Japan enjoyed something of a travel boom in the late Edo Period (1603-1868). This was no doubt a key impetus behind the famous ukiyo-e landscape series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” created by Katsushika Hokusai around 1830, depicting the beauty of the iconic mountain from a variety of locations. A short while later, Utagawa Hiroshige came out with his series “Famous Views of the Eastern Capital,” featuring landscapes in Edo (present-day Tokyo).

Hiroshige followed in 1833 with the series that became one of the greatest ukiyo-e hits of all time, “Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road.” Not long before, a comical adventure novel, “Tokaidochu Hizakurige” (“Hoofing It Along the Tokaido Road”; 1802-14) by Jippensha Ikku, had also become widely popular.

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