7 de 7 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
C. E. Stevens
- Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
I almost didn't pick up this book, with its dull "Tokyo on Foot" title ... which, in addition to being pretty generic, isn't even accurate--as we learn in several amusing anecdotes, this is actually "Tokyo on Bicycle"! However, the whimsical sketches on the front and back cover grabbed my attention, and as soon as I started flipping through the pages I was hooked. I lived in Japan for two years, one of them in Yokohama (so I am quite familiar with Tokyo), and this captured the experience of living in the Tokyo area perfectly: hunched over grannies, aggressive insects, old bicycles, expensive fruit, taxi drivers, police officers who seem to strive to be either your best friend or worst enemy, a mix of curiosity and suspicion toward the gaijin who actually are *living* in Japan as opposed to simply passing through as tourists, etc., etc. One of the only major omissions I can think of that a resident of Tokyo will notice is the absence of trains, subways, etc. (this is "Tokyo on Foot"/by bike, after all).
Note, however, that this is not really the "tourist's Tokyo". The fact that this book starts off in nondescript Machiya (an area of Tokyo warranting only a few scant sentences even in the Japanese language version of Wikipedia) should be a clue. If you pick up this book hoping to see sketches of Meiji Shrine, the Imperial Palace, or Asakusa's Sensoji Temple, you will be sorely disappointed. Likewise, this is not the traditional culture connoisseur or otaku's guide to Tokyo--no tea ceremonies or kimono, and anime/manga make only a brief appearance. As a result, while I think this book will be of interest to anyone with an interest in Japan, I think this will be of the most interest to people who have experience living in Japan, the Tokyo area in particular (although much will be familiar to people who lived in other parts of Japan, particularly the urban areas). The author shines in his attention to the little details and everyday events that combine to make up that sometimes-thrilling, sometimes-frustrating, never-boring experience that is living in Japan. For such people, this book is a 5-star experience--it will bring back vivid memories of your time living in Japan (and for the artistically inclined, it will likely leave you kicking yourself for not thinking of doing this book first!). For those who have been to Japan only on short trips as tourists, 4 stars: I'm sure this will still be enjoyable, although many of the details will go unappreciated. For everyone else, depending on your level of interest in Japan, this may or may not be of interest--flip through a few pages first, and I imagine you will either be hooked (if so, buy it!) or bored (if so, move on!).
Personally, for me as a former "gaijin-in-residence" and Japanophile longing for an opportunity to go back, I found this book to be delightful and I poured over the details and the maps as I reminisced about my days living in Japan. There are many books on Tokyo and Japan in general, but this is a truly unique and special work ... I am glad to have the chance to add it to my bookshelf, and am happy to recommend it to others.