View Full Version : The Roads to Sata: a 2000 Mile Walk Through Japan
Finished this book a couple weeks ago and wanted to recommend it to any interested in modern Japan. The author, Alan Booth, walked the length of Japan - from Cape Soya in Hokkaido all the way to the southernmost tip of Kyushu taking mostly rural routes and staying in traditional ryokan, a journey of about 4 months.
For fans of Dave Lowry's writing, it has that sort of feel, though it presents his encounters warts and all, showing both the incredible xenophobia and the old time charm of rural Japan in every chapter. Definately an engaging read, it should be required reading for anyone who plans on spending any time there.
Having read The Roads to Sata, have a look at two other books written by him, if you can find them. The Tuttle Illustrated Guide to Japan (ISBN 4-8053-0507-x) was published in 1988. The section on Hiroshima and the Chugoku region (pp.157-168) is very good and hard-hitting. Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan was published in 1995, posthumously, as it turns out, since Booth died of cancer in 1993 at the age of 46. I never met him, but knew some who did and his death represents one of the grosser failures of the Japanese healthcare system. The book was published by Kodansha International and the ISBN is 1-56836-065-7.
Then there is a very good book by Donald Ritchie. The Inland Sea is the record of a journey made much earlier than Booth's, in 1971. This book really does deal with a vanishing Japan, for it includes, for example, a visit to an island that housed a leper colony. The original publisher was Weatherhill (ISBN: 0-8348-0138-8), but I have seen reprints.
Thank you, Peter. I'll definately have a look for those.
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