Summer Reading List: Traveling to Japan
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Let’s go to Japan this summer. I know, it feels too last-minute to pull off, but I think we can do it.
I have five graphic novels about traveling to Japan, and by making this your next summer reading list, you can collect amazing travel experiences from Tokyo to tiny Manabeshima Island.
While reading can take you all over the word, yep, I know it’s not the same as actually traveling. But to the extent that a book can transport you, a book that relies on drawings has a special power to evoke a sense of place. And what’s more, it feels right that we’re reading graphic novels in an effort to know the land of manga.
And though they’re all graphic novels, the beauty of the genre is that it encompasses many forms. In this case: a memoir, a novel, two travelogues, and a travel guide.
In Turning Japanese, MariNaomi tells her own story of traveling to Tokyo for three months to work in a hostess bar and connect with her heritage.
In Just So Happens, Fumio Obata’s protagonist travels from London home to Japan for her father’s funeral.
In Tokyo on Foot, Florent Chavouet documents the six months he spent exploring the city while his girlfriend was at work.
In Manabeshima Island Japan, Chavouet has decided to spend six months on a tiny island, acquainting himself with the locals.
In Cool Japan Guide, Abby Denton offers a fun introduction with detailed, helpful tips on how to prepare for a trip to Japan, where to go, and what to eat.
So, pack your bags with these five books, and let’s take off for a summer vacation unlike any we’ve experienced before.
Off we go. But wait: Have we forgotten anything? If there’s another book that has transported you to Japan, please share it in the comments, so we can extend our stay. Thanks.
Image from Florent Chavouet's Tokyo on Foot.