Tokyo: Capital of Cool by Rob Goss (Tuttle, 2015) is a really gorgeous book, and so much more than just a city guide. This book takes you on a journey through Japan’s capital and its surrounding areas, illustrated beautifully with vivid colour photos which really capture the essence of this vibrant city.
Tokyo: Capital of Cool shows that it’s not just modern cool that Tokyo has to offer. Featuring areas such as the Imperial Palace and Asakusa, and showing some traditional festivals, Goss invites us to delve into the old as well as the new. It’s good to see a book like this, which could so easily focus solely on the weird and wonderful, dedicate so many pages to historical and traditional cool alongside modern cool.
When it comes to illustrating the cool modern side of Tokyo, everything from Shibuya and Roppongi to Ginza and Omotesando is included, with colourful images of not just the architecture but also the people and fashion. I think it’s the images of people that really make me love this book – after all, it’s the people that make a city what it is.
As well as gorgeous photos which make me want to down tool and hop on a plane this very moment, there’s also a lot of information in this book. However, despite the very detailed and informative nature of the book, it doesn’t feel text-heavy at all. Clear maps sit alongside some pages, making this a useful and practical guide as well as a beautiful and interesting book. This is not the kind of book you would shove in your rucksack and take travelling with you, but it is the kind of book you would want to have by your side when sitting at home with a nice cup of tea planning your future travels.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Tokyo or know it like the back of your hand, I still think there is something for everyone in this book. It’s very nicely done, and an absolute pleasure to own.
About Rob Goss
Rob Goss, an award-winning writer based in Tokyo, has written for many magazines such as Time and National Geographic Traveler. He’s also contributed to Japan for Rough Guides, Fodor’s, Insight Guides, and National Geographic. His recent guidebook, Tuttle Travel Pack Japan, received a Gold Prize in the 2013 American Travel Journalist Association Awards. Follow him at tokyofreelance.com.
Buy Tokyo: Capital of Cool by Rob Goss from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and read more at TuttlePublishing.com.
☆★☆ COMPETITION TIME! ☆★☆
Would you like to win a copy of Tokyo: Capital of Cool by Rob Gos? All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you think is COOL about Tokyo (it doesn’t matter if you’ve been there or not). Please make sure you leave a valid email address with your comment (this will not be published), as this will be used to contact the winner. The closing date for entries is Saturday 7th November at midnight GMT.
Would you like a second entry? If you’d like to double your chances of winning, please share this post on Twitter and make sure to mention me (@Ali_Haikugirl) in your Tweet!
Please note that only comments left on this blog post will be accepted as competition entries, and comments left via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will not be counted. To qualify for the ‘second entry’ via Twitter, you must also post a comment on this blog post.
This competition is open to EVERYONE, wherever you are in the world! After the closing date has passed, a winner will be selected at random and that person will be contacted directly using the email address provided. The winner will need to supply a postal address for the prize to be sent to, and the prize will be mailed out directly by the publisher. If the selected winner does not respond with a postal address within 14 days of being contacted another winner will be selected in their place.
It might be quicker to say what isn’t cool about Tokyo! But if pressed it would have to be First Friday – the free drinks/entertainment events taking place on first Friday of each month (summer only?) it’s a great way to discover something new & makes you feel like one of the locals!
Thanks for the review. Great recommendation. I’d love a copy! I’ve been following since your time in Japan and I really enjoy your writing style. I’ll make sure and retweet for that second entry. Thanks!
Looks great! Been following since your time there. Always enjoy what you do. I’d love a copy of that book. Wish me luck!
The Yamanote Line! Sugoi!
I think whats cool about Tokyo is the mix of cutting technology and hundreds-year old customs and history, like how you can see a high-rise building right next to a ancient Temple of Shrine.
You can use my email address that I previously gave if I win (:
Looks like an interesting book. I think that the mix of old and new is what is cool about Tokyo. I love visiting Sensoji Temple in Asakusa which was first built in the 7th century and admiring the amazing temple architecture with the new Tokyo Skytree in the background. It is a common sight in Tokyo that never gets old.
For me the coolest aspect of Tokyo is how welcoming, friendly and helpful Tokyoites are. In most other capitals and large metropolitan cities, locations are indifferent at best, impatient at worst, to tourists, and certainly the majority don’t stop to help. But in Tokyo, as in the rest of Japan, if you are lost or have a question or need some help, you can rely on the kindness of a stranger. Like many, I’ve been walked all the way to where I’m going even though it’s clearly out of the person’s way. Such a kind population. Can wait for my next holiday there in a few months time!
My house in winter is quite cool. In fact it is only November 5th and already it is very cool when I get home from work.