15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2007
I picked up this book a couple of months before moving to Japan for a year of study and was completely captivated. The various writers are effective in giving the reader a brief glimpse into some of the most unique and enchanting qualities of Japanese society. Four years later, I still pull out this book occasionally to rekindle the feelings of wonder I experienced when I first opened it. The book also provides the titles of many of books from which the passages are taken, which is a great resource for sprouting Japanophiles. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, along with the entire series of Traveler's Tales books.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2007
This is a great book. It's lots of short "stories" - some are excerpts from other books (that I've actually read), but some also seem to be short "stories." I really like it because I can pick the book up, look in the table of contents for a title that sounds interesting, and find one with a length that fits the amount of time I have available right then. I particularly enjoy reading it out loud to my travel companions - share the fun! I admit that some of the excerpts are a little dry - but still informative - but some are simply hysterical. It really gives a nice and varied insight into the Japanese culture. Take it with you on your trip for varied reading pleasure, or read it in parts when you return to extend the enjoyment of your trip!
I've also given others from this series as gifts to friends who are traveling - India, Paris, Tuscony...