13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

These extremely rare, previously unseen travel posters make me want to travel back in time and visit a Japan of another era. These beautiful graphics were recently rediscovered, and they'll auctioned off at the Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction this month.

According to Collector's Weekly, the posters were found in by an unwitting student, and it turns out each could be worth more than $1,000. Here's how appraiser Rudy Franchi described the find:

The guy said his aunt had died and left him the contents of her antiques shop, which she had closed up years before. As he went through her stuff, he found a roll of old posters. The aunt dealt in furniture, so the posters may have been in the drawer of something she bought—I've seen that happen five or six times. Posters weren't her field, so she probably just put them aside.

These beautiful posters were issued by Japanese rail agencies or tourism bureaus, and were created for domestic use only, to promote travel within Japan and its territories, to various national parks, hot spring resorts and other notable destinations. And damn, the graphic design. Following the sophisticated ukiyo-e way—the famous Japanese woodblock printmaking tradition–the graphics themselves are so perfect, I feel homesick for places I've never once been.


Fields of Color, Yamanashi Prefecture (Japanese Railways, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Mount Kumgang in Korea (Japanese Tourist Bureau, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Chuba, Futamata (Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Hakusan, Ready to be Climbed (Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Kirishima, Kagoshim Prefecture, Retreat of Spirits (Japanese Rail, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Sea Bathing in Obama, Fukui (Osaka and Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Nara (Nara Tourist Bureau, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Autumn: Red Leaves and Onsen (Osaka and Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Golden Years (Retirement) in the Summer (Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Autumn in Nagoya (Nagoya Tourism Bureau, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Standing on Mountains (Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Towards Matsujima (Sendai Rail Bureau, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions


Summer at Miho Peninsula (Nagoya Rail Agency, 1930s)

13 Gorgeous Travel Posters From 1930s Japan

Source: Heritage Auctions