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Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (Kino's Journey #1)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  846 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Destination is a state of mind. Kino wanders around the world on the back of Hermes, her unusual motorcycle. During their adventures, they find happiness, sadness, pain, decadence, violence, beauty, and wisdom. But through it all, they never lose their sense of freedom. This work tells the tale of one girl and her bike and the road ahead.
Paperback, 205 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by TokyoPop (first published July 2000)
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There are fan translations available here, at least through about volume 12. Only Volume 1 seems to have a…more

There are fan translations available here, at least through about volume 12. Only Volume 1 seems to have a licensed translation.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 30, 2009 Jacqueline rated it it was ok
When I first watched Tabi no Kino the anime, I was moved to tears more than once. It is a poignant series that while disjointed on some level, still conveys a great depth of feeling and an insatiable need to know on the part of the protagonist. I'm afraid that I dislike the translation of the novel. I'm sure in it's original Japanese the books are as beautiful as the series, unfortunately certain aspects do not translate well.

One thing for example is Kino's androgyny. In Japanese there is a cer
khungkhing (Sleepless Book Junkies)
"The World is not beautiful, therefore it is." This is the first line in this book that caught my eyes; that phrase is one of reasons why I read Kino no tabi. I also wanted to thank my younger sister who recommended and nearly forced me to read this book. I am so glad that she did since it is incredibly good book like she said.

I have to say that Kino no tabi is one of those book that worth to read. The story in each chapters is the best social reflection however some part of it is surreal. It s
Dec 28, 2011 jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: ladyish, yaf, 2011
I didn't know anything about this book before I cracked the cover. I picked it up when I breezed through the YAF section of the library looking for easy books to hit my 2011 reading goal. (i'm a little behind on my goal.) I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this little book. Apparently there is an anime series, and possibly also a movie about Kino. I'll watch them... someday. Anyway, this kind of reminded me of a gender-fucking Little Prince but without the mushy stuff, and a lot more guns.

Jennifer Wardrip
May 06, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for

"The World is not beautiful, therefore it is."

The first line in this book, and a powerful one. How funny it is that the one thing everyone strives for is perfection, yet we all agree that a perfect world is impossible. Even if it was possible, would we really want it?

Kino doesn't remember what her original name was, only that it was the name of a flower. The first Kino came into the town she lived in when she was eleven, days before she was to ha
Oct 10, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing
Kino's Journey is probably my favorite anime series of all time. It's thirteen episodes long and based off of a series of Japanese light novels. This is the first novel, and the only one that was translated. I was quite eager to get a taste of the source material for the show, and with a few caveats it was just as satisfying.

The main theme of Kino No Tabi is summed up by it's most famous quote: "The world is not beautiful. Therefor it is." Kino is a traveller who explores a vast world with a unu
Jul 26, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ja
Sep 24, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it
It's really hard for me to review Kino no Tabi because I'm a huge fan of the anime series--as are a ton of other people who read it, judging by the reviews here--and I have a very hard time taking it on its own merits and not comparing it to my admittedly-years-old memories of the the anime.

As a major example, the anime, and the Japanese edition of this book, has the review of why Kino is traveling come after several of the other countries she visits. One of the features/characteristics/problem
Oct 31, 2014 Selena rated it really liked it
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This was a very entertaining book. It also really makes you think.

The title translates to "Kino's Journey" (why Tokyopop didn't actually translate the title, I don't know; then again, Tokyopop screwed up something else with this, which is why I knocked it down a star). The story follows Kino as she travels the world, only staying in each place three days.

Kino no Tabi is an excellent look into society and human nature. It really shows that the world is imperfect and that's why it's beautiful.

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Kino’s whole life changes when she meets a professional traveler who chooses to visit her town and stay with her family for 3 days. She meets him on the cusp of her operation – the one that will make her into an adult – and his strange ideas about life (do the work you love) appeal to her and cause her to question the validity of her people’s ways. When she voices her concerns aloud and tells her family that she does *not* want to have the operation, they turn on her. The traveler tries to inter ...more
Tzu-Mainn Chen
Jul 09, 2016 Tzu-Mainn Chen rated it it was amazing
A young woman named Kino travels the world with a talking motorcycle named Hermes, staying exactly three days at each city she comes across. That's the setup for 'Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World', and all the reader is really given to know before being thrust into Kino's journey.

What follows is a series of beautiful and dark fables, with chapter headings such as 'The Land of Shared Pain' and 'The Land of Majority Rule'. These fables are clearly meant to instruct, and yet they somehow do not fa
Jovvi  Jo
Jul 14, 2016 Jovvi Jo rated it it was amazing
Wow did this ever deliver a whammy!
I read it online while watching the anime, so it was an interesting jump back and forth as to what was happening when, where and why.

I think, what I loved most, was Kino's Anti-Nihilistic tendencies.
She travels a world she knows is broken, and well near pointless, yet she goes on, and does her thing, watching others, helping sometimes, but never really interfering.
Her's is to go from city to city, observing.
It is not her place to try 'fix' pe
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 06, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this peculiar, thrilling and enlightening little book. From a girl whose best friend is a motorcycle, to a trip that lasts forever, Kino no Tabi is an unusual but very worthwhile story.
Dec 22, 2016 Matisse rated it it was amazing
My first thought after finishing: "Man, this mess was *deep*."

'Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World' follows a traveler named Kino and her talking motorcycle, Hermes, as they travel the world. They stay in a town for three days--no more, no less--before going onward. The first short story introduces our heroine and sets up the world. Then, we jump after an unknown passage of time--implied to not be *too* long--and we join this duo on their journey. Each story is haunting, thoughtful, and in their
Aug 27, 2014 Oscar rated it it was amazing
I first heard of Kino's Journey (or Kino no Tabi) in some online discussion on some website. My curiosity aroused, I decided to check it out.

To say I was satisfied with my purchase is an understatement.

The story begins with our mysterious narrator Kino describing her life as a young girl. Originally, she comes from a place known as "The Land of Grown-Ups". An unusual name to be sure, but the scenario quickly gains a sinister tone. The Land of Grown-Ups, of course, revolves around adulthood. Ever
Oct 29, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 日本語



After hearing a lot of good things about this series, and recently watching the a
Jun 22, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
This book was...quaint. It's good for if you just want to sit down and read a story. The characters are fun and interesting, the places they go are all very different and teach some kind of "moral" about life, and it's entertaining. I do have a problem with the fact that this book is kind of...pointless. Though it's a good, fun little book that tells some good stories, there isn't any overall goal or point to the story that gives it purpose. It's just a record of the places that Kino and Hermes ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
キノの旅 was recommended on a Japanese reading thread as a not-too-difficult read for those who'd finished Heisig and were starting to read native materials. I read it on the basis of that and because the series ranked a few times in このライトノベルがすごい!.

I did not do Heisig and my "kanji knowledge" is, according to my anki deck, at ~1440 out of 2136 old+new 常用漢字 (less when I started reading キノの旅 but not by much). As such, I certainly didn't always get all the tiny details but understood enough (to a semi-d
John Maresco
May 29, 2012 John Maresco rated it really liked it
Before I knew about the book, I had watched the animated show "Kino's Journey". I decided to check out the novel, but wanted to wait some time between seeing the show and reading the book. Each of the book's chapters is a short story about Kino and her talking motorcycle, Hermes, visiting different countries. I was expecting to be a bit bored, since most of the chapters are full episodes. I was surprised to find that the scenes in the book still have the same impact as the show.

While reading I
Jun 27, 2007 Brian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Precocious teens; fans of the anime
Before it was an anime, Kino no Tabi was a series of novels by some Japanese frood writing under the name Keiichi Sigsawa. The anime and book describe the travels of Kino, a detached young girl, through the dysfunctional nations of her not-so-beautiful world. I just finished the first novel, and I'm sorry to say that I think Kino makes a much better anime than a book. Part of what made the anime so intriguing was Kino's own inscrutability. The book describes what Kino feels in enough detail to r ...more
Lacey Louwagie
May 05, 2010 Lacey Louwagie rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I really loved Kino's Journey, especially the character of Kino, when I watched it several years ago. Krystl got me this book for my birthday, which is one of the "novels" the anime is based on. I put novel in quotes because it's really a collection of connected short stories about Kino's travels, with each one focusing on a particular "country" (which are really more like cities) that Kino visits.

It had been long enough since I watched the anime that I didn't remember the "twists" in most of th
Jan 20, 2012 Kailey rated it liked it
The first line of the book, "The World is not beautiful, therefore it is." drew me in. The travels of Kino and her motorcycle, Hermes, felt like a sort of Gulliver's Travels to me and I liked it a lot. I loved how the author perceived the answers to questions we've all asked ourselves a least once. The messages were easy to understand, but deep and made you stop to think about your own opinion on the situation.

The book sends the theme that perfection is impossible and can lead to disaster in the
Dec 13, 2015 Liza rated it it was amazing
I'm so confused why they didn't bother translating the title. The anime did and called it "Kino's Journey"...

Anyway, this is a story of a girl name Kino as she travels to different countries.

Weirdly enough, the book reveals early on that Kino is female. I guess it was because of how hard it would be to keep it a secret in English? It is written in third person after all.

Anyway, if you watched the anime before reading the book then there is nothing new here. This volumes covers some of the anime
Apr 10, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, amazing
Overall: I love the animation and I love this book.

Things I liked:
- The theme of traveling and visiting new places and learning from each town's (im)perfect customs is a simple but complex storytelling
- from prologue to epilogue, the story is CAPTIVATING. The world that Kino travels is magical, eerie, beautiful, uncanny, and wonderful within the imperfection of humanity
- there are subtle differences from the animation (if I remember the animation series correctly) but the book is equally thought
Feb 13, 2008 Deb rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of The Handmaid's Tale or The Dark Tower series
Shelves: dystopian-gothic
This books is advertised as a graphic novel without the graphics, which is a pretty good description: the writing is amazingly good at painting a picture in front of you.

The main character rides a talking motorcycle through town after town, exploring the weirdness of life. In one town, everyone is dead but the caretaker who killed them. In another, nobody interacts anymore because they can all read minds. It's the same sort of "world that's passed on" quality you find in Stephen King's Darktower
Jan 14, 2009 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: light-novel
Wow, I read through this just since this morning and loved every last second of it.
At its core, Kino no Tabi is a story of the follies of mankind. The book is segmented into 6 chapters, each detailing a different city Kino reaches in her travels and in each she discovers how people, when left to their own devices, eventually bring about their own demise. Not once is the book incredibly over-the-top or absurd. You read this and really feel as if you've been thrown into a post-apocalyptic world di
Jan 09, 2013 Zoie rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I read this book after I had my wisdom teeth, so I was still under the effects of Lortab. This book was very fitting for the situation. The premise of the book is that a young girl, who takes the name of Kino, is traveling around on her talking motorcycle. She goes to many different cities, encountering a weird situation or problem each time.

This book is definitely a thinker. I liked it quite a bit. Some of it was a little bit violent, but the it was a fun book to read. You can tell that it is
This unassuming little volume with unadorned text and economical storytelling is deceptively light reading. Kino's story is told at a distance, and we are just as much a visitor as she. And that distance is necessary to keep this story from overwhelming the reader, because Kino visits some pretty horrific places. The volume is a triumph of both imagination and execution, and the distance that the author keeps allows exploration of darker themes to be thought provoking rather than emotionally wre ...more
Jun 04, 2011 Jordan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, own
"The world is not beautiful, therefore it is."

This line stuck with me after reading this light novel. I was trying to decide how to summarize this novel, but that one line pretty much summarizes it for me. The book follows the travels of Kino who, after an incident with a traveler in which she rejects the customs of her people, sets off on a talking motorcycle to see the world. She visits a variety of places, spending three days in each no matter how wonderful or horrible the place. Each town ty
Jul 11, 2007 Dru rated it it was amazing
Sooo good on so many different levels. A really good friend of mine recommended it to me. He did say that it wasn't for everybody, but thought I would appreciate it.

How right was he! This japanese anime, as we call it "graphic novel" seemed so simple, yet far fetched. But it all boils down to one point: it's a matter of interpreting philosophy. The author and illustrator both collabrated to show their take on what we all discuss, think and feel. When reading it, it seemed so simple yet so profou
Feb 23, 2012 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fic
I read it months ago, thanks to one of my kind friends that let me borrowed it. im not gonna lie... it was addicting. I cannot put it down until i finsh! but i realize in the end i got nothing out of it. most of the events in it are surprising and very creative, but i still can't squeeze anything out of it :( most themes are obvious. my mood was saddened greatly at most tragedies. it was the darkness of this book that keptme reading. it wasnt translated greatly either... it was ok i guess.

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She-Geeks: April 2016 Read: Kino no Tabi, The Beautiful World 1 7 Apr 04, 2016 12:06PM  
Japanese Novel an...: Kino no Tabi volume 1 28 25 Oct 31, 2014 05:08PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Kino's Journey (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Kino No Tabi: Where Nothing Is Written
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- III
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- IV
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- V
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- VI
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- VII
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- VIII
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- IX
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- X
  • キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- XI

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“The world is not beautiful. Therefore it is.” 48 likes
“All people live in a fantasy in which they are the main character.” 20 likes
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