If you go to Tokyo, I think it becomes very obvious that there’s this almost seamless mixture of popular culture and Japanese traditional culture.
– Kazuo Ishiguro
Let me ask you something. What comes to mind when you hear or read about Tokyo, Japan? Do you immediately think of Mount Fuji, Shinkansen, sushi, sake, manga, Harajuku, Akihabara, Ginza, a crowd of pedestrians at Shibuya crossing, high tech electronics, neon lights and the next city to host the 2020 Summer Olympics? All of the above?
The dynamic and populous capital of Japan bursts with history, culture, is years ahead in technology but also deeply rooted in the past, it’s a perfect combination of old and new.
Having only been to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, there’s still Tokyo that I want to visit and it’s a magnetic destination without a doubt.
I recently came across a very different kind of book that not only surprised me due to its originality but it also made me smile from the first time I saw it.
Have you ever seen a travel guide narrated by a Manga character? Well, that’s exactly what Evangeline Neo, a super talented manga artist from Singapore and a fan of the land of the rising sun created. The result? A fun, educational, colorful and comprehensive guide unlike any other!
A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide
Accompanied by her two mascots, Matcha the cat and Kopi, the dog, she takes the reader on an incredible and unforgettable journey.
learning basic language lessons (greetings, numbers, expressions)
getting practical information (transportation options and cost)
exploring traditional Tokyo (Touring the Imperial Palace Gardens)
going on adventures in Japanese food (explaining in detail the different types of food to eating on a budget all the way to showing how Sushi train restaurants work)
hunting for bargains in the main shopping districts (the best places for clothes, electronics, art supplies)
and of course, some of the most popular convenience stores (I learned to love Family Mart and 7 Eleven during the 2 years I lived in Asia 🙂
experiencing pop culture (theme cafes, amusement parks, cosplay, touring a Manga museum)
visiting and having a day of relaxation at a hot spring bath
and planning day trips from Tokyo among many others
Having lived there and truly immersed herself in the Japanese life, the author tells her readers her honest opinions and suggestions.
What I loved about this travel guide is how incredibly detailed it is and how she shares information accurately but adds some of her personal humor and makes you laugh so hard at some point.
Traveling is not only a privilege but it poses several challenges that are not discussed openly but she does not shy away from sharing her two cents!
While I am a big city girl and love to be in the heart of the action, I really enjoyed her adventures away from the concrete jungle.
That trip to Mount Fuji, including nearby attractions, festivals and recommendations are not only useful, they are welcome!
You would not find them in a regular travel guide. Oh and I’ve taken note of Lake Tanuki where you can walk around the lake and is an Instagram worthy spot with the mountain in the background. See above ^
Can we please talk about food and drinks for a minute?
Love me Japanese food! I was, am and will always be a Sushi fan.
I was impressed by the great variety of other Japanese dishes including some I had never heard of before such as: chirashidon and chazuke
Now I’ve been a fan of Sapporo beer and Sake but I’ve yet to try their whisky and hold my beer, I learned about Japanese WINE.
How is it possible that I have not yet savored their wine variety? Oh need to investigate more on this!
As you can see, A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide is original, fun, colorful and very helpful!
I’m certainly going to bring it along when I visit with my oldest nephew who is obsessed with everything Japanese and has already asked if I could travel with him and how can I say no?
Now it’s time to turn it over to you!
Have you been to Tokyo, Japan or would you like to go?
If you have, what do you recommend or suggest?
Let us know in the comments below!
We are looking forward to reading from you.
Until next time, sayonara 🙂
**Thank you to Tuttle Publishing for providing a copy for me to review and some cool images from the travel guide for this blog post. I learned about the publication, reached out them, they said yes and I replied aregato :)**
When I really like something I have no problem sharing it with you all, tell you exactly what I think and you know it well by now!