Kidai Shoran (detail) © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin), former collection of Hans-Joachim and Inge Küster, gift of Manfred Bohms 2002, photography: Tadao Kodaira

Couriers were increasingly used to carry letters and documents on foot as the network of highways was developed throughout Japan during the early Edo period. Official documents of the shogunate were received at Kodenmachō and Ōdenmachō and then relayed to the various post stations. After the Meiji Restoration, this service was taken over by the new government and continued as the national postal system. The present-day Nihonbashi Post Office is considered to be the birthplace of Japan’s postal system.