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London: John Murray, Albermarle Street.


a. Road to Kanagawa                 b. Bridge and Gate, with Guard-house
View of Yokuhama, from the hills behind the town


THE Empire of Japan has been all but closed to the inhabitants of other nations for more than two hundred years. Except a few Dutch and Chinese, who were kept almost like prisoners at Nagasaki, no foreigners have been allowed to reside or trade in the country since about the year 1636. A great and unexpected change has now taken place; Japan has not only opened some of her ports to foreign trade, but has also sent her Ambassadors to visit many of the principal Courts of Europe and America.

The news of the success which attended the English and French forces in the earlier part of the late war with China was quickly wafted across the "Eastern Sea" to Yedo, and, doubtless, had no little effect in inducing the Tycoon and his Ministers (in an evil hour for them) to open their country to foreign intercourse. It is to be hoped that this re-entry into the great family of nations will not bring on those dissensions and wars which marked the period between 1560 and 1636, when the experiment was last tried; for it is well known that, ever since foreigners were expelled from Japan, "the land has had peace."

This change of policy on the part of the Japanese Government gave me an opportunity which I had long desired of visiting the country. I was well aware that Japan was remarkable for the beauty of its scenery, and that it was rich in many species of trees, and other vegetable productions of an ornamental and useful kind, unknown in Europe. With the view of making collections of these and other objects of natural history and works of art, I took my departure for the "far East" in the summer of 1860, and reached Japan in the month of October of that year.

The story of my wanderings is now presented to the reader, with the hope that it may add somewhat to the knowledge already acquired concerning this strange people and their very beautiful land. I have confined my descriptions in a great measure to what came under my own observation. The manners and customs of the people are painted as they appeared to me in their everyday life. The natural productions of the country, whether of commercial importance to other nations, or "pleasant to the eye, and good for food," I have very fully described; and I have endeavoured to show that its export trade is capable of being greatly increased, particularly in those staple articles of tea and silk, which have now become almost necessaries of life amongst ourselves.

The Agriculture of the country was carefully examined; and, as it is in many respects some­what remarkable, a full description of it has been given in the following pages. I have also ven­tured to make a few observations on our political relations with this extraordinary people, which may be of some interest at the present time.

Most of the illustrations were kindly sketched for me by Dr. Dickson of China. I am also indebted to my fellow-passenger, Dr. Barton, for some views in the Inland Sea, and for that of Castle Island, Cape Gotto.

When I had finished my work in Japan, the Chinese war had been brought to a successful termination, and I was enabled to visit the new ports of Chefoo and Tien-tsin, on the Gulf of Pechele, and also the capital city of Peking itself, and the mountains which lie beyond it. In the concluding chapters of the work I have sought to give a faithful description of this part of my travels over a country which, until the last war, was almost as little known to Europeans as Japan itself. Mr. Wyndham, of H.M. Legation in Peking, furnished me with the sketch of the curious "White-barked Pine" of that country.

Having thus given an outline of what may be expected in this narrative of my journey to the capitals, of Zipangu and Cathay, I have only to solicit the kindness and indulgence of my readers, trusting that they will overlook the many faults of my imperfect performance.


London, February, 1863.


First view of Japan — Curious islands — Papenberg — Massacre of Christians — Visit from the officials — Harbour of Nagasaki — Desima of old — Desima Of the present day — Japanese factory — Town of Nagasaki — Tea-houses — Salamanders — Buddhist temples — Large camphor-trees — Tombs — Mimic processions — Dr. Siebold's residence — Excursions — Epunga — Natural productions — Scenery — Trade of Nagasaki — Its capabilities as a Sanatarium

We leave Nagasaki — Van Dieman's Strait — Gale of wind — Vries's Island — View of Fusi-yama — Bay of Yedo — Yokuhama — Its value as a port for trade — Foreign houses — Native town — Shops — Bronzes, ivory carvings, and curiosities — Lacquer ware — Porcelain — Rock-crystal balls — Toys — Books and maps — Menagerie — The Gan-ke-ro — Surrounding country — Its geological

Town of Kanagawa — The Imperial highway — Travellers upon it — Princes — Pack-horses — Mendicant priests — Blind men — Beggars, &c — Visit to the temple of Bokengee — The umbrella pine-tree — Sintoo temples — Scenery — Thatched roofs — Valuable elm — The farmer and his chrysanthemums — Tomi — His one fault — Temple of To-rin-gee Scenery by the way — Thujopsis dolabrata — Farm-houses — Tea-plant — Fruit-trees — Yedo vine — Vegetables — Trees and shrubs of the district — The male aucuba — Geological features

Journey from Kanagawa to Yedo — Native body-guard — The Tokaido — Civility of the people — Beggars by the wayside — Tea-houses — Kawasaky — River Loga — "Mansion of Plum-trees" — The ladies' platform — Hostess and waiting-maids — Japanese and Chinese ladies compared — Tea-gardens — Sinagawa — English Legation — Hospitality of Mr. Alcock — Large cemetery — Garden and trees — The Yakoneens

The city of Yedo — Hill of the god Atango — Magnificent view Of the city from its summit — "Official quarter" — Broad streets — Castles of the feudal princes — The inner circle — Moats and massive walla — Clumps of trees — No embrasure or guns visible — Use of the moats and ramparts — Murder of the Regent or Gotiro — Fate of the murderers — The Harikari — Castle of the Emperor — Kæmpfer's description — "Belle Vue" — Population of Yedo — Size of the city

The country round Yedo — Hill and valley — Trees — Autumnal foliage — Views of Fusi-yama — Cottages and farm-houses — Flowers and vegetables — Signs of high civilization — Public baths — Beautiful lanes and hedges — Avenues and groves — Civility of the people — Dogs and their prejudices — Street dogs — Lapdogs — Fire at the British Legation — Mode of giving alarm — Organization of Fire-brigade — Wretched engines — Presents from foreign governments — More suitable ones pointed out

A journey in search of new plants — Japanese College — Residence of Prince Kanga — Dang-o-zaka — Its tea-gardens, fish-ponds, and floral ladies — Nursery-gardens — Country people — Another excursion — Soldiers — Arrive at Su-mae-yah — Country covered with gardens — New plants — Mode of dwarfing — Variegated plants — Ogee, the Richmond of Yedo — Its tea-house — The Tycoon's hunting-ground — Fine views — Agricultural productions —  A drunken man — Intemperance of the people generally

Residence of the Abbé Girard — Singing-birds — Commercial quarter of Yedo — Shops — Paper, and the uses to which it is applied — Articles of food — Monkeys eaten — Fire-proof buildings — Nipon Bas — Ah-sax-saw — Its bazaars, temples, and tea-gardens — Fine chrysanthemums — Tea-plant — The Yedo river — The city opposite Yedo — Temple of Eco-ying — Its origin — Crowds of people — Curious scene in the temple — Earthquakes — Their frequency — How they are dreaded by the natives — Straw shoes of men and horses

Leave Yedo — Mendicant nuns — Place of execution — Its appearance in the days of Kæmpfer — Visit to a famous temple — Field crops by the way — Begging priests — Pear-trees — Holy water — Temple of Tetstze — Its priests and devotees — Inn of "Ten Thousand Centuries" — Kind reception — Waiting-maids and refreshments — Scenes on the highway — Relieved from my yakoneen guard — New plants added to my collections — Names of the most valuable — Ward's cases, their value — Plants shipped for China — Devout wishes for their prosperous voyage

Adieu to Yokuhama — Views of Mount Fusi — The Kino Channel and Inland Sea — Presents for the Queen — The port of Hiogo and town of Osaca — Important marts for trade — Good anchorage — Crowds of boats — Islands — Charming scenery — Daimios' castles — Towns and villages — Gorgeous sunset — Village of Ino-sima — Terraced land — "The pilot's home" — River-like sea — Scenes on shore — Clean and comfortable houses Fortress of Meara-sama — Visit of officials — Their manners and customs — Gale of wind — Extraordinary harbour — Southern Channel — Ship ashore — Two Jonahs on board — Nagasaki in winter — Arrival at Shanghae — Plants shipped for England

Return to Japan — Kite-flying at Nagasaki — Spring flowers — Field crops — Gale of wind in Van Dieman's Strait — Arrive at Yokuhama — Insect and shell collecting — Reported difficulty in getting assistance from the natives — How to manage Orientals — Rare beetle — Dr. Adams's account of its capture — Curious mode of catching fish — Visit Kanagawa — Agriculture in spring — Paddy cultivation — Mode of manuring the land — Winter crops nearly ripe — Trees and flowers — "The Queen of the Primroses"

Invitation from the American Minister to visit Yedo — Inland road — Nanka-nobu tea-garden — Extraordinary Glycine — Pleasant lanes and hedges — Civility of the people — Arrive at the American Legation — Guard and spies — Large tree — Unpleasant diplomatic correspondence — Nursery gardens in the country visited — Summer flowers and new plants — Return to Yedo — A ride in the country — Mr. Heuskin's tomb — "Temple of Twelve Altars" — Poets' Avenue — How a drunken Japanese makes himself sober — Shoeing horses Departure from Yedo — General remarks on the city and suburbs

Return to Kanagawa — Moxa and acupuncture — Mode of performing these operations — Their supposed value — Prospects of better medical and surgical knowledge in Japan — Roadside altar — Ladies at their prayers — The conclusion of the ceremony — Field crops and spring flowers at the end of May — Commencement of rains — Beautiful rainbow — A violent earthquake — Burning rape-stalks for manure — An English strawberry found — New plants discovered — Vegetables and fruit in the markets — Entomological notices — Land shells — A Buddhist congregation — Their mode of worship — Amusing visit from the congregation — An interval in the service — Its conclusion


Journey into the country — Fine views by the way — Town Of Kanasawa — Our inn — Visit to a temple — The visitors' book — Crowds in front of the inn — Their manners and customs — Japanese bedrooms — Natural productions — Uncultivated land — Remarks on the extent of population in Japan — Fine views — Kamakura the ancient capital — An insane woman — Her extraordinary conduct — Our inn at Kamakura — Large bronze image — Its interior — Crowds and their behaviour — A tiffin and a siesta — Visit to the temples of Kamakura — The sacred stone — Yuritomo's tomb — A page from Japanese history — Return to Kanagawa

Assassinations — Supposed causes — The innocent suffer for the guilty — Japanese desire for revenge — Midnight attack on H. B. M. Legation — The scene next morning — Supposed reasons for the attack — Document found on a prisoner — Its translation — Opinions of Japanese ministers — True reasons for the attack — Instigators known — Weakness of government — Causes of its weakness — Its sincerity — The difficulties it has to encounter — Murder of Mr. Richardson — News of a revolution in Yedo

Climate of Japan — Dr. Hepburn's tables — Hottest and coldest months — Monsoons — Gales of wind — The rainy season — Earthquakes — Agriculture — Rank of the farmer — Rocks and soil — Cultivation of winter crops — Seed-time and harvest — Curious mode of harvesting — Summer crops on dry land — Mode of planting — Manures — Crops requiring irrigation — Cultivation of rice — Other crops — Animals few in number — Waste lands — Crops and seasons


Other productions of Japan — Silk, tea, &c. — Silk country — Value of silk — Tea districts — Curious statements on tea cultivation — Value of exports from Kanagawa in 1860-61 — Means of increasing the supplies of silk and tea — Prospects on the opening of the new ports — Japanese objections to the opening — The Tycoon's letter to the Queen — Ministers' letter to Mr. Alcock — Their recommendations considered — Danger of opening Yedo at present — Remarks on the other ports. — Trade probably overrated — Japanese merchants compared with Chinese — Prejudices against traders in Japan — Foreign officials and these prejudices — War with Japan not improbable


Narrative resumed Exciting times — Supposed attacks on M. de Wit and others — Visit from the Governor of Kanagawa — Object of his visit — He inspects my collections — A question regarding my safety — A cautious and consolatory reply — Fences repaired and spiked — Guards stationed round the foreign dwellings — My researches in Japan come to an end — Plants put into Ward's cases — Curiosity of the natives — Kindness of Captain Vyse — Adieu to Japan — Arrival in China

Leave Shanghae for Peking — Port of Chefoo — Agricultural and natural products — The Pei-ho river — Arrival at Tien-tsin — Salt-mounds — Suburbs — Mean buildings — Active trade — Noisy coolies — Shops — Large warehouses — Hawkers — Gambling propensities of the people — The city — Ruinous ramparts — Filthy streets — Surrounding country — Salt plain — Gardens and nurseries — Winter houses for plants — Fruit-trees cultivated in pots — Fruit ice-houses — Vineyards — San-ko-lin-tsin's Folly — Winter in Tien-tsin

The people of Tien-tsin — Visit to a gentleman's house — Reception — Street beggars — Begging musicians — Civil hospital established by the English — Dr. Lamprey's report — Chinese poorhouse — Fat beggars — Climate and temperature — Dust-storms — Remarkable size of natural productions — Large men and horses — Shantung fowls — Gigantic millet, oily grain, and egg-apples — Jute — Vegetables in cultivation — Imperial granaries — Use of millet and jute stems — Foreign trade — New settlement for foreign merchants — The future of Tien-tsin as a centre of trade

Leave Tien-tsin for Peking — My passport — Mode of travelling — Carts and wretched roads — Hotel at Tsai-tsoun — Towns of Hoose-woo, Nan-ping, and Matao — Hotel at Chan-chow-wan — Poor accommodation — Moderate charges — Appearance of the country — Crops and cultivation — Mountains in the distance — Walls and ramparts of Peking — Foreign embassies — English Legation — Medical missions — Chinese observatory — Views from it — Tartar and Chinese cities

The streets of Peking — Imperial palaces — Lama mosque — Western side of the city — Portuguese cemetery — Marble tablets — Tombs of Catholic priests — Ricci and Verries — Visits to the Chinese city — Scenes at the gates — The cabs of Peking — Shops and merchandise — Vegetables and fruits — "Paternoster Row" — Jade-stone and bronzes — Ancient porcelain — Temple of Agriculture — South side of Chinese city — Nursery gardens and plants — Country people — South-west side of Chinese city — Waste lands — Royal ladies expected — A September morning in Peking — Northern part of the Tartar city — The An-ting gate — Graves of English officers — The Lama temple — Chief features of Peking

A journey to the mountains — Long trains of camels and donkeys — Pagoda at Pale-twang — Large cemetery — Curious fir-tree — Agricultural productions — Country people — Reach the foot of the hills — Temples of Pata-tshoo — Foreign writing on a wall — A noble oak-tree discovered — Ascend to the top of the mountains — Fine views — Visit from mandarins — Early morning view — Return to Peking — Descend the Pei-ho — Sail for Shanghae — Arrange and ship my collections — Arrive in Southampton