This is the hardest assignment I’ve ever had. I got to update the Tokyo chapter, which was fun; I also went up to Tohoku (northeast Japan) to update that chapter — the first time it had been done since the earthquake and tsunami. I had to figure out which places were ready and accessible to tourists and which places weren’t. I listened to a lot of stories, both from survivors and from volunteers.
I was so excited to get this assignment, my dream assignment — a venue for 10 years accumulated knowledge of Tokyo! I co-authored this guide with Tim Hornyak; I covered the west side of the city and the day trips.
“Many Tokyoites will tell you that the best way to get to know their city is to travel station by station on the Yamanote Line. This commuter rail loop is one of Tokyo’s original train lines — it has been circling the city centre on raised tracks since 1925, and parts of the line are decades older. It is also the city’s most iconic, with a long chain of silver carriages striped an unforgettable lime green. Millions of people ride the Yamanote Line every day. At peak hours, trains run every two minutes.”
Read the rest on LP.com .
“One year after Japan’s heartbreaking triple-disaster, the country still has a lot more reconstruction ahead of it and some psychological and economic scars that have yet to heal. Yet while the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated a large swath of Japan’s northeastern coastline, whole other areas of the country were virtually untouched and remain well and truly open for business. . . . Those who do visit will be met with not just the customary Japanese courtesy, but with an unusually open display of warmth and gratitude. More than ever, Japan wants you to visit.”
Read the rest on LP.com
Fun book from Lonely Planet that includes tips to get happy from all over the world. I contributed some ideas from Japan, like writing down your wishes on votive tablets and singing your heart out at karaoke.
My first assignment for Lonely Planet! I did the “Around Tokyo” chapter, which includes popular day trips like Hakone, Nikko, and one of my favorite spots, Kamakura. It also meant that I got to go to the Ogasawara Islands and all the Izu Islands, which was awesome. The Ogasawara Islands are technically part of Tokyo but are 1000km away (closer to Guam than Tokyo) and the only way to get there is by ferry, which takes 25 hours.