The Tōkaidō was the highway connecting Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto during the
pre-modern period in Japan. It consisted of fifty-three "stations" or rest
stops, including the starting point in Edo and the end of the route in Kyoto. It
was a popular subject among artists of ukiyo-e ("floating world"
woodblock prints), among them Andō Hiroshige (1797-1858), who made a number of
different series representing the fifty three stations. Most of these series
were produced in a horizontal or landscape format. However, the series that came
to be known as the upright Tōkaidō is in vertical or portrait format, and is
generally considered the best of these series. The print here displayed depicts
a group of travelers on horseback entering Fujikawa station during a heavy snowfall.