The Iwakura Mission traveled north to Syracuse and Niagara Falls on a track that ran beside the Erie Canal. Kume wrote it was, “one of the best-known canals in the world,” and that its “gently flowing waters” were a “vital waterway” in the nation. Completed in 1825, the Canal connected the Hudson River with the Great Lakes Basin. This link gave New York City a great advantage over other seaports – it was connected to both the Atlantic Ocean and the interior of America. At the time of the mission, the canal’s dimensions had been expanded, and boats with a capacity of 240 tons were able to carry commercial goods and supplies along its more than 300-mile-long route.