Manners with fortunes, humours change with climes, 
    Tenets with books, and principles with times.

Saturday, February 3rd. - The occasional glimpses of the coast scenery through the sleet and snow were very fine. We passed Rocky Island, Lady Inglis rocks, and Matoya. But Mabelle and I spent most of the day in bed; she suffering from a blow from the boom, which had produced slight concussion of the brain, and I having a wretched cold, which has been gradually getting worse the last few days, and which has quite taken away my voice.

Sunday, February 4th. - It was blowing hard all day, raining, snowing, and sleeting. The scenery appeared to be pretty, and we passed through crowds of picturesque junks.

At 4.25 we rounded Tomamgai Smia, and at 9 p.m. anchored off the town of Kobe, or Hiogo.

These constant changes of names are very puzzling. Miaco and Yeddo, which we did know something about, are quite cut out, and replaced by Kioto and Tokio. Oddly enough, the same syllables, reversed, mean capital of the Western Empire and capital of the Eastern Empire respectively.

Monday, February 5th. - By seven o'clock a boat was alongside with letters from the Consul and Sir Harry Parkes, who had kindly made all the necessary arrangements for us to see the opening of the railway from Kobe to Kioto, and for the presentation of the gentlemen to the Mikado.

It certainly was a great opportunity for seeing a Japanese holiday crowd, all dressed in their best. Thousands and thousands of people were in the streets, who, though naturally anxious to see as much as possible, behaved in the most quiet and orderly manner. The station was beautifully decorated with evergreens, camellias, and red berries. Outside there was a most marvellous pavilion, the woodwork of which had been entirely covered with evergreens, and ornamented with life-size dragons and phoenixes (the imperial insignia of Japan), all made in flowers. The roof was studded with large chrysanthemums - the private device of the Mikado, that of the Tycoon being three hollyhock leaves. The sides of the pavilion were quite open, the roof being simply supported on pillars; so that we could see everything that went on, both inside and out. The floor was covered with red cloth; the dais with an extremely ugly Brussels carpet, with a large pattern. On this the Mikado's throne was placed, with a second canopy above it. Tom in R.N.R. uniform, the other gentlemen in evening dress, accompanied the Consul on to the platform to receive the Mikado; while the children and I went with Mrs. Annesley to seats reserved for the foreign representatives. There were not many Europeans present; but the platform was densely crowded with Japanese, sitting on their heels, and patiently waiting to see the extraordinary sight of their hitherto invisible spiritual Emperor brought to them by a steam engine on an iron road. The men had all had their heads fresh shaven, and their funny little pigtails rearranged for the occasion. The women's hair was elaborately and stiffly done up with light tortoiseshell combs and a large pin, and decorated with artificial flowers. Some of the children were gaily dressed in red and gold under garments, the prevailing colour of the costumes being dark blue, turned up with red. They also wore gay embroidered obis, or large sashes, which are put on in a peculiar fashion. They are of great width, and are fastened tightly round the waist, while an enormous bow behind reaches from between the shoulders to far below the hips. The garments fit tightly in front, while at the back they form a sort of huge bunch. On their high-heeled clogs the women walk with precisely the same gait as ladies in high-heeled boots. In fact, so exactly do the Japanese women (you never see Japanese ladies walking about in the streets) caricature the present fashionable style of dress in Europe, that I have formed a theory of my own on the subject, and this is it.

Some three or four years ago, among other proposed reforms in Japan, the Ministers wished the Empress and her Court to be dressed in European fashion. Accordingly a French milliner and dressmaker, with her assistants, was sent for from Paris, and in due time arrived. The Empress and her ladies, however, would not change their style of dress. They knew better what suited them, and in my opinion they were very sensible. This is what I hear. Now what I think is, that the Parisienne, being of an enterprising turn of mind, thought that she would not take so long a journey for nothing - that if the Japanese ladies would not follow European fashions, at least European ladies should adopt the Japanese style. On her return to Paris I am convinced that she promulgated this idea, and gradually gave it effect. Hence the fashions of the last two years.

Watching the crowd occupied the time in a most interesting manner, till the firing of guns and the playing of bands announced the arrival of the imperial train. The Mikado was received on the platform, and after a very short delay he headed the procession along the covered way on to the dais.

He is a young, not very good-looking man, with rather a sullen expression, and legs that look as though they did not belong to him - I suppose from using them so little, and sitting so much on his heels; for until the last few years the Mikado has always been considered far too sacred a being to be allowed to set foot on the earth. He was followed by his highest Minister, the foreign Ministers, and a crowd of Japanese dignitaries, all, with one or two exceptions, in European official dress, glittering with gold lace. I believe it was the first time that many of them had ever worn it. At any rate, they certainly had never learned to put it on properly. It would have driven to distraction the tailor who made them, to see tight-fitting uniforms either left unbuttoned altogether, or hooked askew from top to bottom, and to behold the trousers turned up and disfigured by the projecting tags of immense side-spring boots, generally put on the wrong feet. Some of the visitors had no gloves, while others wore them with fingers at least three inches too long. Certainly a court dresser as well as a court tailor ought to be appointed to the Mikado's establishment, before the European costume becomes generally adopted.

I could not help thinking that the two or three old conservative Ministers who had stuck to their native dress must have congratulated themselves on their firmness, when they saw the effect of the unaccustomed garments upon their confreres. The old court dress of the Daimios is very handsome, consisting of rich silks and brocades, with enormously long loose trousers trailing two or three feet on the ground, and with sleeves, like butterfly wings, of corresponding dimensions. A small high-peaked black cap is worn on the head, to accommodate the curious little cut-off pigtail, set up like a cock's comb, which appears to be one of the insignia of a Daimio's rank in Japan.

As soon as the people had arranged themselves into three sides of a square, Sir Harry Parkes read an address, and presented his five compatriots to the Mikado, who replied in inaudible but no doubt suitable terms. Then the Governor of Kobe had to read an address, and I pitied the poor man from the bottom of my heart. His knees shook, his hands trembled, and his whole body vibrated to such an extent, that his cocked hat fell and rolled on the floor of the dais, and finally hopped down the steps, while the address nearly followed its example. How thankful he must have felt when it was over!

The proceedings in the pavilion being now at an end, the Mikado walked down the middle of the assembly, followed by all his Ministers in single file, on his way to the luncheon tent. After they had gone, we inspected the imperial railway carriage, the soldiers, guns, &c., and just as we were leaving the station yard, to look at the daylight fireworks they were letting off in honour of the occasion, a salute announced the departure of the Mikado for Kioto.

We lunched at the Consulate, our gentlemen changed to more comfortable attire, and then we went to see a Buddhist temple, supposed to be rather a fine specimen of woodwork. It is specially curious on account of some monkeys and a white horse, each kept in a sort of side shrine. Every worshipper at the temple stopped before these shrines, and for a small coin bought rice or beans to feed them with, through the priest. Whether it was an act of worship, or simply of kindness, I could not discover, though I paid several visits to the spot during our stay at Kobe.

From the temple we went to the shops in the main street of Hiogo, and full of interest and temptation we found them. The town itself is quite Japanese, and consists, as usual, of wooden houses, narrow streets, and quaint shops. To-day all was en fete, in preparation for the illuminations to-night.

Kobe, the foreign settlement, is, on the contrary, bran-new, spick and span, with a handsome parade, and grass and trees, planted boulevard fashion, along the edge of the sea. It is all remarkably clean, but quite uninteresting. To-night, however, it looked very well, illuminated by thousands and thousands of coloured paper lanterns, arranged in all sorts of fanciful devices. It was dark and clear, and there was no wind, so that everything went off well.

Tuesday, February 6th. - My cold being still bad, Mabelle by no means well yet, and Tom very busy, we at first thought of keeping quiet to-day. But our time is so short, that we could not afford to waste it; so half our party started early for Kioto, it being arranged that Tom and Mabelle should follow us by an early train to-morrow. It was a wet cheerless day, and the country did not look its best. Still, the novelty of the scenes around could not fail to make them interesting. The Japanese have an intense horror of rain, and it was ludicrous to see the peasants walking along with scarcely any clothes on except a pair of high clogs, a large hat, and a paper umbrella. We crossed several large bridges, stopped at a great many stations, where heaps of native travellers got in and out, and finally reached Kioto at half-past two o'clock. It was still raining, and all the jinrikisha men wore their large rain hats and rain cloaks, made either of reeds or of oiled paper. Most of the jinrikishas, too, had oiled paper hoods and aprons.

The drive to our hotel, through long, narrow, crowded, picturesque streets, seemed long and wearisome. It was still a holiday, and remains of the previous night's illuminations were to be seen on all sides. The large paper lanterns still remained fastened to the high poles, with an open umbrella at the top to afford protection from the rain.

Kioto is a thoroughly Japanese town. I do not suppose it contains a single European resident; so that the manners and customs of the natives may be seen in perfection. Its theatres and jugglers are famous throughout Japan. In the suburb, where the two hotels are situated, stand numberless tea-houses and other places of entertainment. Our hotel is situated half-way up the hill called Maruyama.

After about three-quarters of an hour's ride in the jinrikiska, we were deposited at the bottom of a flight of steps, which appeared to lead to a temple, but by which we reached the hotel in about five minutes. We were received by servants, who bowed to the ground, but who did not speak a word which we could understand. The rooms looked clean and comfortable, and the dining-room boasted a table and six chairs, besides several screens and hibatchis. The bedrooms, too, had beds, screens, and washstands; quite an unexpected luxury. Still more so was a strip of glass about half-way up the screens, through which we could admire the fine prospect. Anything in the shape of a transparent window is a complete novelty in a Japanese house, where, in winter, you feel as if you were imprisoned. The view from the verandah of the hotel over the pretty fantastic garden, the temple grounds, the town of Kioto, and the mountains in the distance was an endless source of delight to me.

The servants soon produced a luncheon, excellently well cooked; and' directly we had finished it we sallied forth again to see what we could before dark. First we went to the temple of Gion, a fine building, standing in extensive grounds, and surrounded by smaller temples and houses for the priests. The Dutch envoys used to stay here when they were brought through the country, like prisoners, to pay their annual tribute for being allowed to trade with Japan. They were subjected to all kinds of indignities, and used to be made to dance and sing, pretend to be drunk, and play all sorts of pranks, for the amusement of the whole court as well as for the Mikado and the empress, hidden behind a grating.

From Gion we went to see other temples, and wandered about under the large conifers of all kinds, trying to find out the quarters of the British Legation for some time, until Sir Harry Parkes returned. The rooms at his residence were comfortable, but cold-looking, for mats and paper screens do not look nice in a frost. There were tables and chairs and paraffin lamps, but no bedsteads, only about a dozen cotton and silk quilts, some of which were supposed to serve as a couch, while others were to be used as coverings.

Sir Harry has had, I fear, a great deal of trouble about the yacht. She is the first vessel of the kind ever seen in Japan, with the exception of the one sent out in 1858 as a present from the Queen to the then Tycoon, and now used by the Mikado. The officials, it seems, cannot make the 'Sunbeam' out. 'Is she a man-of-war? We know what that is.' 'No.' 'Is she a merchant ship?' 'No; she is a yacht.' But what can be the object of a vessel without guns is quite beyond their comprehension. At last it has been settled that, in order to be like other nations, the Japanese officials will not force us to enter at the Custom House, or to pay a fine of sixty dollars a day for not doing so. As a matter of precedent, it was important that the point should be settled, though I hardly imagine that many yachts will follow our example, and come out to Japan through the Straits of Magellan and across the Pacific.

As it was now growing late, we returned to the hotel for dinner. The night was cold, and hibatchis and lamps alike failed to warm the thinly walled and paper-screened room.

Sir Harry Parkes came and spent the evening with us, and taught us more about Japan in two or three hours than we could have learned by much study of many books. The fact is, that in this fast-changing country guide-books get out of date in two or three years. Besides which, Sir Harry has been one of the chief actors in many of the most prominent events we have recently been reading about. To hear him describe graphically the wars of 1868, and the Christian persecutions in 1870, with the causes that led to the revolution, and the effect it has had on the country, was indeed interesting. Still more so was his account of his journey hither to force the newly emerged Mikado and his Ministers to sign the treaty, which had already received the assent (of course valueless) of the deposed Tycoon.

Wednesday, February 7th. - A misty but much warmer morning succeeded a wet night. At 8.30 Sir Harry Parkes and two other gentlemen arrived, and we all started at once in jinrikishas to see what could be seen in the limited time at our disposal. We went first to the temple of Gion Chiosiu, described elaborately in books by other travellers. It is specially interesting to Europeans, as it was the temple assigned to the foreign envoys when they paid their first visit to the Mikado in 1868. Sir Harry Parkes showed us all their apartments, and the large though subsidiary temple once used as a hospital, and we afterwards went to see the service performed in the temple. A dozen bonzes, or priests, were sitting round in a circle, chanting monotonously from ponderous volumes, with an occasional accompaniment from a gong or drum. Incense was being burned, vestments worn, processions formed, and prayers offered to Buddha to intercede with the Supreme Being. The accessories and surroundings were of course different, but the ceremonial struck me as being much the same as that in use at Roman Catholic places of worship. Mr. Simpson, however, thinks differently. He says:

'I was only a month in Japan, and that is far too short a time for anything like serious study; but I was much struck by the temples, and I find I have some notes in my book comparing them with the Jewish. How any direct connection could possibly exist, is far beyond my powers of conjecture; but I will state the points of resemblance, and leave others to inquire further and collect additional information. Wood and bronze to this day furnish the material of which temples are constructed in Japan, with stone as a base. Such also were the materials of Solomon's temple. There are enclosures round each court or shrine, and sometimes these courts are three in number. Hills or groves are usually sites for a temple, the ascent to which is by a long flight of steps; usually two flights give access to the shrine. One is long, straight, and steep, for the men; the other, less steep, but curved, is for the women. It will be remembered that it was the great stairs at Solomon's temple that so impressed the Queen of Sheba. Small shrines or miniature temples, called Tenno Samma, or "Heaven's Lord," are carried on staves, like the Ark of the Covenant, at their religious ceremonies. The inner shrine, or Holy of Holies, is small, and a cube, or nearly so, in proportion. It is usually detached behind the other portions of the temple, the door being closed, so that it cannot be seen into, and it generally contains, not an image, but a tablet, or what the Japanese call a "Gohei," or piece of paper, cut so that it hangs down in folds on each side. In the early days of writing, a tablet was a book, a stylus the pen. The stone on which the law was inscribed was only a form of the book, and the Chinese ancestral tablet, or other tablet, in a temple, is only a variety of this book form. These "Goheis" are so common in Japan, and occupy so important a place in all their temples, that I had a great desire to know what they originally meant; but as on many questions of this kind I could get no information, the only suggestion which presented itself to me was, that it might be some form of the book, for the book was a very sacred thing in past time, and that which is yet called the "Ark," in a Jewish synagogue, contains now nothing but a book. There is a distinct priesthood who wear vestments, and they use incense, music, and bells. There are two religions in Japan, Buddhism and Shintooism; the latter being the primitive faith, and the former an importation from China. The forms of the two have become slightly mixed, both in the construction of their temples and in the ceremonial; but the remarks I have just made apply particularly to the Shintoo religion.'

One of the late acts of the government has been to declare the Shintoo, as the old religion of the country, to be the only State faith. This is the disestablishment of Buddhism, but it does not imply its suppression. The Buddhist priests complain very much, saying that their temples are not now so popular, and many are being closed. Speculators are buying up their fine bronze bells, and sending them home to be coined into English pennies and halfpennies. Changes in faith present many strange aspects, and this is certainly a curious one.

We strolled about the temple grounds, and ascended the hill to see the famous bell, which is the second biggest in Japan. The immense beam which strikes it was unlashed from the platform for our edification, and the bell sent forth a magnificent sound, pealing over the city and through the woods. At one of the gates there is a curious staircase, leading up to the top, and there, over the gate, is seated a figure of Buddha, surrounded by twelve disciples, all carved in wood and coloured. They are quite worth a scramble up to see.

From Chiosiu we went right across the city to the temple of Nishni Hongangi. On our way we were more than once stopped and turned off the direct road, which was kept by soldiers for the passage of the Mikado to worship at the tombstone of his innumerable ancestors, real or imaginary. Being a spiritual Emperor, he has to be well kept up to his religious duties, and is always being sent off to worship at some shrine or another, in order to maintain his popularity with the people, his Ministers meanwhile managing the affairs of state. Tanjo and Ikawura went off in haste to-day to Tokio, as there are rumours of a rebellion in the south.

Nishni Hongangi is one of the largest and finest temples we have yet seen, even in spite of a large portion having been destroyed by the disastrous fire of 1864. The gates are splendidly ornamented, with carved chrysanthemum flowers. The centre temple is very fine, and is surrounded by smaller rooms, all decorated by the best Japanese artists of about two hundred years ago. Notice had been sent that the English Minister was coming with a party of friends, and everything had accordingly been prepared for our reception. In some places they had even put down carpets, to obviate the necessity of our having to take off our boots. The Abbot was out, which I much regretted, for he belongs to the Montos, the most advanced sect of Buddhism, and has more than once remarked to English visitors that he thought their own principles were so enlightened that they were paving the way for a higher form of religion, in the shape of Christianity - rather a startling confession to come from the lips of a Buddhist priest.

After spending a long time among the paintings, wood-carvings, lacquers, bronzes, and gardens, we left the temple, and crossed several court-yards, before the main street was reached. Then, after a short walk, we came to another beautiful garden, laid out like a miniature park, with lakes, bridges, rocks, streams, canals, pavilions, &c. All these surround a house built by the celebrated Tycoon, Tako Sama, in the fifteenth century. Here, again, everything was prepared for our reception. Fires were lighted, flowers arranged, carpets laid down, and fruit and cakes placed in readiness, with hibatchis to warm each and all of us. We went all over the house, which differs little from a Japanese house of the present day, except that a higher style of art was employed in its construction and decoration.

From here we went to quite another quarter of the city to see what was formerly the Tycoon's palace, now used as a sort of police office. It is built on the same plan of three enclosures as all the yashgis, though on a very different scale from the one at Tokio. There, the Tycoon reigns in undisturbed sovereignty. Here, he appears as a humble servant of his rightful master - really his prisoner. The late Tycoon, after the last battle, fought at this place, fled to his castle at Osaka, where, though he might have held out for an indefinite period, he preferred to surrender. Two of his Ministers came to him and represented that he must not only think of himself, but of the party who supported the Shogunate, and that as he had betrayed them by false hopes he had no choice but to perform Hara-kiru. This he refused to do, although they set him the example; and he is now living as a private individual on an estate in the country, not far from Tokio, where he amuses himself with hunting, shooting, and fishing. It is said that it is possible he may one day join the ministry of the present Mikado.

From the Tycoon's palace we drove to the 'Toshio,' or court quarter of the town, where the Mikado and all his relatives live, in palaces, surrounded by large gardens, enclosed in whitewashed walls. We saw the whole of Tako Sama's household furniture and wearing apparel, the celebrated swords of Yoritiome, called the 'knee-cutter' and the 'beard-cutter,' from their wonderful sharpness, and many other interesting objects.

Here we said good-bye to Sir Harry Parkes, and returned across the town by another route to our hotel to lunch, after which we made another expedition to one or two more temples, and then to a pawnbroker's shop, in the heart of the city, which had been strongly recommended to us. The exterior did not look promising; the shop itself was small and dirty; and they had to take some very filthy garments out of the way before we could enter. Once inside, however, it was a very different story. They showed us splendid old embroideries, and quantities of second-hand court dresses, embroidered in gold, silver, and colours, with exquisite designs. The Empress has thirteen ladies of honour, who wear their best dresses only twice, and then sell them: hence the pawnbrokers abundant stock.

Wherever we went a large but perfectly civil crowd followed us, and people ran on before to tell others to come to their doors and look at us, though we were under the charge of an officer and two men. It was now getting dark, and we were very tired; so we at last turned back, and once more climbed those weary steps to our hotel. To-night there is some fete going on in this suburb, and the whole place is alive with lights, dancing, music, and tum-tums.

After dinner all our purchases arrived, each accompanied by at least four or five men. Other people had heard of our visit, and had brought more things for us to look at; so that the room soon resembled a bazaar. At last we got rid of them, having settled that they should pack our things and take them down to Kobe, where they would be paid for. The Japanese shopkeepers, though difficult to deal with, are incorruptible when once the bargain is made. They pack most carefully, frequently adding boxes, bags, and baskets, not originally included in the purchase, in order that the articles may travel more safely. The smallest article is sure to be put in, and the greatest care is taken of everything, even if they know you do not mean to open the cases for months.

If it were only warmer, how delightful it would all be! The cold spoils everything to a certain extent. At night we have to choose whether to be half frozen in our beds, or stifled with the fumes of charcoal from the hibatchis.

Thursday, February 8th. - The sunrise over the city, with the river and mountains beyond, was superb. We breakfasted at eight; but even by that hour the courtyard and passage were crowded with vendors of curiosities of all sorts, and no doubt great bargains might have been picked up. But we had no time to lose, for our train started at 9.30, and we had a delightfully rapid drive to the station through the sunny streets of Kioto.

Arrived at Kobe, we went first to lunch with some friends, and immediately after hastened on board to receive the foreign Ministers and other friends; and did not land again that evening.

Friday, February 9th. - We left by ten o'clock train for Osaka, which has been called the Venice of Japan. It is intersected by innumerable rivers and canals, and boats were continually making their appearance at points where they were least expected, as our jinrikisha men hurried us along the narrow and not very sweet-smelling streets. We went so fast that, more than once before we reached the Mint, I thought we should have been tipped into one of the canals, as we turned a sharp corner. Our men upset the baskets and stalls that encroached on the road, in the most unceremonious manner; but their proprietors did not seem to mind, many of them quietly moving their wares out of the way as they heard the shouts that announced our approach. The smell in the fish-market was disgusting, and enough to poison the air for miles around, but the people did not seem to mind it in the least.

At last we left the river and town, and, climbing a slight eminence, crossed the first moat by a stone bridge, and reached the guard-house on the other side. There was some hesitation at first about admitting us; but it was soon overcome. This castle, the last stronghold of the Tycoon, is built on exactly the same plan as the yashgis we had already visited, but much stronger, being composed of enormous blocks of stone. One wonders how human labour could ever have transported them from their quarry to this place, for some measured 40 ft. long by 20 ft. high. We crossed the three moats and the three enclosures, now all full of barracks and soldiers. In the very centre, the old well and a little square tower are still standing, part of the Tycoon's original residence, which was destroyed by fire. The view from the top over the town and surrounding country is very fine. You can see countless streams coming from the mountains, and flowing into Odawarra, on which Osaka is situated. The course of the river itself could be traced to the bay; and the line of coast to Kobe, and the far-off mountains in the Inland Sea were plainly visible.

On returning to the Mint we found luncheon awaiting us, and afterwards spent a pleasant time looking at a wonderful collection of curios.

The Imperial Mint of Japan is a large handsome building, in great force just now, for the whole of the old money is being called in and replaced by the government. The contrast between the two moneys is very great. The ancient coinage consisted of long thin oval obangs and shobangs, worth from two dollars to eighteen pounds each, square silver itzeboos, and square copper pieces, with a hole in the centre; while that which is taking its place is similar to European coinage, and is marked in English characters, and ornamented with Japanese devices, such as the phoenix and the dragon. It did not seem worth while to go minutely over the Mint, as it is arranged on exactly the same principle as the one in London, and the processes are carried out in the same manner.

Osaka used to be the emporium of all the inland commerce, and was considered the pearl of Japanese cities. After the revolution, and when the Mint was built, there was some intention of making it the capital of the empire. That idea was, however, abandoned; and the inconvenience of having the Mint so far away from the seat of government is greatly felt, all the bullion having to be sent backwards and forwards at great expense by sea. Commerce has now almost deserted Osaka, owing to the difficulty experienced by large ships in anchoring near the town, and the impossibility of their crossing the bar. The foreign consuls and representatives have all left the place for the newly established settlement at Kobe, where they feel safer, with men-of-war at anchor just under their windows.

There was just time to go round some of the old streets, and to some of the shops, before the hour by which we were due at the station. Osaka is famous for its waxworks and theatres. Five of the best of these have, however, been burnt down within the last eighteen months, with terrible loss of life. We heard that a short time ago there was nearly being serious trouble, in consequence of one of the managers having produced on the stage, in a most objectionable manner, a representation of the cruel and unprovoked assassination of an officer and two men, part of a boat's crew of a French ship. The English and French consuls went to the governor of the town, who promised that the piece should be stopped, and the obnoxious placards announcing the performance removed at once. But his instructions were not complied with, for the next day the piece was again performed, and the placards were still there. Some French sailors, luckily accompanied by their officers, saw the latter and wanted to tear them down; but they were persuaded to wait while the consuls were telegraphed for. They came at once, and again saw the governor, who sent some soldiers to stop the play and remove the bills; and so the affair ended peaceably.

We reached Kobe about seven o'clock, and went on board at once to dinner.

Saturday, February 10th. - We were to have gone early this morning to Arrima, a village in the mountains, situated among groves of bamboos, where there are mineral springs and a hot-water bath, in which people bathe in the old style. But the weather was impossibly bad for our intended expedition, with showers of snow and sleet. We waited till half-past eleven, and then landed and talked of going to Osaka again by train; but finally decided that even this was not practicable, and that we had better stay and potter about at Kobe and Hiogo. The children set out to buy toys, whilst I went with a lady to pay another visit to the white horse and monkeys at the temple, and then walked on to a waterfall, prettily situated in a ravine, a little way behind the town. We afterwards visited several pawnbrokers' shops, at all of which there was something interesting to be seen. Many are perfect museums; but their proprietors never seem to care much to show you what they have, unless you are accompanied by a resident or some one they know. Then they invite you into the iron fire-proof 'godown' or store, at the back, and out of funny little boxes and bags and parcels produce all sorts of rare and curious things which have been sent to them to be sold, or which they may possibly have bought themselves. It is not of the slightest use to go to the large shops, full of things, if you want anything really good, for you will only find there articles specially prepared for the European and American market.

I am very glad to hear that Dr. Dresser is here, collecting, lecturing, and trying to persuade the Japanese to adhere to their own forms and taste in art and decoration. It is a great pity to observe the decadence of native art, and at the same time to see how much better the old things are than the new. A true Japanese artist never repeats himself, and consequently never makes an exact pair of anything. His designs agree generally, and his vases are more or less alike, without being a precise match. He throws in a spray of flowers, a bird, or a fan, as the fancy strikes him, and the same objects are therefore never placed in exactly the same relative position. Modern articles are made precisely alike, not only in pairs, but by the dozen and the hundred.

There are beautiful bantams to be seen in some of the shops here; but they cannot be bought, as they are private pets. They seem generally very small, and one I saw to-day had his head far behind his tail, which divided in the middle outwards, and fell forward on either side of his neck in the most extraordinary way. How he picked up his food and got through life, I am sure I don't know. There are plenty of little Japanese dogs; but they are not seen to advantage this cold weather, and there would be great difficulty in getting them home.

I bought some fine bantams at Yokohama, and a whole cage full of rice-birds. They are the dearest little things, and spend most of the day bathing and twittering, occasionally getting all together into one nest, with their twenty-five heads peeping out. They are exactly like a magnified grain of rice, with legs and a bill. I hope I shall take them home alive, as they have borne the cold very well so far. We have also some mandarin ducks on board, and some gold and silver fish with two tails. Our sailors have over a hundred birds of their own, which never appear on deck, except on very sunny days. I don't know where they can keep them, unless they stow them away in their Japanese cabinets.

We went on board about dark, and a few friends came to dinner.

Sunday, February 11th. - About 7 a.m., two Japanese officers came on board with a message which nobody could understand. When we went on deck, we saw that all the ships were dressed, and concluded that we had been asked to do the same; but we thought it better to send ashore to ascertain positively. The next difficulty was to get a Japanese flag. Tom went on board the 'Thabor,' a Japanese ship, to borrow one, and found everything was in bustle and confusion, news having arrived from Kiusiu that the rebels were mustering in great force, and that they had seized some ships. The 'Thabor,' 'Mihu Maru,' and three others, are therefore to go through the Inland Sea to Nagasaki this afternoon.

The Japanese admiral sent word early this morning that he would come on board at two o'clock with some of his captains, and the French admiral also expressed a hope that it would be convenient to receive him and his captains at three. Their visits occupied nearly all the afternoon. We afterwards landed with the French admiral, paid some farewell visits, and went to look at a collection of old lacquer and Satsuma china, before we returned to the yacht.