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Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,243 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
"Florent Chavouet," a young graphic artist, spent six months exploring Tokyo while his girlfriend interned at a company there. Each day he would set forth, with a pouch full of colored pencils and a sketchpad, to visit different neighborhoods. This stunning book records the city that he got to know during his adventures, a gritty, vibrant place, full of ordinary people goi ...more
ebook, 207 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Tuttle Publishing (first published March 21st 2009)
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Roya
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good
I honestly was going to skip reviewing this. I haven't been very keen on writing reviews these days, but I decided I might as well do it now when I'm less worried about how it'll turn out. Considering this is a review by me, a seventeen year old, I will of course go so far as to say that 2006 (the year Chavouet visited Japan for six months), is ages and ages ago and nearly irrelevant. Still, information is information, so I'll try not to act so young for the sake of this review.



I did take some p
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Eve
“Cup noodles are like party favor bags: so many goodies inside.”

Chavouet leaves his native France in 2006 to live in Japan for six months during his girlfriend’s work internship in Tokyo. Instead of lying around their 300 sq ft apartment with nothing to do, he “borrows” a sunny, yellow bike and pedals his way through every neighborhood in the vicinity of Tokyo. In tow are his trusty colored pencils and sketchpad, which he uses to capture the essence of the busy city and its inhabitants. Taking
...more
Tosh
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been coming back and forth to and from Tokyo for the past 25 years, and it is without a doubt an amazing city on so many levels. It has been said before, but Tokyo is sort of like numerous layers of an onion. Each layer is a unique taste, and I often feel Tokyo is sort of a city with many dimensions - in sort of a Philip K. Dick way of looking at a landscape or even JG Ballard. Also for the past 25 years I have been trying to write a long prose piece about the city, but it never came out go ...more
Raina
This is SO PRETTY. Totally full-color pencil drawings, printed on larger-that-you're-expecting pages. The guy can draw.

And for people who are Japanamaniacs, who might even want to visit Tokyo themselves at some point, I could see how this would be super helpful for preparing for a trip.

I just missed having a story.

My favorite parts of the book were the gorgeous full-color spreads of buildings (he introduces every chapter with an illustration of the police station in the concerned neighborhood),
...more
Opat
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aww finally I had the chance to read this book. My bad for not reading the title thoroughly as this is (actually) a graphic memoir and sketchbook with hand-drawn maps (written on the front cover, doh!). I am not familier with Tokyo tho but Japan (or maybe Tokyo?) is still old fashioned as it always be. It was made in 2006 but last time I visited there is on 2015 and it's basically still the same.

The drawings are sooo much detailed. And so my kind favorite style. I also love how Florent Chavouet
...more
Lisa
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
A really great book in the style of a sketchbook recounting Chavouet's extended trip to Tokyo, where-in he basically just plopped himself down at any old cafe and started drawing the cool stuff he would see. I loved it. It's so cool to think that someone can achieve this level of art with just a bunch of colored pencils.
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
umberto
Handsomely-published by Tuttle, presumably in 2011, this seemingly manga-like book entitled “Tokyo on foot: travels in the city’s most colorful neighborhoods/text and illustrations” by Florent Chavouet would hypnotize its readers from its dazzling, beautiful and realistic drawings since it is “a graphic memoir and sketchbook with hand-drawn maps” (front cover). From its 206 pages, I think, most of us cannot help wondering how this graphic artist could make it; all texts/illustrations are wonderf ...more
Hollowspine
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could have spent much longer with this graphic novel. Although there was no set story line or plot or even a timeline to the book it was so chock full of interesting details, drawings, maps and every sort of fruit and veg sticker you could imagine it was easy to forget time and become completely absorbed in a page.

I loved the drawings and watching the slight changes as he got different supplies or moved to different surroundings.

As I said, I don't think I've even fully read the book yet, I'm
...more
Leah Webber
This is kind of a snobby look at a foreigner's life in Tokyo. The author draws well, but doesn't make much of an effort to learn or immerse himself in the culture. That, and there is a large chunk of the book dedicated to how much he dislikes the police. Wow. Um, lived there for some time...did not have a single problem. Sounds to me like this person was a poor ex-pat.
Sabrina
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to go back to Tokyo right now ;-;
Beth
There were things I enjoyed about this graphic journal and things I didn't enjoy.

What I liked:
* The whimsical, colorful illustrations.

* How the "chapters" were divided by neighborhoods in Tokyo.

* The chapter title pages that divided the neighborhoods were quite humorous with the police station and officers doing something comical in the foreground.

*The complex nature of the text and drawings would allow for multiple viewings and always finding something new.

What I didn't like:
* The font was so
...more
Nisah Haron
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travelogue, art
I already know the existence of this book for quite sometime, but because of the price (RM75 at Kinokuniya KLCC), I decided to wait. Then, when my sister-in-law gave me RM100 worth of book voucher, plus I am currently contemplating of going to Tokyo soon, so the timing couldn't be better.

This is not your average guidebook on Tokyo. The book is about the artists saw and drew. But his artwork is simple yet wonderful. He made me feel that I should bring a box of pencil colors on my next trip to Ja
...more
Emily
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Gorgeous colored pencil sketches of Tokyo's buildings, fruit, people, police stations, harajuku culture, and other memories from the author's six month stay. I enjoyed pouring over the hand-drawn maps and beautifully detailed sketches. Many reviewers lament the lack of narrative arc. While this too bothered me, I realize after finishing the book that the author's lack of presence allows the city to capture the reader's attention, rather than the city in relation to the author's personal life. Wo ...more
Marina Zala
** Books 259 - 2014 **

tidak sia-sia menanti kurang lebih 2 minggu dari The Booksdepository demi mendapatkan buku ini!
Sangat bagus isinya berupa ilustrasi-ilustrasi tentang daerah2 di Tokyo. Isinya sangat mendetail mulai dari kebiasan sehari2, tempat-tempat yang terkenal di Tokyo dan masih banyak lainnya. Sekilas mengingatkan saya dengan karya Benny & mice cuma kalo buku ini hanya full ilustrasi yang membuat saya tersenyum sendiri karena mengingatkan betapa inginnya saya ke negeri sakura itu
...more
Mobyskine
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love the way Florent draw all the things he saw on the street. It feels like I am actually on my way to discover the city of Tokyo - although just by reading and staring at all of his colorful graphic art for hours. Hilarious, somehow - especially pages with his drawings on the people he met and saw on the street with witty comment about their looks and dressings. Oh how I love the kobans' (local police branch station) design and structure. A very nice drawings of those - well presented I may ...more
Emilia P
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Errol got this for me way back in April. It comes down to being a better way of seeing Japan for what it is - not all Hello Kitties, Manneki neko and Studio Ghibli, or even Lost In Translation. More like semi-weirdos wandering around, expensive fruit, strange little bugs, coffee shops and salarymen, shabby but comfortable little houses, and lots of Moms. Beautifully illustrated and richly colored, it works as both a coffee table book where you can just open to any particular page and take it in, ...more
Meaghan Steeves
I was not very happy with this book. The art style (and by that I mean the fully rendered drawings and not his quick cartoony sketches) was quite beautiful, especially given that it was done in the sometimes restrictive pencil crayon. I felt that he was complaining too much for my liking, to the point where I didn't understand why he said that he still liked Japan. On nearly every page he either mocked or made fun of the people he drew through how he depicted them or what he perceived they were ...more
Allison
I love books like this-- illustrated travel journals. I especially love them if they're about a place I know well. Since I lived in Japan for a year after college and have visited Tokyo more than a few times, the illustrations in this book felt like old friends. Chavouet's whimsical captions and illustrations of people and places around the city might not hold as much appeal for those who have never been to Japan, but they made me sigh with nostalgia. I love the way he captures little details th ...more
Elizabeth
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading about Japan so it's no surprise that I loved reading this book. A truly unique take on Tokyo, it requires a bit of effort to make all the connections drawn by the author-artist. Some of the maps were hard to read due to the small print (I almost used a magnifying glass!) but once I developed a system it became easier. Any effort expended resulted in a great reward- the charm of the text and images themselves.
Nazmi Yaakub
Tokyo lewat pensel warna artis Perancis dengan lakaran dan warna-warni yang memikat dengan ketajaman pemerhatian yang diasah-asah oleh sifat sarkastik. Perlu dibelek (dengan perkataan yang minimal untuk menggunakan 'membaca') oleh mereka yang bakal menjejakkan kaki ke Tokyo dengan penguasaan bahasa Jepun dan not Yen yang minimum - untuk mendapatkan pengalaman kembara yang optimum.

Saya selalu mencemburui mereka yang memiliki pensel warna dan berus yang hebat!
lucy  black
I think I would have liked this more if it was drawn by someone else. That sounds kind of harsh but I found the author zooming in on boring stuff I wasn't interested in and missing out on some of the stuff I wanted to see. By the end of it I got a bit bored of his silly jokes and stoner ness. I did like it overall tho, the drawing is great and I'll read pretty much anything bout Japan.
Mindy Reads
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the sociology made easy and the varies types of people in Japan pages. I thought it was entertaining and funny at times, but probably would be best suited for someone who has been to or who really loves Japan. As I don't know much about Tokyo, some of it was lost to me.
Loren
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I thought the artwork was so cool and detailed. It's definitely not a travel guide to Tokyo, like some people might have expected, but having been there recently, I say he did a great job of capturing the city and the people. It made me want to go back!
Laroussebouquine
Un gros coup de coeur pour cette BD originale, véritable invitation au voyage pleine de petites anecdotes, bien dessinée, pleine de migonnerie et d'humour. Je recommande à tous ceux qui ont voyagé au Japon ou non, et à ceux qui voudraient y aller ou non. Bref, une BD charmante à lire de ce pas !
Edwina
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
It is such a pretty book! He did a really good job in sketching the map too! I had a really pleasant time in reminiscing my time back in japan last summer
Louise
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, comic
Loved it! Full of whimsical, color-pencil drawn characters and settings. I especially liked all the rooftop pictures.
Massimiliano
Enjoyable, funny, quirky. A refreshing look at a city I've been to twice, but one that I never stopped wanting to return to.
Charlotte Marillet
It's a beautiful book full of great drawings of real Japanese stuff! Took a lot of time to enjoy each page and each drawing. It made me remember my first experiences of Tokyo... Recommend it!
Allie
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Read Harder Task #8: Read a travel memoir

I wanted to read this because I went to Japan for work last year, but I only got to spend a few hours in Tokyo and I wished I'd gotten to see more. The cover describes this as a "graphic memoir" - the author/artist is a French dude whose significant other had an internship in Japan for six months, so he spent his time drawing the different neighborhoods and people he saw. So I guess it counts as both a travel book and a memoir, and I'm going to count it.
...more
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