Discover the Wonders of Japan: Travel Surprises, Secrets, Pleasures, and Treasures

Discover-the-Wonders-of-Japan

Discover the Wonders of Japan: Although it has been years since I’ve traveled in mesmerizing Tokyo, my memories are as vivid as though they had been sparked yesterday—pleasures swirl in unique flavors and music, creativity, and ingenuity. So when luxury publisher Assouline released the new book, Tokyo Chic, I dove into its 312 thick-paper-stock pages, with more than 200 photographs and illustrations, which are bound in an outsize (10-by-13-inches, 6.4-pounds) format, a hefty hardcover wrapped in silk.

Discover the Wonders of Japan

The brainchild of Andrea Fazzari, whose deft imagery and words are love letters to the inimitable capital, Tokyo Chic showcases a massively enthralling yet strikingly intimate city. Currently based in Tokyo, Fazzari is a James Beard Award-winning photographer, author, and restaurant maven with notable backgrounds in fashion and film. Born in New York City, she has lived in France, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, and Thailand and speaks four languages. What a sophisticated guide to have at your armchair traveler’s fingertips! Indeed, this coffee table tome would make a treasured holiday gift for those who have already vacationed in Japan or simply dream of doing so.

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Discover the Wonders of Japan

Courtesy and Hospitality

Fazzari launches the book’s introduction by sharing a key anecdote that I find instantly relatable. She writes: “As I say thank you and leave the restaurant after dinner, I realize they are trailing me down the street. The click-clack of geta (traditional wooden-soled shoes) against the pavement cuts through the evening quiet of the Shinbashi neighborhood as a legendary 80-year-old chef and his daughter, in a kimono, engage me in this long goodbye. Each time that I turn to check if they are still there, they are waving and bowing, and the distance between us grows. Chef Nishi remains especially attentive, bowing deeply—his cane is his only support—as I turn a final corner. Part of me yearns to go back to see if he is still there; such care, courtesy, and heartfelt hospitality endear him to me. And each time this singular ritual of omikuji (the honorable farewell) happens here in Tokyo, or elsewhere in Japan—especially after a meal or stay at a ryokan or upon leaving a store—emotion overtakes me.”

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