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Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the Citys Most Colorful Neighborhoods

Florent Chavouet



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26 August 2011
Travel writing; Languages & ESL; Japanese; Japanese
This prize-winning book is both an illustrated tour of a Tokyo rarely seen in Japan travel guides and an artist's warm, funny, visually rich, and always entertaining graphic memoir. 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 color pencils and a sketchpad, and visit different neighborhoods. This stunning book records the city that he got to know during his adventures. It isn't the Tokyo of packaged tours and glossy guidebooks, but a grittier, vibrant place, full of ordinary people going about their daily lives and the scenes and activities that unfold on the streets of a bustling metropolis.

Here you find business men and women, hipsters, students, grandmothers, shopkeepers, policemen, and other urban types and tribes in all manner of dress and hairstyles. A temple nestles among skyscrapers; the corner grocery anchors a diverse assortment of dwellings, cafes, and shops--often tangled in electric lines.

The artist mixes styles and tags his pictures with wry comments and observations. Realistically rendered advertisements or posters of pop stars contrast with cartoon sketches of iconic objects or droll vignettes, like a housewife walking her pet pig, a Godzilla statue in a local park, and an urban fishing pond that charges 400 yen per half hour.

This very personal guide to Tokyo is organized by neighborhood with hand-drawn maps that provide an overview of each neighborhood, but what really defines them is what caught the artist's eye and attracted his formidable drawing talent. Florent Chavouet begins his introduction by observing that, Tokyo is said to be the most beautiful of ugly cities. With wit, a playful sense of humor, and the multicolor pencils of his kit, he sets aside the question of urban ugliness or beauty and captures the Japanese essence of a great city in this truly vital portrait.
By:   Florent Chavouet
Imprint:   Tuttle
Country of Publication:   Japan
Dimensions:   Height: 254mm,  Width: 184mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   567g
ISBN:   9784805311370
ISBN 10:   4805311371
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   26 August 2011
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Language:   Japanese
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Florent Chavouet is a young graphic artist and author living in Paris. When he returned from Japan, he realized that all the observing and sketching he had done in Tokyo led to his evolution as an artist. This is his first book.

Reviews for Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the Citys Most Colorful Neighborhoods

.. .as for Chavouet--colorful, farcical, artistically superior Chavouet--his way of seeing Japan is insightful and entertaining for over two hundred pages. The execution is confident--a positive side-effect of it having no agenda but to represent his individual experience. -- Axiom Magazine

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