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maples and cryptomerias, the creepers and the ferns, that grow around in full luxuriance.

Before mid-day we are back again in Osaca; the same evening we hire one of the ordinary one-masted native junks, and pass the night in the small recess under the high wooden deck at the stern, our boatman meanwhile directing the vessel on her way towards Kobé. We reach our destination before daybreak. On the succeeding evening we are moving off on board the Costa Rica’ for Yokohama.




The sea-voyage from Kobé to Yokohama is one of nearly 350 miles. In fine clear weather it must be a remarkably pleasant voyage, affording, as it does, coast views for nearly the whole distance; but as the larger portion of it is exposed to the full power of westerly or southerly gales coming in from the Pacific, and at the season of typhoons is not unfrequently visited by those muchdreaded hurricanes of the East, it has oftener than not a full share of the discomforts of the sea. We come in for a fair portion of these, and, what with rather thick weather and a very heavy gale which forces us to lie to' for a few hours, our vessel does not average through the voyage more than seven knots


hour. Our fellow-passengers are altogether a mixture. Two near neighbours at the dinner-table turn out to be travelling quacks, one bent on making known to his fellow-foreigners in Eastern settlements the inestimable advantages to be derived from a course of sugar-coated pills; the other desirous of raising subscriptions for an elaborate history of the American civil war, to come out in numbers, and looking, from his somewhat motley appearance, as if he had already come out in numbers himself.

Before 10 P.m. of the evening of our leaving Kobé, we have passed out of the Inland Sea. The night is dark, and we can see nothing on either side except straggling lines

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of red lights bobbing up and down on the water. These are the torch-fires on a number of fishing-boats, serving both to indicate the positions of the boats and to attract the fish which are to be caught in the drop-net commonly used by the Japanese fishermen.

All next day we struggle against a head wind, which at nightfall increases to a gale, and it is not till on the second morning after leaving Kobé that we pass Rock Island, not far from the Simoda Cape. On this island is a lighthouse, one of the few already built in Japanese waters, to be followed probably by many others within a

few years.

At mid-day we pass abreast of Vries Island, or 0-o-sima, as the native name is—a volcanic mountain rising out of the sea to about 2,000 feet, and still active. As we pass it we can see no trace of the hidden fires, except a thick white mass of vapour, apparently half steam, half natural cloud, which fills up the mouth of the crater and hangs over its edges.

The Japanese fishermen of the neighbouring coast are said to look upon this mountain much as the people of Lucerne look upon Mount Pilatus, and put to sea or not according to the absence or presence of the cloud on its summit. From this point, if the day were clear, we should see the great mountain of Japan, Fusi-yama, but at present all is cloudy on the mainland. Three hours later we round Cape Sagami and enter the Bay of Yeddo, and within another two hours we are anchored, amidst a goodly crowd of shipping, in the shallow waters off Yokohama.

Eleven years ago Yokohama was but a fishing village of 1,000 inhabitants, surrounded by a muddy swamp which extended from the shore back to the semicircle of bluffs that hemmed it in on the south. Now, a piece of land, with a sea-frontage of a mile and a depth of half a mile,

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whereon the native village partly stood, is occupied as the Foreign Settlement, and contains a population of more than 1,000 foreigners; while in the rear and to the west of the settlement spreads a dense native town, with a population probably of 30,000.

The houses on the Foreign Settlement have not a very imposing aspect; partly from the fact of the whole settlement having been burnt to the ground, with the exception of the Club and a very few other houses, four years ago; partly because the frequent occurrence of earthquakes discourages the raising of any but very low buildings. Only latterly, in the first half of this month of May, no fewer than 120 shocks were experienced by the inhabitants. Though none of the foreign houses were actually thrown down, many were severely shaken and cracked; several native houses were levelled with the ground, and throughout the whole of at least one night all the inhabitants were in momentary expectation of seeing Yokohama undergo the fate of Lisbon or Mendoza.

Many of the foreign residents (of whom, we need hardly say, five-sixths are English, German, or American) have built their dwelling-houses on the bluffs which encircle the lower portion of Yokohama. Many of the sites on these bluffs command beautiful views, and are certainly preferable, in a sanitary point of view, to those lower down; for, in Yokohama proper, there is at present no municipal council among the foreigners, and the draining of the place has been left to the Japanese officials, who can hardly be expected to possess nineteenth-century ideas on the subject. Not that the Japanese must be considered as only on a level with other Orientals in taking up Western ideas and inventions: a sufficient proof of their greater readiness to learn from others is the fact that already they have allowed a line of telegraph to be

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laid down between Yokohama and Yeddo, and are even now commencing a survey of a line of railway to run from the capital to Osaka, a distance of nearly 300 miles."

Yokohama seems to enjoy a temperate and healthy climate, similar in many points to that of our own island. Rain falls at uncertain intervals throughout the year, and in amount is about equal to the average British rainfall. In winter, frosts of some severity are felt: last winter (1869–70) skating was practised for upwards of a week on the neighbouring pieces of water; and this, be it remembered, in the same latitude as Malta.

One great excellence in the climate of Yokohama is its almost total exemption from fogs ; such a phenomenon as a ‘pea-soup' fog is unknown there, and even a light one is experienced but once or twice during the year. Nor are the summers trying to an Anglo-Saxon constitution ; for, though certainly hotter than our own, they are seldom sultry, and shade and coolness is always to be found within a short ride or walk of the settlement.

There is at the back of the western end of the settlement of Yokohama a street which is probably to every visitor the most distinctive feature of the place; it is called by the natives the · Benten-Tori,' or · Benten-Doré,' but is known among English and Americans as Curio

* Street.' It is almost needless to say that it owes its origin entirely to the liking which foreigners have shown for Japanese articles in lacquer and porcelain, and is lined on both sides with a succession of curio-shops.

To anyone with a taste for Japanese objets de vertu,' there can be no place so well calculated to feast his eyes

1 Since the above was written the Japanese have made more than one step in advance on the road of Western civilisation. The railway from Yedo to Yokohama (the first portion of the longer line from Yedo to Osaca) has been opened; and a postal system along the Tocaido has been established by the Government.

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