7th Station : 平塚 Hiratsuka

08_Hiratsuka

Art by Ando Hiroshige, “Hiratsuka on the Tokaido, Kyoka Edition

Hiratsuka-juku (平塚宿 Hiratsuka-juku?) was the seventh of the fifty-three stations (shukuba) of the Tōkaidō. It is located in the present-day city of Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. Hiratsuka-juku was first established in 1601, at the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu.In 1651, though, it merged with part of the nearby village of Yawata. In 1655, it was renamed “Shinhiratsuka-juku”. During a census in 1843, the post station was found to have a population of 2,114 people and 443 houses, which included one honjin, 1 sub-honjin and 54 hatago.

Tokaido07_Hiratsuka

Art by Ando Hiroshige, “Hiratsuka on the Tokaido” Hoeido Edition.

A zigzag road, lined with a few trees, traversing fields, and a courier running along and passing two other travelers. In the background a dark, round-topped hill, behind which a white Fuji appears in the distance. Here, the Tokaido Highway runs along a low causeway by the ocean. The man running is one of the professional couriers who worked in relays and covered the distance of 489 km between Edo and Kyoto in about 90 hours.

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