restaurant. The printed signs inside include the names of the publisher, designer (Ichiryusai, one of Hioroshige's art names), engraver, and printer of this edition of the series.

No.36 AKASAKA

In this print, a waitress servies refreshments to travelers on the left, and on the right, geisha dress to entertain customers.

No.37 FUJIKAWA

On the left, station officials kneel to pay their respects to a passing feudal lord whose procession is passing out of sight.

No.38 OKAZAKI

The bridge over the Yahagi River was the longest on the entire highway. In the background is the castle where Tokugawa Ieyasu was born.

No.39 CHIRYU

Chiryu station was famous for the horse auction held each spring.

No.40 NARUMI

This station and the nearby town of Arimatsu were both famous for the production of tie-dyed fabrics used in making yukata (summer kimono), a local specialty.

No.41 MIYA

Miya means "shrine" and here denotes the Atsuta Shrine, which holds one of the three divine symbols of the Japanese imperial throne. This print depicts a unique horse-driving festival , which was held during the evening once a year at the Atsuta Shrine.

No.42 KUWANA

To avoid crossing the numerous rivers flowing inland between Miya and Kuwana, travelers made their journey by boat.

No.43 YOKKAICHI

Yokkaichi was a port and thriving market town. Travelers like the man chasing his wind-blown hat crossed a series of bridges built over the small rivers.

No.44 ISHIYAKUSHI

This station developed around the old temple of Ishiyakushi, shown amid the trees on the left, where a stone image of the Buddha Yakushi was enshrined.

No.45 SHONO

In this masterpiece, a group of travelers is caught in a sudden summer thunderstorm and rushes to find cover.

No.46 KAMEYAMA

A celebrated snow scene. The procession of a feudal lord ascends the steep hill to Kameyama Castle.

No.47 SEKI

Each station was required to maintain lodging houses for travelers. The inn shown here is for upper-class travelers such as feudal lords.

No.48 SAKANOSHITA

Travelers and visitors from Kyoto enjoyed a spectacular view from a teahouse located on the mountain pass.

No.49 TSUCHIYAMA

In the mountain forest, travelers cross a small bridge spanning a torrential brook in heavy rain.

No.50 MINAKUCHI

A solitary traveler walks past women who are busy peeling and drying gourds, a local delicacy.

No.51 ISHIBE

A road-side cafe offering travelers rice wine, rice balls wrapped in leafy vegetables, and baked tofu coated with miso paste.

No.52 KUSATSU

The Nakasendo, a large highway through the mountainous region between Edo and Kyoto, joined the Tokaido here to form a single road for the rest of the way to Kyoto.

No.53 OTSU

Three bullock-carts pass down the main street of this large station town located on the southwestern shore of Lake Biwa, which had many shrines and temples in its vicinity.

FINISH: KYOTO

Arriving at the old imperial capital, travelers crossed the Sanjo Bridge, whose railing posts were decorated with onion-shaped metal finials.

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