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A spectacular view on the city of Tokyo from Atago-yama, a hill some 26 meters above sea-level. Shops and dwellings have taken the place of the great residences of the daimyo. In the far background, the roof of Tsukiji Honganji can be seen. Beyond that is Tokyo Bay.
During the Edo Period, Atago-yama was a popular place for people to enjoy watching the moon. It was also a great place to photograph panoramic views of the city. The earliest surviving panoramic view shot from here was taken by Felice Beato in 1865 or 1866 (see below).
View of Edo from Atago-yama by Felice Beato, 1865 or 1866 (detail from “Panorama of Yeddo from Otagayama”). The large estates belonged to daimyo.
Detail of view from Atago-yama by Nobukuni Enami. Neighborhood shops have taken the place of the grand residences of the Daimyo.
By the time Nobukuni Enami photographed this area, the residences of the daimyo, still visible on Beato’s image, had long since been torn down or used for other purposes. But the basic lay-out was the same. Something that cannot be said anymore today.
When Edo was built, careful consideration had been made to conserve the views from the city. The direction of Edo’s main streets offered impressive views of all of the city’s scenic spots, including Atago-yama. Some other places that were clearly visible from the city were Mt. Fuji, the Musashino Plain, the Sumida River, Mt. Tsukuba, Mt. Kanda, the Yushima and Hongo Plateaus, Shinobugaoka (Ueno), the Main Enclosure and Nagatacho Plateaus, Shiba-Zojoji Urayama and Shiba Maruyama.
These days, developers have lost the wisdom of the planners of the Edo Period. Almost all the beautiful views are now obscured by high-rises.
1880 (Meiji 12) Map of Tokyo: 1. Atago-yama; 2. Shinbashi Bridge; 3. Ginza; 4. Shinbashi Station; 5. Tsukiji Honganji