During the Edo Period the Tōkaidō road became the most important route from Japan, connecting the capital Kyoto to Edo, the Tokugawa shogunate’s city. The 476 kilometers are today traveled by Shinkansen in less than 2 hours, but during the Edo period the Tōkaidō route took about 2… or even 3 weeks.
The most popular way to travel the Tōkaidō was of course by foot, only the richest being able to rent a kago (which is also by foot…), so the Tōkaidō was dotted with inns, but going through the route was still an adventure. However, the number of people traveling through the Tōkaidō route just for sightseeing started to rise after the appearance of a book, Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige, which told the story of two travelers, Yajirobē and Kitahachi, known today as Yaji-san and Kita-san. Their story was filled with all sorts of amusing adventures taking place between Edo and Kyoto.
So, no wonder that today we can find Yaji-san and Kita-san immortalized in statues placed at the end of their trip, the Sanjo Ohashi bridge from Kyoto…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: