The delegation briefly visited Rhode Island to view a hospital and prison. Upon returning to New York City, the delegation watched as oysters were cultivated in the New York Bay.


The group took a buggy ride to Astor Library, the Bible Society, and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).


The delegates ate potato chips at Saratoga Lake, a delicacy of the area. They also visited nearby mineral springs.


The delegates traveled to Saratoga to visit a summer resort. Upon returning to their hotel at the Grand Union House, they were treated to a grand banquet and ball.

6/13 – 6/15

The delegation stayed two nights at the International Hotel in Niagara Falls. On June 14, they spent most of the day exploring the falls, Goat Island, and Whirlpool Gorge. Kume described the “roaring tumult” of the waters as “scattering jewels and falling snowflakes.” That evening the embassy dined with former president Millard Fillmore, the president who had dispatched the original mission to open trade relations with Japan in 1853.


In records from the Iwakura Mission, there is a mention of a brief stop in Albany, New York. The delegates described the town as a “vista of chimneys” that drowned out the sight of the river from their train. At the time, the New York State Capitol building was under construction, remaining unoccupied until 1879 (and still standing today). The photograph below was taken in September 1871, less than a year before the Embassy passed through the city.

6/11 – 6/12

On the morning of June 11, 1872, the embassy left the city to travel upstate. Their first stop was West Point Military Academy, where they remained for two days. The delegates observed multiple combat drills and dined with officers, including the Secretary of War William Belknap. In their notes, the delegates commended the professionalism of the infantry during drills, but were somewhat unimpressed with their marksmanship, remarking that, “compared with Japanese soldiers, American gunners rarely hit the[ir] targets.