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Wonders of Japan

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXJPN124. Buy these 4 items as a set for $65 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The Inland Sea

The Inland Sea

by Donald Richie

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 255 PAGES

Richie's masterpiece, more than a travel account, is a beautiful reflection on all things Japanese by one of its most acute observers. (JPN13, $16.95)

Japan, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Japan, A Traveler's Literary Companion

by Jeffrey Angles

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This geographically-organized anthology introduces both Japan and its best contemporary writers. (JPN187, $14.95)

Eyewitness Guide Japan

Eyewitness Guide Japan

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 408 PAGES

Dazzling illustrations, architectural cutaways and color photographs, along with useful local maps, give this guide to Japan's many attractions a distinct edge. (JPN130, $28.00)

Japan Map

Japan Map

by Periplus Maps

  • 2009
  • MAP

This convenient map covers the island nation at a scale of 1:2,000,000, with insets of the major cities. (JPN06, $8.95)

 

South Korea Map


by ITMB

  • MAP

A convenient folded map of South Korea at the very good scale of 1:550,000. (KOR09, $12.95)

70 Japanese Gestures

70 Japanese Gestures


by Hamiru-aqui

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 158 PAGES

A clever guide to body language and slang in Japan as demonstrated through 70 witty black-and-white photographs and explanatory text. (JPN193, $9.95)

Culture Smart! Japan

Culture Smart! Japan


by Paul Norbury

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture, this is a helpful travel tool for visitors to Japan. (JPN269, $9.95)

Kyoto, 29 Walks in Japan's Ancient Capital

Kyoto, 29 Walks in Japan's Ancient Capital


by John H. Martin

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 376 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

This is the one book to take along to Kyoto. With 29 easy-to-follow walking tours, organized by neighborhood, 100 color photos and 40 maps and site diagrams, this expanded edition of the classic guide by John and Phyllis Martin includes both well-known temples and shrines and lesser known districts and sites. (JPN25, $24.95)

Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook


by Yoshi Abe

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 259 PAGES

A handy palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (JPN136, $8.99)

Moon Handbook South Korea

Moon Handbook South Korea


by Robert Nilsen

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 800 PAGES

A great resource for the independent traveler, this massively researched, 770-page guidebook features a thorough introduction to the land, history and culture of South Korea, as well as astonishing practical detail on getting around, where to go, and where to stay. (KOR02, $23.95)

A Traveller's History of Japan

A Traveller's History of Japan


by Richard Tames

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A lively and concise narrative history of Japan and its transformation from Shinto, Shogun and Samurai traditions to 20th-century powerhouse. (JPN09, $14.95)

Inventing Japan, 1853-1964

Inventing Japan, 1853-1964


by Ian Buruma

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 194 PAGES

A favorite writer with keen insight about Japan, Buruma offers an admirably succinct, dramatic history of Japan's transformation from feudal state to host of the 1964 Olympics, with a focus on World War II. (JPN139, $12.95)

Japan, Its History and Culture

Japan, Its History and Culture


by W. Scott Morton

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 311 PAGES

An introduction to Japanese history, people and culture from ancient origins to contemporary society. With selections from Japanese literature and arts, anecdotes and illustrations. (JPN03, $21.00)

Korea's Place in the Sun, A Modern History

Korea's Place in the Sun, A Modern History


by Bruce Cumings

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 527 PAGES

A provocative, spirited history of the two Koreas since World War II for the general reader, highly recommended. It includes a chapter on Korean-Americans, and ends with a lively discussion of Korea's place in the world at the end of the 20th century. New edition. (KOR03, $18.95)

Kyoto, A Cultural History

Kyoto, A Cultural History


by John Dougill

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A rich portrait and guide to the gardens, monasteries, art, history and culture of Kyoto, once Japan's capital, founded 1,200-years ago. (JPN178, $19.99)

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea


by Kakuzo Okakura

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 116 PAGES

A graceful, witty meditation on Japanese aesthetics and culture as reflected through the tea ceremony. A celebrity and cultural ambassador, Okakura was a curator at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. (JPN21, $9.95)

Japanese Garden Design

Japanese Garden Design


by Marc P. Keane | Haruzo Ohashi

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 184 PAGES

This illustrated introduction to Japanese gardens illuminates social, religious and historical concepts that shape garden aesthetics. With chapters on Japanese garden origins, gardens of Heian aristocrats, tea gardens and Zen Buddhist gardening. (JPN52, $30.00)

The Art of Setting Stones & Other Writings from the Japanese Garden

The Art of Setting Stones & Other Writings from the Japanese Garden


by Marc P. Keane

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 196 PAGES

In these lyrical essays, Kyoto resident and landscape architect Marc Peter Keane uses eight Japanese gardens as basises for essays on nature, religion and aesthetics. His rich, meditative excursions find beauty in garden composition - every element gaining importance and interconnectedness. (JPN124, $16.95)

Korea, A Walk Through the Land of Miracles

Korea, A Walk Through the Land of Miracles


by Simon Winchester

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Winchester, in his familiar and engaging style, blends travel, history and reporting in this insightful account of a walk across Korea in 1988. With a map and black-and-white photographs. (KOR16, $15.99)

Learning to Bow, Inside the Heart of Japan

Learning to Bow, Inside the Heart of Japan


by Bruce Feiler

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 321 PAGES

As surprising, helpful and informative as it is funny, this is an insightful account of travels and teaching in Japan. Feiler presents anecdotes on the rituals, personality traits and cultural peccadilloes of the Japanese. (JPN111, $13.99)

Lafcadio Hearn's Japan

Lafcadio Hearn's Japan


by Lafcadio Hearn | Donald Richie

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

An astute sampling of the 19th-century teacher and translator's stories, letters and reflections on Japan and it people as selected by Donal Richie, who provides the preface and introduction. Heard died in Tokyo in 1904. (JPN50, $16.95)

South of the Border, West of the Sun

South of the Border, West of the Sun


by Haruki Murakami

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Murakami stirs jazz, neon-lit streets, out of the way shrines, hustle and bustle and wonder into this lyrical tale of love in contemporary Tokyo. (JPN213, $14.95)

The Samurai

The Samurai


by Shusaku Endo

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This historical novel by one of Japan's best-known modern writers is set in the world of the 17th-century Samurai. A Roman Catholic, Endo explored Christianity and morals in his many novels and stories. (JPN157, $16.95)

Thousand Cranes

Thousand Cranes


by Yasunari Kawabata | Edward G. Seidensticker

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 147 PAGES

This novella by the great Kawabata may be Japan's best-known literary work, a story of love, grief and redemption. Kawabata's prose is as economical as the tea ceremony itself and very beautiful. (JPN34, $15.00)

Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia

Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia


by Mark Brazil

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 520 PAGES

Featuring 234 superb color plates, Brazil's comprehensive guide includes birds found in Japan, Korea and Taiwan along with adjacent areas of Asia and Kamchatka. (JPN332, $39.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.