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Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods Paperback – June 10, 2011


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Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods + A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony + DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Japan
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Paperback with Flaps edition (June 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4805311371
  • ISBN-13: 978-4805311370
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This stunning book records the city that [Florent Chavouet] 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…With wit, a playful sense of humor, and the colored pencils of his kit, Chavouet sets aside the question of urban ugliness or beauty and captures the Japanese essence of a great city."—Japan Today

"His drawings are so wonderfully idiosyncratic and so beautifully detailed that what must have been a labor of love for him is no less a labor of delightful artistic genius."—Publishers Weekly

"[Tokyo on Foot] will make readers with wanderlust wish to drop their everyday responsibilities and trek through a foreign city. It will appeal to the armchair traveler who yearns for a bit of the exotic, the wanderer who wants to someday visit the Land of the Rising Sun, and, indeed, anyone who appreciates the marriage of grit and beauty, self-deprecating wit, and losing oneself in good pictures for a while."—ForeWord Reviews

"From what Chavouet saw, did, ate—bugs, festivals, storefronts, a fake French mansion, random drinks and snacks—his illustrations catch perfect little details you'll never find in any guide book. His myriad of people caught in the midst of their everyday lives are undoubtedly the book's highlight. [...] By the time he's back in his native France, he's got an award-winning, fascinating book that surely makes for ideal reading for both armchair tourists and peripatetic travelers alike."—BookDragon.si.edu

"A chef-d'ouevre of graphic art."—Cafes Geographiques

"…as for Chavouet—colorful, farcical, artistically superior Chavouet—his way of seeing Japan is insightful and entertaining for over two hundred pages. The execution is confident—a positive side-effect of it having no agenda but to represent his individual experience."—Axiom Magazine

"Besides the awesomeness of the maps, most of the book is full of odd findings and experiences that the author found himself in. I find the book to be pure genius and I am very happy that I picked it up without a second thought. It's all the little additions in the book that make it most worthwhile and I think it makes a great addition to any collection of books."Yonasu.com

"This is a wonderful gem of a book. It's a quirky, graphic 'guidebook' filled with beautifully rendered and detailed doodlings that capture vignettes of the city seen through the eyes of a resident, rather than a tourist."—SimplyFabulicious.com

About the Author

Florent Chavouet is a young graphic artist and author living in Paris. When he returned from Japan, he realized that all the observing and sketching he had done in Tokyo led to his evolution as an artist. This is his first book. florentchavouet.com

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Customer Reviews

I love the book- it's beautifully illustrated and really funny- Thank you!!!
Bailey Hoover
The book's illustrations fit perfectly with the narration and every page is bright, playful, and interesting.
Amazon Customer
This book is lots of fun, with interesting and entertaining views of Japan.
C. Sobun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Length: 1:16 Mins
This isn't the usual travel guide book that tells you where to go, it's one that Florent Chavouet drew to show you where he went. He's a French guy who's in Japan to accompany his girlfriend because she's working there.

It's a 208-page paperback filled with colour pencil drawn observations on the places he went. There are interesting notes on the people and culture and his many little adventures.

His beautiful colour pencil illustrations give Tokyo a very different look and feel. It's a light-hearted look at Tokyo as a tourist. I don't know if Tokyo is this colourful, but in the book it is.

The hand drawn maps are nicely drawn with icons and places of interest. On some pages, there are collages from things he collect, like cutout of manga panels and the bicycle parking tickets he got for parking in restricted areas.

It's an amusing book to check out.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Hanzie on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am an American that has lived in Tokyo for over 25 years now. And I have to say that I think this is possibly one of the best books ever written about my favourite city! Whether you are a wide-eyed tourist visiting for the first-time or a long term resident, you will be able to find in this book many of the things that make us all wonder at this city of contradictions. Indescribable, this book is part travel-log/part picture-book, and all fun. This is NOT a guidebook, but for the person who loves to just get lost in a city, it could be a wonderful guide. In any case, if you have ever been to Tokyo or desire to go, this is one book to have. Clever, funny, cute, and meaningful, I can't recommend Chavouet's first book enough! Bravo! Fantastic!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By nom de plume on August 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I could write two reviews - one for the Kindle version and one for the hard copy.

I initially purchased the kindle version of the book, and right off the bat I had difficulty reading it. This isn't really an e-book where you can control the size of the text to make words more legible. The kindle version is simply scanned images of the book's pages that have been sequenced together.

The scans themselves are small - the "native" scan size occupies half my iPad screen. So in order to read just about everything other than the intro (which is in a typewriter-style font), you have to pinch and zoom. Unfortunately, when you zoom in, you discover that the resolution of the scanned page is not very high, and therefore the text is pixilated. The text/notes within the sketches are hand-written (in some cases, cursive),and therefore the notes are quite difficult to read (and in a of couple cases for me, impossible to read. I don't understand why the scan resolution is so low - the hard copy is larger than the screen of my iPad.

In addition, since you need to zoom in, reading through the book is cumbersome: Zoom in, swipe page around the screen to see everything, zoom out, then move to the next page.

So I returned the kindle version and ordered a hard copy. As always, Amazon was outstanding with handling this.

The hard copy is FANTASTIC - I would give it five stars. It is something I would bring back from Japan as a souvenir if I found it in a Tokyo bookstore.

But I have to give the kindle version a one-star rating because of the low scan resolution and the cumbersome nature of reading the book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Japan is an oddity. It is only fitting that an oddity of a book be made about it. Tokyo on Foot, the graphic memoir, follows Florent Chavouet during his six-month stay in the Eastern Capital. Florent, a French illustrator, hand draws maps, people, and the events that surrounded him. Each page feels and looks like it was removed from a personal sketchbook and helps to create an intimate atmosphere. The narration is broken down into little paragraph that fill in the white space of the illustrations with such flare that even the most hardened graphic designer could appreciate it.
I have read this book at least three times, and each time I find something new about it that I love. There is so much going on in this book that you need to reread it, but it never becomes redundant. The book's illustrations fit perfectly with the narration and every page is bright, playful, and interesting. The hand-drawn maps, for me, are the pinnacle achievement. They assist in giving a strong personal touch to the book. Chavouet's art style for the book is a combination of classical with hints of modernism, much like the city of Tokyo. This book is a great addition to any library, especially for those who want to have fun while reading.

*Originally published for San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review*
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dylan on October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
On a recent trip to Tokyo I was walking around the city in awe of the amazing architecture, surroundings, and people and couldn't get enough of all the details the city had to offer. I thought to myself, there has to be some kind of book that captures all these amazing details; but after rummaging through 3 books stores... nothing! Fortunately as I was walking through Narita airport to come back home I saw this book in a window and immediately knew it was exactly what I was looking for. The artist painstakingly captured the interiors of the houses he was staying in, the amazing buildings with all of their air conditioners, power cables and pipes haphazardly hanging from them, the district police stations, the colorful restaurants and coffee shops, the people, pretty much everything the city has to offer. My favorite part has to be the super detailed maps of each district which tell where each drawing was done. Everything, apart from the cool foreign fruit sticker collection, is all hand drawn with colored pencils and amazing to take in. If you are planning a trip to Tokyo, have been there and want a souvenir, or are an artist like myself and love detailed hand drawn books such as this, it is a must buy!
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