So instead I swooned over A.'s photos of vibrant neighborhoods, colors splashed across every inch of space. I'd google each place he mentioned in his e-mails imagining myself walking through the streets alongside him. How badly I wanted to travel across the globe and experience these places for myself!
It's nowhere near actually being there, but Kate T. Williamson's A Year in Japan manages to capture some of the magic that lies within Japanese culture. With her journal notes paired with such detailed watercolor illustrations, Williamson delves into the intricacies of everyday life and presents an eye-catching tour through the heart of Japan. A place where karaoke is taken seriously, tofu is sold from wooden carts pushed by elderly men and the people believe that a rabbit on moon pounds rice into mochi.
Some concepts, like riding a bullet train (shinkansen) and the difference between a maiko and a geisha, I'd already learned through A.'s adventures, but I thoroughly enjoyed this visual journey. Once I picked it up one morning, I couldn't set it down until I'd spent the entire year with her.