Item No: Facjp00040
Title: No.11 "Hakone" from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido
Print and Picture Collection
"The most difficult section of the Tokaido was the pass at Hakone, which was about nine miles from Odawara, and which was approachable only by a steep mountain path. The road itself was dangerous, and travelers ran the added risk of falling victim to bandits who chronically harrassed the area.As a compenssation, however, there were scenic splendors on a dazzling scale, as well as a large number of magnificant hot springs, warmed by the subterranean fires of the dormant Mt. Fuji. When one had finallyclimbed to Hakone proper, one could look out over the clear waters of Lake Ashi (often called Lake Hakone) toward Fuji's awe-inspiring peak or rest under the huge trees of the forest that surrounded Hakone shrine."
from "The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido by Hiroshige", Tokyo, Japan. Heibonsha Ltd., Publishers, 1960. plate 11
note card with print
Hakone: Lake Scene. To Japanese desirous of viewing beautiful scenes, the mountains of Hakone would have made little appeal - for cons of exposure to wind, rain, and snow have created jagged summits too harsh to be considered, in older time, beautiful. Now, of course, Hakone, with its hot-spring baths, is a very popular resort the year round; in Hiroshige's day, it was an extremely difficult mountain pass. The long line of travelers seen walking through the narrow valley may be prosumed to be the procession of Kyoto. It was this annual procession that Hiorshige, in the early summer of 1832, was permitted to join, thus making his first trip along the Tokaido.
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Woodblock Prints - The Fifty-three Stations of the T?kaid? Road
Hiroshige, Utagawa, 1797-1858 - Artist