One of the many bronze statues of Basho in Japan

Discovering Japan’s Beauty Through Basho

Basho_by_Morikawa_Kyoriku_1656-1715 Exploring Japan Through a Modern Traveler's Eyes

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is a work written by Matsuo Basho, a haiku poet from Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868), which he wrote as his travelogue.

A haiku poet is someone who creates short literary works called haiku, which is a short form of Japanese poetry, and even today, many people enjoy haiku.

This work is one of the important works in the history of Japanese literature, and it became the starting point for Basho’s fame as a haiku poet known for the famous phrase “old pond, a frog jumps in, the sound of water.”

Discovering the Beauty of Japan Through the Eyes of Basho

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is a detailed record of Basho’s travels throughout Japan during the Edo period, describing the scenery, people’s lives, and other details. The places Basho traveled to were located in the northern part of Japan, including the present-day Tohoku and Hokuriku regions.

Uncovering the Essence of Japanese Culture Through Basho’s Travelogue

This work expresses Japan’s nature, climate, and people’s lives in Basho’s unique sensibility, and it is a valuable resource for understanding Japanese culture and customs.

The route that Basho traveled is as follows: he departed from Fukagawa in Edo (Tokyo), went to Nikko (Tochigi) , Matsushima (Miyagi) , and Hiraizumi (Iwate) , then passed through Yamagata and entered Kanazawa (Ishikawa) from Niigata.

After that, he went to Tsuruga (Fukui) and arrived in Ogaki (Gifu) . The content of “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” describes Basho’s journey until he departs for Ise(Mie).

Tracing Basho’s Footsteps: Exploring Historic Japanese Towns

If you follow the path that Matsuo Basho traveled, you can visit historic towns in Japan. During his travels, there were no locomotives or horse-drawn carriages. Some Japanese people today follow in his footsteps and spend several months traveling on foot just like he did.

Places Visited by Matsuo Basho


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