Whew! Well folks, I have finally managed to epublish Short Journeys: Japan. It’s been a lot of work and it felt like I would never get the thing finished, to be honest, but finished it is and finally ready to buy on Amazon, Payhip and Lulu, all at the same time! Which is a first for the Short Journeys range. I have tried to include pretty much every part of the country that I have visited in the last two years and particularly in 2011 when I came as a backpacker and stayed at hostels, and there is a record number of photographs included in the book as well.
Today I include the section ‘Why go to Japan?’ – I have this section in all my Short Journeys books. I think it’s particularly interesting in this book and worth reading even if you’re not interested in the book.
Here are the links:
Short Journeys: Japan (Amazon US Store) [$1.49]
Short Journeys: Japan (Amazon UK Store) [£1.09 ]
Also available at all Amazon stores!
Short Journeys: Japan (Payhip – PDF) [$0.99 – cheapest price!]
Lulu (Epub format):
Short Journeys: Japan (Lulu – Epub) [$1.99]
And the place to find all the listings together:
Japan is a set of islands in North Asia, once known as ‘The Japans’, although the local name is Nihon (often called Nippon). Japan is a country with an incredible mix of the modern and the ancient, with warm friendly people and it is simply one of the most rewarding countries on Earth to visit. Thanks to so many years of isolation Japanese culture is still to this day, despite a love of Disney and some influences from the West, unique.
Travel around Japan is very easy, even if it isn’t particularly cheap. Good public transport exists in practically every city of note, and the bullet trains – the Shinkansens, move people around at lightning fast speeds. For those with a love for the ancient, Japan has many temples and World Heritage Sites, for those in love with technology, Japan sports the latest in devices, cameras and the like, for those in love with Manga, this is the country that invented it and it is incredibly visible and popular wherever you go, and for those in love with the slightly strange and odd, well welcome to Japan!
As if all that wasn’t enough, Japanese food (although admittedly not this author’s favourite) is far more than sushi, it has its own flavours and character. Simply, and obviously Japan is th best place for that! And if those things haven’t grabbed you, wait until you try the toilets! If you don’t like a cold bottom when you do your business, come to Japan because the toilet seats plug into power to give you warmth and a range of bidee-like options! I still remember going to the loo the first time with its electric-warmed seat and a set of buttons and settings and wondering what on Earth it was all about.
For the backpacker, it’s not impossible to keep your costs down once you have conquered transport, and the hostels are wonderful places in Japan – absolutely spotless, friendly, with a range of options for tours and the like, and a great place to meet likeminded travellers.
Tokyo is a mind blowing place, so big, so tall, with a mix of all that is Japan. It has a couple of massive parks, museums, theme parks, and the Akihabara district where you can find all manner of electronic items, appreciate the geek-culture or visit a Maid Café. Kyoto is often most visitors’ favourite place in Japan – it certainly is mine. Kyoto is a wonderful, friendly city with so much to see and do, and in April the cherry blossoms bloom and there is no better place in Japan to see them.
Hiroshima is another highlight. A city known for one fateful day at the end of the Second World War today is a vibrant, beautiful place with a sobering museum. Not far from Hiroshima you will find Miyajima, a beautiful island with an amazing temple. Then we have Osaka, Takayama, Nara and more. No country in the world offers the traveller what Japan does.
This book also includes a chapter on Iwate, a less visited place in the north of Kyushu, and my home from March 2012 to March 2014. Part of Tohoku, the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, I encourage all visitors in Japan to head up to Iwate and see some of the natural beauty, temples and festivals that make it special. Tourism is one way to reinvigorate and economy and instil a feeling of hope and enthusiasm for the region. It might not be the part of Japan the visitors wants to visit most, but it does offer a lot!