Monday 10 October 2022

Book Review: Japan by Steve Wide & Michelle Mackintosh (Non-Fiction/Travel)

Title: Japan
Author: Steve Wide & Michelle Mackintosh
Publisher: Plum (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Publication Date: 11 October 2022
Pages: 388
Format: Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction / Travel
Source: ARC from Publisher

There is something about Japan that works its way into every fibre of your being. No matter how many times you visit, you'll always uncover new experiences and life-altering adventures.

Pack your bags and travel with us to a country rich in cultural history and full of fascinating contrasts, from the frantic pace of Tokyo and Osaka, to the wintry soul of Hokkaido in the north and the natural wonders of Kyushu in the south. Navigate the dynamic cities, walk the roads of old Japan in Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa and Nikko, or go off-grid to smaller, far-flung towns, each with their own unique traditions, crafts, sights, food and art.

Packed with cultural insights and stunning photography, this experiential and eclectic guide takes you on a deeper journey into Japan. Read up on history and local knowledge before you go, learn how to navigate the Shinkansen (bullet train), contemplate modern art and architecture, lose yourself in gardens, shrines and temples, and indulge in the best food tourism of your life. This tightly curated list of must-see places and experiences is for people who want to get an up close and personal look at the real Japan.


Having previously loved Tokyo by the same authors, I was super excited to see what this book would have to offer, and I wasn't disappointed. Japan is a wonderful blend of travel guide and coffee-table book. Unlike most travel guides, it doesn't just give a map of the area followed by a text list of hotels, attractions and restaurants. Rather it offers an overview of the highlights the country has to offer, both by region and by cultural elements and history. It's not the guide for you if you just want to tick items off a to-see list as you dash from one part of the city to the next, but it's perfect if you wish to immerse yourself in the country's culture while also picking up some tips for your travels. As well as the excellent information in the text, the book is beautifully designed, featuring a collection of amazing photographs. As such, it's a book you can read cover to cover or just dip into at leisure. A definite win for both armchair travellers and those planning a trip to Japan now the world is opening up again after the pandemic. It gets five stars from me.

I received this book as a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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