Nothing illustrates this better than 36 Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai — perhaps Japan's most famous series of artworks. The collection shows Mount Fuji from 36 different locations in Edo-era (19th century) Japan.
How would these spots look today? Can we still see Mount Fuji from the same locations? Or do modern buildings and highways block the view? We tracked a few of them down:
The Great Wave Off KanagawaMany assume that The Great Wave Off Kanagawa shows a tsunami. In fact, it's a regular wave (possibly in a typhoon). Today, there are still waves in Kanagawa — Kanagawa has dozens of popular surfing beaches.
The Bridge at NihonbashiThis view of Fuji is from the middle of a wooden bridge that stood at Nihonbashi from 1603 - 1911.
There is a stone bridge (1911) at the same spot today. The view of Fuji from the bridge is long gone.
Pleasure District at SenjuThe Pleasure District at Senju is long gone.
This area is now part of the Tokyo metropolitan area (Arakawa). Here's the view today from close to Minami-Senju station.
Lake KawaguchiLake Kawaguchi looks much as it did in the Edo-era.
ShinagawaShinagawa is now part of central Tokyo.
Lake SuwaLake Suwa hasn't changed too much.
AoyamaAoyama is now amongst the most expensive land in the World.
MeguroMeguro is now a upscale residential neighborhood in Tokyo.
Minobu RiverMinobu River is close to the backside of Mount Fuji. It looks much the same today as it did 180 years ago.
MishimaThe view from Mishima hasn't changed too much.
Tama RiverToday the Tama river marks the border between Tokyo and Kanagawa.
Tsukuda IslandTsukuda Island is an artificial island that was constructed by fishermen from Osaka in the Edo-era. Today, the island is larger and is packed with skyscrapers. The view of Fuji (from the same perspective) is long gone.