My collection of books around Japan and the Japanese language never seems to stop growing. I’m such a huge fan of this country! Whether I’m planning a trip or not, many of these books just inspire me by browsing through them and realizing in what a wonderful world we live.
The latest addition to my Japan book collection is another title by the famous Tuttle Publishing House, who are experts when it comes to books about Asian countries. The ‘Japan Traveler’s Companion‘, written by Rob Goss, was published in November of this year, and I was lucky enough to have one of the first copies. Let’s have a look at this book!
What we'll cover in this article
JAPAN TRAVEL’S COMPANION BOOK REVIEW
About the Writer
Rob Goss is an award-winning British writer and long-term Tokyo resident focusing on Japan, travel writing, and creative writing that ranges from short fiction to short-form poetry. Besides writing many books for Tuttle, Rob has also contributed to books for Fodors, Insight Guides, Dorling Kindersley and Rough Guides, as well as for magazines including Time, National Geographic Travelerand 100 other publications around the globe.
The Content of the Book
This hardcover book (with jacket as a cover) provides 144 pages full of information on Japans’ 100 most important tourist sights, including 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that you probably don’t want to miss.
Rob Goss shows you the best places where you can experience the country’s rich culinary traditions, pop culture, Samurai heritage, and so, so much more. This is not a traditional guidebook, because the book shows you more the insider tips of Japan, with background information on the Japanese cuisine, popular culture, nature and rich history of the country. You really get the best tips for getting off the beaten path and finding Japan’s lesser-known treasures, such as the incredible ‘art island’ Naoshima and Yakushima’s breathtaking flora and fauna.
Photos & Illustrations
The first thing you’ll notice about this book is the amount of colour and incredible images that literally pop of the pages. With around 500 photographs and 7 maps, this book is a feast for your eyes. The maps show different regions in Japan and include suggested walks for you to take.
For me personally, this book was a feast of recognition. Because I visited so many places already in Japan, I recognized a lot of the photo’s, but there was also so much that I’ve never been to before, and now I definitely want to!
Each regional chapter starts with an incredible 2-page photo spread, then followed by a map and a short introduction to the city or region, with photos of all the highlights you don’t want to miss. After that, you’re taken into the different corners of the destination and will discover many interesting things that make you want to pack your bags right away, trust me!
As I said earlier, the maps are more general than practical to use when you’re already in the destination, and I think overall that this book is more to do your trip-planning before you leave, rather than taking the book with you and let it guide your way (as you would with a Lonely Planet guide, for example).
This book is all about getting inspired, getting a general sense of everything the country has to offer and to have a lot of background information about the places you’re looking to visit. It’s great to sit down with this book after you’ve returned from your trip and see what you can recognize and read more about in detail!
“It has become something of a cliché to talk about Japan in terms of contrasts, but Japan really is a country defined by juxtapositions.”
“Visit any part of urban Japan and the country’s modern faces don’t so much reveal themselves, they pounce. For a first-time visit, it can be a dizzying experience.“
“Almost every region, city and even small town you visit will have at least one local dish it is proud of.“
Whether you’re planning a trip to Japan or are just obsessed with the country like I am, this book will be a feast for your senses. With bright coloured photographs that seem to jump off the pages and insider tips, you will get to see the beauty of Japan in all her facets. While the book definitely covers the main tourist attractions, the writer doesn’t shy away from also showing you the lesser known parts of Japan. This book is both practical as inspirational and I’m sure that after browsing through it, you’re ready to pack your bags!
GET THIS BOOK YOURSELF!
Title: Japan Traveler’s Companion
Author: Rob Goss
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
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