ByÂ Rashaad JordenÂ (Yamagata-ken, 2008-10) forÂ JQÂ magazine. A former head of the JETAA Philadelphia Sub–Chapter, Rashaad is a graduate of Leeds Beckett University with a masterâ€™s degree in responsible tourism management. For more on his life abroad and enthusiasm for taiko drumming, visit his blogÂ atÂ www.gettingpounded.wordpress.com.
Tuttle Publishing has recently released two books: one showcases the capital of Japan at its hippest and most colorful, while the other is dedicated to the traditional splendor of its castles.
â€œCapital of coolâ€ sounds like an appropriate phrase to describe the host of the next Olympics. Rob Gossâ€™s largely pictorial tribute to Tokyo certainly succeeds in making potential visitors to the capital salivate.
Subtitled Tokyoâ€™s Most Famous Sights from Asakusa to Harajuku, Gossâ€™s work doesnâ€™t intend to be the typical travel guide containing useful recommendations about transportation and accommodation. Most importantly for readers, Goss provides extensive information (much of it historical) about Tokyoâ€™s most popular tourists areas. Of course, the fun of a Tokyo trip isnâ€™t just limited to Shibuya, Ginza, Harajuku, and the rest Goss includes segments devoted to common day trip excursion sites like Kamakura, Nikko and Yokohama.
While the photographs are obviously the first thing that jumps out at readersâ€”indeed, Ross scores at portraying Tokyo as a youthful, vibrant cityâ€”the images are definitely not the only useful tool for prospective visitors. Several maps appear in the book, displaying places of interest that even seasoned travelers may not be aware of.
Castles are lot more than opulent fortresses to gaze atâ€”these palaces represent an integral facet of Japanese feudal and military history.
Thatâ€™s the biggest takeaway readers will get from Jennifer Mitchelhillâ€™s Samurai Castles. Her work (complemented by photographs from David Green) provides a comprehensive introduction to two dozen of Japanâ€™s most prominent castles. History buffs are treated to more aforementioned locales as the author then lists Japanâ€™s 100 most important castles.
However, before seeking out what venerable fortresses might be in an off-the-beaten prefecture, the author expounds on their rich history (whose use was first recorded in an eighth-century work entitled Nihon Shoki). Architecture aficionados will appreciate the chapter dedicated to such structures, and if youâ€™re motivated to visit one of Japanâ€™s more prestigious castles, youâ€™ll have some idea what youâ€™re looking at, since Mitchelhill supplies meticulous information about each castle, as well as practical tips for prospective visitors.
For more information, visit www.tuttlepublishing.com.
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