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more cemented, and the ties are more and more like those of the family group.
The first glimpse of the “Island Empire” is had at Yokohama. This is the largest of the treaty ports, and practically the port of Tokio. If you are bent upon a thorough inspection of this new wonderland, you quit the steamer at Yokohama, and with the stop-over ticket, proceed through the interior, by rail, to the temples and shrines, and many places of absorbing interest. A little note on climate that you may prepare yourself accordingly. To speak generally, the summer is hot, with occasional rains, and during September and a part of October very wet. Beginning late in autumn, and through the first part of winter it is delightfully cool and dry. February and March are variable with more or less snow, and in the late spring, considerable rain and high winds are interspersed with beautiful days. For thirteen years the mean temperature was 56.5o. The lowest, January, 36.7o. Highest, August, 77.9o. Mean rainfall 58.33". Number of rainy days 138.7, and days with snow 8.5.
Japan has been called “the pleasure ground of the universe," and it is said one always leaves the country with regrets, no matter how short or long his stay. Dr. Dresser said, while exploring the country: “I am getting weary of beauty and I am weary of writing of the beautiful.” Percival Lowell says: “In the soul of the far East, the Japanese makes love to Nature, and it almost seems as if Nature heard his silent prayer and smiled upon him in acceptance, as if the lovelight lent her face the added beauty that it lends the maids. For nowhere in this world probably is she lovelier than in Japan. A climate of long happy means and short extremes. Months of spring, and months of autumn, with but a few weeks of winter in between; a land of flowers where the lotus and the cherry, the plum and wistaria grow wantonly side by side; a land where the bamboo embosoms the maple; where the pine at last has found its palm tree, and the tropic and temperate zone forget their separating identity in one long selfobliterating kiss.”
Japan “can be done" in three weeks, but three months is preferable. It is best also if you want
JAPANESE FLOWER MERCHANT. the best of everything to start on an excursion in the morning and avoid night travel. Of course one must be armed with a passport, for this is in constant requisition. An excellent view of Yokohama and its approaches is had from Noge-Yama. Here are various shrines such as the Shinto God of Akiha, the great Buddhist God and the Sun Goddess of Ise.
It is eighteen miles from Yokohama to Tokio, the capital. The journey is made by rail in fifty minutes. It was the first railroad built in Japan and was opened in 1872. Tokio has good hotel accommodations and is the center of the trade in curios. On the road hither from Yokohama an excellent view of Fujiyama, the
highest mountain peak in Japan may be had. It is 12,400 feet high. At Neno Park the Cherry Blossom festival is held each year in April. If the traveler returns to Yokohama he may go by steamer to Kobe, the distance being 348 miles. If he goes by rail the distance is 376 miles. Most travelers go by rail as they may thus visit Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and other desirable places en route. The road runs through a
densely populated region SWIMMING TANK ON THE "GAELIC."
and these cities are among the chief in the Empire. Kobe is the center for travelers, being situated accessible to the great Inland Sea and also communicating by rail with the interior important cities. The famous landscape gardens are in this region, and numerous temples of antiquity, while the scenic effects are incomparable. Lake Biwa is a national resort. It is 36 miles long by 12 miles wide, has an elevation of 340 feet and its depth is 325 feet. The oldest Buddhist temple in Japan is found near here and has many relics of antiquity. The bronze work in these temples is very elaborate. In one the bell was cast in 732, contains 37 tons of metal, is 14 feet high, 9 feet in diameter and 872 inches thick at the edges.
The Inland Sea of Japan is famous the world over. Its length is 240 miles, and is studded with beautiful islands, similar in contour and aspect to those in the St. Lawrence and Puget Sound. It is justly styled the most magnificent sheet of water in the known world. It narrows in places so that two ships can hardly pass, and from the time the steamer enters it, through the Straits of Akashi until she goes out through the Straits of Shimonoseki, it is one gorgeous panorama, a veritable sailing through “ fairy-land.” The islands and country are in a high state of cultivation and the whole scene is so emblazoned with grandeur that the travelers quit their meals and feast their souls on the beauties of their surroundings.
Emerging into the open sea from the Straits of Shimonoseki a detour is made southward, where Nagasaki is reached. The steamer remains here usually one day for the purpose of coaling, and this is done by men, women and children with small baskets. The adults standing in a row passing the basket along the line from one to the other to the boat, the children gathering up the empty baskets. The women receive for this work nine cents a day and the men twelve cents. The
largest engineering and ship-building works in the far East are situated here, also the Tategami dock, cut out of solid rock and costing over $1,000.000. It is available for the largest ships afloat, and is a remarkable piece of workmanship.
The distance from Nagasaki to Shanghai is about 400 miles, and Shanghai from Hongkong about 870 miles. Shanghai is termed the “ Paris of the far East” because of its pleasures and social gaities. Its population is about 400,000 with 5000 foreigners. It is the largest treaty port in China. Usually the traveler takes a stop-over trip at Shanghai, partly because of the sights there and because he wishes to see the great city of Peking, about 80 miles inland, and the distance is covered in less than four hours. There are fine roads and beautiful drives in this region and a very profitable stay can be made in the study of the antiquities, habits and customs of the people. Peking became the capital of China in 1491 and its present population is placed anywhere between 1,000,000 and 1,750,000. The natives call the city Ching. It is surrounded by walls, the outer of which is distant about 130 yards and runs parallel to the city. Then high walls and open spaces surround the inside of the Imperial City of Peking and separate it entirely from the city itself. The great wall of China is 45 miles from the city, and the road leading to the nearest part is paved with solid granite slabs 10 feet long. The city and its surroundings are replete with curiosities, and well worth a visit.
It is about four days by steamer from Shanghai to Hongkong. Hongkong is styled the “Revelation ” owing to its development since the incoming of the English in 1841. In that year the Island of Hongkong was ceded to Great Britain by China, the island then having a population of 2000, consisting of Puntis, Aboriginee ;, Hakkas, or strangers from the highlands, and the Hoklos, hailing from the coast ports of the North. The island is about three miles in width and twelve miles in length. It now has a population approximating 250,000 and is cosmopolitan in appearance. Those journeying to the Philippines usually want to spend about three days on their outward trip, viewing the many interesting sights in and around Hongkong, and should by all means take a flying trip up to Canton, which is reached in about seven hours by boat. Here is found the temple of Honan, the finest temple in China, with its gardens, in the kitchen department of which there is a Columbarium similar to the one discovered at Pompeii. A Buddhist monastery and nunnery with water clock 800 years old and the five-storied Pagoda are also here. Another day is usually given to Maco where great gambling games
similar in style to those at Montecarlo are carried on. At Hongkong we bid good-bye to the good ship Gaelic, genial Captain Finch and his courteous officers and each one prepares to go his own way, and in winding up this short description of a most charming sea voyage, the writer feels it incumbent upon him to say that all the promises made by the steamship officials were more than fulfilled, and this was the concensus of opinion throughout the ship.
From Hongkong to Manila, the distance as heretofore stated, is about 850 miles and the trip is made in about three and one-half days. The China Sea is well known to be a body of rough water and you do not look forward with much pleasurable anticipation of the trip. However, it has to be made, and your first inquiry is, which of the steamship lines have the safest and best boats. There are several small boats running to Manila, and if you happen to be a passenger on one of these in some of the storms which are quite frequent in this latitude, you may not only have occasion to regret your experience, but there is also actual danger to life. It is generally the wisest and best in such cases to patronize an old established company as they all usually know by experience the existing conditions and are prepared for emergencies. The events of the past year in the Philippine Islands have caused a good deal of travel to Manila and this has made the steamship business unusually brisk and as a result a number of boacs have been taken off other routes that are less profitable and put upon this one.
The oldest firm operating a line of steamers between Hongkong and Manila is Warren, Barnes & Company. We took passage on their steamer Esmeralda and have never had occasion to regret the choice. Of course the change in our surroundings was quite notice
JAPANESE PAGODA. able as compared with those we had been accustomed to on the good old Gaelic, but as compared with some of the boats of the other steamship companies we think we were very fortunate in making the choice. The sea was very choppy and rough and although we had experienced only slight symptoms of seasickness in crossing the Pacific Ocean we are willing to admit that there were only two occasions when we answered the call of the dinner bell, once before the steamer left the harbor of Hongkong and the other after we were inside Manila Bay.
As we enter the historical waters of Manila Bay, past the guns which frown upon us from Fraile Rock and the forts on Corregidor Island, we remember with a thrill of admiration that a little less than a year ago a very unassuming Commodore in the American Navy, with his slim fleet entered these same waters,