Bird’s-eye views of important Japanese cities were drawn by European artists who had never set foot in Japan. Relying on third-party accounts and the power of their imagination, these artists created fanciful views of the city of Edo and Edo Castle at its centre. During the Edo period (1603-1868 CE), it was forbidden to remove plans of Edo Castle from the castle confines. As a result, it was usual for Japanese Edo-period maps to represent the castle with the characters 御城 (o-shiro), meaning simply ‘castle’, or the three-leaved aoi crest of the Tokugawa family. What was really there had to be left to the imagination. Likewise, through a lack of accurate information, maps made in Europe of the city showed imaginary gardens and buildings created to fill the otherwise blank space within the castle walls.