Nihonbashi, Asa no kei
Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road Here is a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige after his first travel along the Tokaido in 1832. The Tokaido road, linking the shogun's capital, Edo, to the imperial one, Kyoto, was the main travel and transport artery of old Japan. It is also the most important of the "Five Roads" (Gokaido)- the five major roads of Japan created or developed during the Edo era to further strengthen the control of the central shogunate administration over the whole country. Even though the Hoeido edition is by far the best known, The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido 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).