Japan As They Saw It

“the loveliness of Japan”

    Whatever may be our doubts as to the extent of the foreign influence, we can have none as to the loveliness of Japan, and the delight of travelling in the interior. When I left the country I had seen seven out of the eight largest towns; but it is not the weeks in the cities that live in my recollection, but the few days spent in the country districts. Japan is the traveller’s paradise. Through a strange medley of pines and palms, of rice and buckwheat, of bamboos and elms, of tea and cotton; through azalea thickets and camelia groves, across tobacco fields and past rocks covered with evergreen ferns of a hundred kinds, and crowned with grotesque remains; through tussac grass and forests of scarlet maple, and over mountains clad in rich greenery, you may journey in perfect peace, safe from robbery, safe from violence, safe even from beggars, never troubled, never asked for anything, except by a civil policeman for your passport, and that with the lowest of low bows.

Charles Wentworth Dilke, English Influence in Japan, 1876

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