License all the photos on this site at our boutique photo agency for vintage photographs, illustrations and maps of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s (Meiji, Taisho, early Showa)
A single car on a modernized Tokaido, the main connection between Edo (current Tokyo) and Kyoto during the Edo Period. This photo was shot in 1930, some 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Yokohama. The Tokaido’s famous scenes of countless travelers on foot soon vanished after the first railroad connection between Tokyo and Kobe was completed in the late 1880s. Although the first cars were produced in Japan during the early 1900s, and this image shows a car on the Tokaido, the condition of most roads was so bad that cars didn’t really take off in Japan until after WWII.
This glass slide is one of a series of slides of Japan that was used by the New York State Education Department to teach students about Japan.