Street in Tokyo Japan about 1892

street-in-tokyo-japan-about-1892

STREET IN TOKYO, JAPAN Tokyo (formerly called Yedo) is the capital of Japan, and is an hour’s ride by rail from Yokohama. It was thrown open to foreign travel only as recently as 1869, but it has made up for lost time by assuming many European characteristics. It now has numerous buildings constructed in the European style. Foreign dress and the European mode of arranging the hair have also been very extensively adopted. Electric lights and telephones no longer excite wonder here. Tram-cars and omnibuses may be also seen, although the vehicle most used is the Jinrikisha, specimens of which are visible at the left of this illustration. In these a man places himself between the shafts and plays the part of a horse for as many hours and for as long a distance as the traveler can bear to be drawn by him. The size of Tokio is enormous, almost equalling that of London, and its population is nearly one and a half millions. The “sights” of such a city, as may be easily imagined, cannot be exhausted so soon as the sight-seer himself. Numerous and interesting temples, the Mikado’s Palace, the imperial University, the Arsenal, the famous Ueno Park, the admirable Museum of Japanese Antiquities, these together with the fascinating shops of Curios, Lacquer Work and Bronzes, furnish material for many days of constant pleasure and employment. There are few sidewalks in Tokyo, the streets themselves being used freely, and not without danger, by foot-passengers and vehicles. Every omnibus and coaches of all descriptions carry horns, which the drivers blow to warn people to clear the way. Extensive conflagrations frequently take place here, for most of the buildings are made of wood. Earthquakes are of common occurrence, and have occasioned at times enormous loss of life. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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