OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN, a photo blog of Japan in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods

Old Photos of Japan
shows photos of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s. In 1854, Japan opened its doors to the outside world for the first time in more than 200 years. It set in motion a truly astounding transformation. As fate would have it, photography had just been invented. As the old country vanished and a new one was born, daring photographers took photos. Discover what life was like with their rare and precious photographs of old Japan.
Recent Comments  
  • Kjeld Duits

    Yes, it does look like that. I hadn’t noticed that yet. Could have been the …

  • Tornadoes28

    It looks like those power/telegraph poles don’t have wires yet.

Good Book Tip
Geisha: Women of Japan's Flower & Willow World • Tina Skinner, Mary L. Martin
Geisha: Women of Japan's Flower & Willow World

Over 500 beautiful photographs and postcards, mostly of between 1900 and 1940, take you back to Japan’s now-extinct licensed pleasure districts. You will keep opening up this book again and again. A beauty!

Read Full Article
Buy now at Amazon!
More book tips

Kobe 1910s • Sannomiya

Sannomiya, Kobe

Ikuta-mae, the street leading to the shinto shrine Ikuta Jinja. In the background the shrine’s torii can be seen. One Western style building made of stone stands out among the otherwise traditional wooden architecture. When Kobe opened its port for trade in 1868 (Meiji 1), this was a beautiful rural sand-road that lead from the shrine to the sea and was lined on both sides with plum and cherry trees and countless stone lanterns. The Dutch located their first consulate around here on the left side of the road. The consul must have had an incredibly beautiful view in spring when all those trees were in flower. The trees and lanterns, however, were removed in the 1870s and the country road became a bustling shopping street that connected Ikuta Jinja with the Foreign Settlement.

Detail of #70216-0062
Detail of the image above, the torii is clearly visible.

Since this photo was taken in the early 1900s the area has undergone a complete transformation. Any person stepping out of this vintage postcard into today’s Sannomiya would be absolutely unable to recognize anything. Even Ikuta Jinja looks different.

For a brief history of Kobe read Kobe 1880s • View from Yamate.

1929 Map of Sannomiya, Kobe1929 (Showa 4) Map of Kobe: 1. Hyogo Kencho; 2. Sannomiya Station (Still in its old location. It was moved to its current location on October 10, 1931. The old Sannomiya Station was reopened in 1934 as Motomachi Station.); 3. Motomachi-dori; 4. Sannomiya Jinja; 5. Ikuta Jinja.

Photographer: Unknown
Publisher: Ueda
Medium: Postcard
Image Number 70216-0062

Quote this number when you contact us about licensing this image.
You can also licence this image online: 70216-0062 @ MeijiShowa.com.

Usage of this image requires a reproduction fee.
Reference for Citations

Duits, K. (2008, October 6). Kobe 1910s • Sannomiya, Old Photos of Japan. Retrieved on 2021, Dec 06 from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/415/sannomiya

Posted by • 2008-10-06
Add Comment

It looks like those power/telegraph poles don’t have wires yet.

#000276 · Tornadoes28 · 2008-10-07

Yes, it does look like that. I hadn’t noticed that yet. Could have been the way the light was reflected, because they were certainly there in the early 1900s when this photo was taken.

#000277 · Kjeld Duits (author) · 2008-10-07

Textile help

NOTE: Your e-mail address is required, but will not be displayed.