John Muir


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May 9. Temperature 7:00 A.M. 65. Fine bright exhilarating morning, white smooth sky cloudless. Water nearly black, a fishing boat here and there. Lane dimly visible, mountainous. Last evening a row of big lights apparently electric lights, were seen along shore making a wonderful sight. They seemed to mark the streets of a great city, 8 or 10 miles long. Everybody wondered what city it could be. The whole glorious show was made by thousands of fishing boats, perhaps 3 or 4 miles off shore, each with big blazing wood fire in grate in front to attract the fishes. Several thousands of these boats apparently in one view. Around Yokohama at 2:00 P.M. led into harbor through mines by Japanese warship. Went ashore, took rickshaw and visited 2 old temples with grand gardens - Ghinkos, maples, Cryptomerias, silver vesu___ thujas, etc., firs. May 10. Ashore at 9:00 A.M. Calm, cloudless yet hazy, so that Fujiyama is not visible. Saw it yesterday dimly, fine cone 12,300 feet high. The town built on flat. Many fine buildings visited the good ship Bayern, my first home after Russia. Visited 2 grand temples Bhuddist, glorious forest about one of them, grand picturesque pines, some 4 feet in diameter, broad-topped. Many Cryptomerias, 4 or 5 feet in diameter, 100 feet high or more. Grand pseudo larix. 60 or so got comes, male flowers yellow. Ghinkos leafy, long branchlets ascending, some four or six in diameter. The Japanese in all their art, their gardens and parks show wonderful liking for the grotesque and the minutely fine and curious. Nor is humor awanting.

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Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15.5 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist