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.

Share this Page
Recent Comments  

Tokyo 1890s • Nihonbashi Fishmarket

100908-0008 - Tokyo Nihonbashi Fish Market

Boats are docked at the fish market in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. If you’d ask someone in Tokyo about this spot now, they will most probably call it a staid business area. This is where the Bank of Japan and the Tokyo Stock Exchange are located. Many financial companies have their headquarters here. Even the department stores in this area—Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya—are seen as a bit conservative. Yet, until 1923, Nihonbashi housed a colorful and busy fish market, right next to the famous Nihonbashi Bridge.

Read Full Article (Features Map!) | Comment [4]

Shikoku, 1880s • Kotohira-gu Shrine

Kotohira-gu, Kagawa Prefecture
Kotohira-gu, Kagawa Prefecture
click to enlarge

A very rare photo of Kotohira-gu, a Shinto shrine popularly known as Konpira-san, in Kotohira, Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, popularly known as Konpira-san. Few foreign visitors made it to Shikoku during the late 19th century. As tinted photographs were usually produced for and purchased by foreign visitors, it is quite special that such an image exists of this location. Amazingly, the main shrine building seen on this image—built in 1877 (Meiji 10)—looks virtually exactly the same today. This is one of those relatively few places left in Japan where you can truly jump back into time.

Read Full Article (Features Map!) | Add Comment [11]

Yokohama 1900s • Tomitake Theater

70130-0017 - Tomitake Theater

Tomitake-tei (富竹亭, Tomitake Hall) on Bashamichi-dori, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, a stone’s throw from Yoshidabashi Bridge. The theater, which was active through 1912 (Taisho 1), was owned by Takejiro Takeuchi (竹内竹次郎), who ran three other yose in Yokohama.

Read Full Article | Add Comment [1]

Kobe 1870s • View from Mount Suwa

80421-0001: View on Kobe

View of eastern Kobe from Mount Suwa during the late 1870s, early 1880s. The foreign settlement is located on the coast just out of the frame on the right.

Read Full Article (Features Map!) | Add Comment