Off the Beaten Tracks in Japan
A Journey by Train from Hokkaido to Kyushu
by John Dougill
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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 17 Nov 2023
Observations on the people, culture, and history of Japan from a long-time resident riding the rails along the less-traveled western coastline.
This journey the length of Japan takes the reader off the beaten tracks to explore some of the country's remoter regions along the Japan Sea—from Wakkanai in northern Hokkaido to Ibusuki in southern Kyushu—in a fascinating mix of travelogue, anecdote, and personal memoir. At each of the thirty stops along the journey the author, who has lived in Japan for thirty years, goes in quest of the spirit of place, determined to highlight what makes it special. Mixing comments on landscape and culture, the author was inspired by Alan Booth and Donald Richie and brings a contemporary perspective to his writing. The text provides some practical information on travel by rail and railway lines, but goes into far more depth and personal observation than a conventional guidebook for tourists.