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The best seasons to visit Japan are the spring and the autumn, from the first of April to the end of June, and from the first of September to the end of November. The charm of Japan lies in the simplicity of the life of the Japanese, their happy knack of making much out of little, and the outdoor life in a naturally beautiful country.

In the following seven weeks' tour there is nothing that any one in good health may not accomplish, but one must be prepared to stand a good climb, and to walk five miles or so when ponies or jinrikishas are not procurable. In central Japan there are two great roads to Nikko, the Mecca of Japan, namely, the Tokaido and the Nakasendo. The former is now traversed by railroad, but on the latter there are still some 120 miles over the mountains that can only be done by rikshas, and in some places on foot

Seven Weeks' Tour from Yokohama to Nagasaki, including the Nakasendo

1st day
Yokohama, the chief of the treaty ports of Japan, is eighteen days from San Francisco via Honolulu; fourteen days from Vancouver by the Canadian Pacific Line of steamships; sixteen days from Seattle; and about six days from Hong Kong. Yokohama is a pleasant city, situated on the Bay of Tokio. The European residential quarter is on the Bluff, and a beautiful riksha ride is around by Mississippi Bay. The principal excursion is to the ancient city of Kamakura, where is the celebrated Daibutsu, or colossal bronze statue of Buddha, with many other interesting examples of the art and architecture of old Japan. A pretty drive of four miles from Kamakura is to the peninsula, or island, of Enoshima.
5th day
Miyanoshita. This charming hill resort is situated in the Hakone Mountains, and is easily reached by rail to Kozu (where there is a fine view of the great volcanic mountain, Fuji), thence by tram to Yumoto (where there is a very pretty cascade), and thence by rikshas. There are many pretty walks around Miyanoshita, and the view down the Dogashima ravine is very beautiful when the maple leaves are turning.
8th day Leave Miyanoshita for Ashinoyu, famous for its sulphur springs. From a small eminence ( Benton-yama) near is obtained a magnificent view of Odawara Bay ; thence to Hakone (situated on a lake which reflects the image of Fujiyama), over the mountains by the Ten Province Pass to Atami. The view from this pass includes ten provinces, and is "something never to be forgotten." Time from Miyanoshita, about eight hours.
9th day
Atami, a favorite winter resort, is situated on Odawara Bay, in the Riviera of Japan. There are hot springs here, and a geyser (in the middle of the town), which breaks out every four hours.
11th day Leave Atami by riksha-tram along the coast to Odawara (about four hours) ; thence by rail to Tokio.
12th day
Tokio (previously to 1869 known as Yedo), the metropolitan city of modern Japan, has a popu- lation approximating two millions, and covers an area of nearly a hundred square miles. In recent years much of the*"oldfcity has been pulled down or burnt out, and many buildings in modern European style have been erected. Streets have been widened, sanitary arrangements introduced, foreign dress has been generally adopted by men, and numerous old customs have disappeared. A new city has grown up in the midst of the old. The palace of the emperor stands in the heart of the city, on the site once occupied by the ancient castle of the shoguns — rulers of Japan (nominally subordinate to the mikado) for several centuries. Two great attractions are the Shiba Park and Ueno Park, where are many temples and tombs, marvels of Japanese architecture and art. In these parks, and in many of the streets of the city, are planted thousands of cherry trees. In blooming season, from a little hill (Marayama) at the back of Shiba, a most delightfulView may be had, overlooking the bay, and the city is seen daintily decorated with cherry-blossoms and its atmosphere densely charged with their fragrance. At Asakusa-Kwannon is a notable temple, a visit to which should by no means be missed. The surrounding grounds are a great holiday resort, and the stranger has a good opportunity to see how the middle and lower classes of Japan take their pleasures, intermixed with religious worship.
17th day
Nikko (ninety miles by rail from Tokio). The Japanese have a proverb which says that one should not say "kekko," meaning "magnificent," until Nikko has been seen. Here are the magnificent tombs and shrines of the Tokugawa shoguns, leyasu and lemitsu, embedded among groves of giant cryptomeria trees, amid picturesque mountain scenery, making the resort the most popular one for pilgrims in Japan. Lying 2,000 feet above the sea, Nikko is a charming summer resort, and many of the foreign residents of Tokio have residences here.
20th day To Chuzenji Lake, 4,375 feet above the sea, and a stiff climb by pony or chair. From Nikko the trip includes many beautiful views. In mid-October it is glorious.
21st dau Chuzenji, the Mecca of thousands of pilgrims for a few days in July and August, for an ascent of Nantai-zan as a religious exercise. At other times it is a quiet place. Its surroundings are delightful. The chief attraction is the cascade of Kegon, which dashes over a precipice to the gorge 250 feet below.
22d day Higashi Ogawa, twenty-one miles and a half from Chuzenji via Yumoto and the Konsei Pass, through a dense forest. Travelers will have to walk over the pass.
23d day Numata, about seventeen miles from Higashi Ogawa, through rugged and superb scenery.
24th day
Ikao, about thirteen miles from Numata, the road following the Tonegawa to Shibukawa. This popular summer resort commands grand views of the valleys of Agatsuma-gawa and Tonegawa, and is celebrated for its wild-flowers and song-birds. There are also mineral springs.
26th day
Karuizawa is reached from Ikao by rikshas to Shibukawa, thence by train. From here the ascent of Asama=yama can be made. It is the largest active volcano in Japan (8,280 feet), and the most accessible. The excursion to the top and back can be made in one day.
28th day Higashi Mochiya, at the foot of the Nakasendo range, is reached by rail to Oya, thence by riksha.
29th day Over the Wada Pass, which is the highest and longest on the Nakasendo, being 5,300 feet above sea-level. A magnificent prospect is to be enjoyed from the summit of the pass, including Asama-yama, Lake Suwa and'the Hida-Shinshu range. The night is spent at Shimo-no-Suwa, about twenty miles from Higashi.
30th day At Shimo-noSuwa, the center of the silk industry, and a favorite spa.
31st day Over the Shiojiri Pass, the second highest ( 3,340 feet) on the Nakasendo, or Central Mountain road, commanding a grand view, which includes Yatsu-ga-take, Koshu, Koma-ga-take and the cone of Fuji. The night is spent at Niegawa (twenty-two miles from Shimo), which is located near the River Kiso, whose course will be followed the rest of the way.
32d day Over the Torii Pass (3,150 feet), which derives its name from the massive granite torii on the summit. The night is spent at Fukushima, about eighteen miles from Niegawa.
33d day Suwara, about thirteen miles from Fukushima, through some wild and romantic country, the scene of the awakening of Urashima, the Japanese Rip Van Winkle, whose bed all native travelers stop to see.
34th day
Nagoya is reached by rikshas to Nakatsu-gawa, the route following the romantic Kiso, .thence by rail. Nagoya is a large and prosperous city, capital of the province of Owari, and renowned for its picturesque old castle, which is still one of the wonders of Japan and is a fine specimen of an old Japanese stronghold.
36th day
Kioto (ninety -four miles by rail from Nagoya), the capital of old Japan and the most interesting city in the empire. Although the court has per- manently left Kioto for Tokio, the many cen- turies of acquaintance with court life have left their impress on the population. Here are found royal palaces, the finest of Buddhist and Shinto temples, pagodas and landscape gardens; and the ' melodious sound of great bells from the monasteries at eventide reminds one of the angelus in far-away Brittany. Here are also to be found the best and most artistic cloisonne, porcelain, Damascus ware, lacquer and bronze objects of art, costly and fanciful products of Japanese aestheticism. In fact, Kioto is the most refined and artistic city in Japan. A delightful excursion is to Arashi-yama (glorious in spring and fall foliage), by shooting the rapids in large flat-bottom boats. Lake Biwa is another beauty spot.
43d day
Nara (twenty-six miles by rail from Kioto). Once a great monastic city, new fallen into decay, but still possessing great beauty in its parks and shrines. Like Kamakura, Nara owns a Daibutsu, said to be the largest image of Buddha in Japan, but inferior as a work of art to the one at Kamakura.
45th day Osaka (twenty-five miles by rail from Nara) the principal commercial city of old Japan, is built on the banks of the Yodogawa and alongside numerous canals, reminding the traveler of an old city in Holland. The principal object of interest is the castle, built in 1583 by the famous Shogun Tai-So-Sama, who, to say the least, was not small in his ideas as a mason.
46th day
Kobe (twenty-one miles by rail from Osaka). " A pretty little seaport and European settlement on Osaka Bay, adjoining the Japanese city of Hiogo. Its imports and exports exceed those of any other place in Japan, and the town is rapidly growing. A delightful excursion is to the Moon Falls.
48th day
The Inland Sea. There are various ways of seeing this beautiful piece of water, by private yacht or local steamer, but in the author's estimation it is sufficiently well seen from the deck of the Pacific liner, as she passes through it on the way from Kobe to Nagasaki. The famous Japanese fortress Shimonoseki is 239 miles from Kobe, and from Nagasaki 387 miles. The passage generally takes about thirty-two hours from Kobe to Nagasaki
50th day Nagasaki is the most attractively located of all the " European cities" in the country, besides being the oldest of them. It is a port beloved of sailors, and the scene of Pierre Loti's "Madame Chrysanthemum." From Nagasaki steamer can be taken to Shanghai or Hong Kong, or back to America via the Inland Sea, Kobe and Yokohama.


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