Japanese Ukiyo-e Print (Floating World)-Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige-

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Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese traditional painting. Recently, it is popular for people around the world to look and gather and tour the same places. In this article, we will explain Ukiyo-e in a clear way. Please refer to it!

What is Ukiyo-e Print

Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese traditional painting. A long years before, they were sold at affordable prices. Ukiyo-e described the life of common people especially during the Edo period, portraits of Kabuki actors and famous scenery.

So Ukiyo-e took on rules such as magazines and newspapers like the mirror showing the change of Japan. Ukiyo-e is made by a number of craftsmen having different skills. The feature point is vividly multi-colored printing and outstanding layout.

It is said that there are many painters who are attracted by Ukiyo-e in the world, at the first saying to Van Gogh and Claude Debussy.

History of Ukiyo-e?

It was starting from the Edo period and getting popular among ordinary people because they were made by woodblock prints, so it was easy to publish many copies.

Since Exposition Universelle held in Paris in the 19th century, the movement called “Japonism” flourished in Europe. Japonism refers to the appreciation for Japanese arts including Ukiyo-e. And also, throughout the movement, Ukiyo-e was becoming known all over the world.

Ukiyo-e especially influenced on impressionists such as Van Gogh and Claude Monet. Van Gogh was a collector of Ukiyo-e and painted men surrounded by Ukiyo-e in his own works, while Claude Monet also painted his works inspired from vividly color of Ukiyo-e.

Ukiyo-e two famous person Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige

And also from Ukiyo-E many famous painters were born in Japan; Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige.

Who is Ukiyo-e Painter Katsushika Hokusai?

Katsushika Hokusai is known as a Ukiyo-e painter of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. He was born in 1760 and died after 90 years.

He started working as a painter from 20 years old. However, He was 60 years old when he started painting “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”, which is a famous work all over the world. Until he was dead, he kept painting it. It contains 46 works about Mt. Fuji and used by a natural law of perspective and the way to use Fude at the frame as pictures.

And also through his work, he experienced house-moving at 93 times because he had no time to clean his house.

→This picture’s location Lake Suwa in Nagano prefecture

Who is Ukiyo-e Painter Utagawa Hiroshige?

Utagawa Hiroshige was born in 1797 and has lived until 61 years old. He was a Ukiyo-e painter during the end of Edo period. His style of painting is affective and friendly. Nakasendo 69-tsugi is one of his popular works.

Nakasendo 69-tsugi refers to 69 posting stations standing in Nakasendo which is one of five posting station towns, a mountain road linking between Tokyo and Kyoto. And also although he painted Ukiyo-e about Tokaido, he never has gone along this road.

→What is Nakasendo? Nakasendo Magome to Tsumago Trail Hiking in Japan

The Best Ukiyo-e Museum in Japan

I recommend three best Ukiyo-e Museum in Japan; Matsumoto, Obuse, Tokyo.

Sumida Hokusai Museum|The Best Ukiyo-e Museum in Tokyo

In Tokyo, I suggest you to visit ”Sumida Hokusai Museum”. It is in Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan, and has many works of Hokusai. It is open from A.M. 9:30 to P.M. 5:30 and takes 400 yen for entering. Monday is the closing day. There is an event for children in which they enjoy painting Ukiyo-e and can understand it.

Japan Ukiyo-e Museum|The Best Ukiyo-e Museum in Matsumoto

In Matsumoto, there is “Japan Ukiyo-e Museum” registered Michelin Green Guide Jappon 2 stars. There are many works from a number of different painters; Hokusai, Hiroshige, and Eizan. Now the event called “Auspicious Ukiyo-e Bringing Happiness” is held until 3/29. You can enter for 500 yen, and if you are students, you can enter only for 200 yen.

The museum address is 2206-1, Shinkiri, Shimadachi, Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan. It is open from A.M. 10:00 to P.M. 5:00 and standard entering fee is 1,000 yen for adults and 500 yen for students.

→Things to do in Matsumoto Area

Sumida Hokusai Museum|The Best Ukiyo-e Museum in Obuse

Hokusai Museum in Nagano

Finally, in Obuse, there is a museum of Hokusai called “Hokusaikan”. It is reopening in 2015, April. It is the best spot to understand the works of Hokusai. The entering fee is 800 yen, and the access is taking 2 minutes by the shuttle bus called Obuse Romance from Obuse station. It is open from A.M. 9:00 to P.M. 5:30.

→The Best 7 Things to do in Obuse Town in Nagano-Model Course-

Ukiyo-e Tour in Japan

nakasendo 中山道

In Japan, there are many tour visiting spots modeled by Ukiyo-e.Especially in Nagano there is a tour visiting by e-Bike. If you take part in this tour, you can visit the scenery of both Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji made by Hokusai and Nakasendo 69-Tsugi made by Hiroshige.

If you are interested in this tour, please click and visit the below site. You can check the details of the tour.


Enjoy Japanese Ukiyo-e Print (Floating World) !

Ukiyo-e is an important artwork in Japan and popular in the world. From now on, you can visit spots painted in Ukiyo-e. If you want to visit Japanese historical spots painted in Ukiyo-e, please visit the below site.

→The Best 16 Things To Do in Japan-Mainly Nakasendo Activities-

→Nakasendo Magome to Tsumago Trail Hiking in Japan


The characteristic points of Nagano prefecture are a fusion between affluent nature and Japanese traditional lifestyle. Nagano is constructed in many town and village, where have originality. These regions have a different history, different culture, different nature, we can feel a side of Nagano as a treasure box.

Northern Alps in Nagano


”NAGANO TRIP” is sightseeing contents site to offer tourist information about Nagano prefecture in Japan. People who are interested in Nagano can learn and know about sightseeing contents before visit Nagano. In addition, visitor can learn and enjoy while traveling and after the trip.

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