In 1832 the artist Hiroshige accompanied a group bringing prize horses to the emperor in Kyoto (the old capital) from the shogun in Edo (now Tokyo, the new capital) of Japan. The route between the two capitals was well traveled and was called the Tokaido (roughly, the view of the eastern sea). Fifty-three post towns dotted the route at convenient distances, and Hiroshige sketched scenes that represented each of these fifty-three stages (as well as the start and stop areas, bringing the total to fifty-five). The series of woodblock prints he produced are among the most famous in Japan’s history.
You can view images of his prints here: