The opening of the Suez Canal and the transcontinental ‘Pacific’ railway in America, both in 1869, made the world drastically smaller and initiated a new phase of word travel. Regular international services by steamships and the Pacific railways made travel to the Far East from either Europe or from America far simpler and cheaper.
In order to respond to the demand from the growing number of steamship and rail passengers, many of whom were making a ‘world tour’, various guide books were published around this time. Some were small booklets, including timetables and/or tourist guides distributed only to the passengers, while others were thick handbooks, including encyclopaedic information about routes, ports, and towns. They included many illustrations, charts, and maps. These publications are now a vital source of historic data for anyone interested in the history of travel and tourism. They are also an important source for historians of the modernization of Asia and Japan, but, until now, most of them have been extremely difficult to obtain in good condition, their many fold-out pages being especially susceptible to damage.
This new facsimile collection from Edition Synapsenow available outside Japan from Routledgeincludes nine of the most important guides. Along with the entire texts, the collection also reproduces all the original maps, charts and tables.