Early in the seventeenth century, the Shogunate established 53 official post stations along the entire length of the Tokaido. There travellers could find something to eat or a place to sleep, buy supplies, arrange for transport or simply have fun.  Before long, the various post towns and villages began to compete against one another to attract travelers and entice them to spend their time and their money. The Tokaido and its 53 post stations soon became a source of inspiration for artists, who produced countless prints.  They showed landscapes or temples, but often also realistic portrayals of life along the road.  Much like a postcard today, they were eagerly snapped up by travelers who wanted to show the people back home where they had been.  The most famous series of Tokaido prints was made by Ando Hiroshige during the 1830s.