The watercolor illustration you see at the top of the National Highway page was made by the Japanese illustrator Mistumasa Anno. Throughout his artistic career he accomplished a truly awe-inspiring number of children's picture books, the most famous of which is perhaps Anno's Journey. Most often, the books detail a traveler's journey through a foreign land.
Anno was born and spent his childhood in the small, geographically isolated village of Tsuwano in Yamaguchi Prefecture. By very good luck I stumbled upon a photograph of Tsuwano showing roughly the same perspective we see in Anno's watercolor. In Tsuwano there is a museum dedicated to the life and work of Anno. Additionally, Tsuwano was the home of the notable Japanese novelist Mori Ogai. I hope to make a trip to Tsuwano sometime this year.