The repeating picture in the background represents a noted Ukiyo-e woodcut print from the famous Edo Artist Hiroshige Utamaro.
It is named “Morning View at Nihonbashi”from the series Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido.
This is an especially appropriate design for the starting point of the Tokaido: it shows the procession of a daimyo (feudal lord) coming over the bridge in the stillness of early morning. At the left is a group of fish-sellers from the nearby fish-market. In former times Nihonbashi was considered the hub of the country, and all distances in Japan were measured from it. Today the bridge still exists (in a modern reconstruction), but the fish-market has been moved.