I have reviewed some great Japan related books over the years but “Tokyo on Foot” may be my favourite Tokyo related book ever. I like this book so much because it is very unique, showcases they artistic skill of the author and offers a genuine peek into the life of someone living in Tokyo and Tokyo life itself.
Tokyo on Foot
Florent Chavouet, a young graphic artist, spent six months exploring Tokyo while his girlfriend interned at a company there. Each day he would set forth, with a pouch full of colored pencils and a sketchpad, to visit different neighborhoods. This stunning book records the city that he got to know during his adventures, a gritty, vibrant place, full of ordinary people going about their daily lives. Realistically rendered city views or posters of pop stars contrast with cartoon sketches of iconic objects or droll vignettes, like a housewife walking her pet pig and a Godzilla statue in a local park.
With wit, a playful sense of humor, and the colored pencils of his kit, Florent Chavouet sets aside the question of urban ugliness or beauty and captures the Japanese essence of a great city.
Not your typical Tokyo Travel log
Tokyo on Foot is a beautiful book that will appeal to fans of Tokyo and in fact could make an excellent gift for a Japan/Tokyo fan in your life but the book could also be appealing to a wider audience not looking for the typical “Tokyo travel log”. Reading the book is like reliving the adventures of the author from a mental and visual level, his stylized sketches, maps, notes and labels are a welcomed change from a sea of text and I felt like a child again rummaging though a very interesting picture book.
Pick up Tokyo on Foot today on Amazon or any bookstore that stocks it, you will not regret the purchase.
Other interested books to check out:
- Otaku Encyclopedia
- Japan an Illustrated History
- Drainspotting: Japan’s Artistic Manhole Covers
- Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential
- The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn