Since I discovered this amazing photo blog called Old photos of Japan, I have been getting into the magic of Japanese culture deeper and deeper. I seriously considered visiting a plastic surgeon and getting my eyes done. Nah, just kidding. Or am I?
Sakura (cherry blossom) along the Tamagawa Waterway in Koganei, Tokyo. The stretch of about 4 kilometers of cherry trees was extremely popular for hanami (flower viewing).
It is very difficult to imagine that only a century ago there was this much natural beauty in a city that now consists almost entirely of concrete and asphalt. On this photo, it is still a wide and open landscape. It’s like, “This is Tokyo? No way!” But actually, scenes like these were quite common in Tokyo during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
A man wearing a hanten (half-coat) stands near the entrance of the cryptomeria road in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture. This is the old Hakone Highway near the Ichinotorii gate at Moto-Hakone. Although this was an important and well-traveled road, the road surface looks a bit painful to walk on with straw sandals. Through the majestic cedar trees, Lake Ashi can be seen.
Kobe seen from a location in the mountains, close to where Shin-Kobe Station is located today. The broad street in the center is Takimichi (Waterfall Road, now known as Flower Road). At the time of this photo, the town had existed only about twenty years but it had already developed into a major harbor with a foreign population of over 1,000 people, three quarters of them Chinese.
View on the San-mon main gate and a stone bridge at Chionin buddhist temple in the Higashiyama district in Kyoto, Japan. Chionin is one of the largest temple complexes in Japan and an important religious headquarters. It is the head temple of the Jodo Sect which was initiated by Honen Jonin of Yoshimizu Zenbo (temple of the Zen sect).
A beautiful romantic view on Amidabashi (Amida Bridge) over Nagasaki’s Zeniyagawa (Zeniya River, nowadays called Nakashimagawa), photographed between 1883 and 1897. The bridge in the back is Koraibashi. Rocks and boulders strewn all over the river bed create an image of wild untamed nature, right in the middle of the city of Nagasaki.
Many people who have visited Toji‘s wonderful temple markets will be astounded by this rural image of tea fields with the the five-story pagoda of Toji in the background. The tea fields have long since dissapeared and the temple is now surrounded by busy roads and modern buildings.
Houses, onsen ryokan (spa inns) and white kura (traditional storehouse) are crammed together at Arima Onsen, the ancient hot water spa nearby Kobe. The white bridge crossing the Arimagawa is Taikobashi. It connects the village with the Sanda Kaido, the highway that lead to nearby Sanda. The large mountain in the back is Mount Rokko, still largely without trees at this time.
A very large private garden in Tokyo, featuring a pond, a stone bridge and an almost exotic looking building.
Hakone Lake, also known as Lake Ashi (Ashinoko), is located in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture. It is surrounded by volcanic mountains and offers beautiful views of Mt. Fuji.
A view of Lake Yunoko and the hot spring hotels of Yumoto, near Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. Yumoto’s sulphur baths have attracted weary travelers and people hoping to heal their body and soul for many centuries, and still do so today. Priest Shodo (735-817), who founded the two temples which became the origin of Nikko, is said to have found the hot spring in 788. He called it Yakushiyu (doctor’s hot spring). During the 14th century, it became extremely popular with aristocrats. The village was not always called Yumoto. Before the area received its current name, it was called Futarasan Onsen, after a nearby mountain.