Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshige's Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido

Aug 24 2016 - Dec 2 2016

A series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige after his first travel along the Tōkaidō in 1832.  

The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō was such a popular subject that it led Hiroshige to create some 30 different series of woodcut prints on it, all very different one from the other by their size (ōban or chuban), their designs or even their number (some series include just a few prints). 

One of the five roads constructed under Tokugawa Ieyasu, linking the historical capital of Edo with the rest of Japan. Connecting Edo with the then-capital of Kyoto, the Tōkaidō was the most important and well-traveled of these. The Tōkaidō followed the eastern coast of Honshū, giving rise to the name which means "Eastern Sea Road".  Along this road, there were 53 different post stations which provided stables, food, and lodging for travelers.

Whether you go or not, The Fifty Three Stations of the Tokaido: Utagawa Hiroshige (English Edition)  was first published about 180 years ago, and its popularity has endured. The Tokaido Street was the main highway linking Edo, the administrative capital, with Kyoto, the imperial old capital, and its route can still be traced to this day. It was first laid out some 400 years ago, after Edo became the shogun’s capital. The 53 Stations of the Tokaido series includes 55 prints,depicting the 53 stops along the route, plus the starting and end points, Edo and Kyoto. The series was the creation of the celebrated ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige,also known as Ando Hiroshige.  Hiroshige’s vibrant portrayals of the varied people, seasonal landscapes and weather conditions found along the route tapped into people’s yearning to travel. The Tag line was “ Views as realistic as actually being there." They were so popular - making people feel they’d been transported to these scenes.





  • Works on Paper
  • Asian
  • 19th Century
  • Culture / Lifestyle
  • Japanese
  • woodcut-prints
  • Utagawa Hiroshige

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