COOL JAPAN GUIDE: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen

cool japan

by Abby Denson

Travelling to Japan has never been so much fun—visit the land of anime, manga, cosplay, hot springs and sushi!

This full-color graphic novel Japan guidebook is the first of it’s kind exploring Japanese culture from a cartoonist’s perspective. Cool Japan Guide takes you on a fun tour from the high-energy urban streets of Tokyo to the peaceful Zen gardens and Shinto shrines of Kyoto and introduces you to:

  • the exciting world of Japanese food—from bento to sushi and everything in between.
  • the otaku (geek) culture of Japan, including a manga market in Tokyo where artists display and sell their original artwork.
  • the complete Japanese shopping experience, from combini (not your run-of-the-mill convenience stores!) to depato (department stores with everything).
  • the world’s biggest manga, anime and cosplay festivals.
  • lots of other exciting places to go and things to do—like zen gardens, traditional Japanese arts, and a ride on a Japanese bullet train.

Whether you’re ready to hop a plane and travel to Japan tomorrow, or interested in Japanese pop culture, this fun and colorful travelogue by noted comic book artist and food blogger Abby Denson, husband Matt, friend Yuuko, and sidekick, Kitty Sweet Tooth, will present Japan in a unique and fascinating way.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up—What could be a more fitting format for a travel guide on modern Japan than a comic book? Relying on delightful cartoon illustrations, this creative, nicely designed title details travel preparations, the homestay experience, food, shopping, and festivals. Readers will get a strong sense of all that the country has to offer: manga, anime, onsens (or hot springs), karaoke bars, and much more. Some images are accompanied by lengthy, enlightening captions. Kitty Sweet Tooth, a cheery feline who sports a lime green dress festooned with a red heart, introduces a pronunciation guide for common words. Useful websites, handy apps, emergency information, and a list of recommended places to visit can be found at the back of the book, along with a basic map. VERDICT Those fascinated by Japan will enjoy this amusing and educational romp.—Robyn Gioia, Antilles Middle School, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico

Review
“In her quirky graphic novel Cool Japan Guide, comic book writer Abby Denson takes us on a “personal tour of Japan” and teaches us the finer points of local etiquette. Traveling isn’t just about seeing the sights and eating your way around town. For cartoonist Abby Denson, a trip to Japan meant an education in cultural customs, which she illustrated to charming effect in her new guidebook.” — Conde Nast Traveler

“Comic book artist and food blogger Denson (Dolltopia) fills this hip and handy travel guide with her expertise as a frequent visitor to Japan and her bright and vibrant illustrations.” —Publishers Weekly

“Abby’s guide is both highly entertaining and very useful—an essential book for anyone (and especially cartoonists) dreaming of a trip to Japan!” —Kate T. Williamson, author of A Year in Japan

“We got to field test Abby’s book on our first trip to Japan and found it an invaluable resource. No better guidebook for finding comics, food, and fun in Japan!” —Raina Telgemeier (author of Smile) & Dave Roman (author of Astronaut Academy)

“Abby’s book is the perfect combination of fun and information … Abby gets you on your way in her clear, easygoing comic style. Arigatou Gozaimasu Abby-san!” —Rodney Alan Greenblat

“Each chapter opens with a with a well-conceived list of Japanese vocabulary words and the back matter offers a directory of suggested sightseeing locations as well as web-based travel resources. A useful title for teens daydreaming about traveling to Japan” — Booklist

“It’s a quirky book, with cultural explanations and travel tips, mostly of the novice but also for the more seasoned visitor, all done in stunning manga style.” — Australian Broadcasting Corporation

“What could be a more fitting format for a travel guide on modern Japan than a comic book? Relying on delightful cartoon illustrations, this creative, nicely designed title details travel preparations, the homestay experience, food, shopping, and festivals. Readers will get a strong sense of all that the country has to offer: manga, anime, onsens (or hot springs), karaoke bars, and much more. […]Useful websites, handy apps, emergency information, and a list of recommended places to visit can be found at the back of the book, along with a basic map. VERDICT: Those fascinated by Japan will enjoy this amusing and educational romp.” — School Library Journal

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