Author: Amy Crabtree
Illustrated By: Amy Crabtree
Page Count: 300
Published By: Self published
Have you ever dreamed of going to Japan, but have no idea how to start planning? When would be the best time to go, where do you look for the best deals on flights and accommodation and in what area would you prefer to stay? It’s really a lot to think about, the stress can build up and start to take the excitement away when you are in the middle of trying to plan your dream trip. Well fret no more as thanks to the wonderful Amy Crabtree, a UK fashion designer and founder of ‘Cakes with Faces’, she has documented the past ten years of her travelling experience to Japan both in her YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/cakeswithfaces) and this very book. It’s filled with not only practical advice, but travel ideas and insight into some hidden spots to visit. As well as including space for you to make a trip planner and travel journal.
This may be a very niche book, but will definitely be more than useful for anyone planning on taking a trip of a lifetime over to Japan. The author of this incredibly practical guidebook, has been travelling to Japan for the last decade. As many of you may know, Amy Crabtree is the founder behind ‘Cakes with Faces’. An eye-catching and colorful booth that you have more than likely seen at many conventions over in the UK over the past number of years – mostly at the MCM Comic Con events. She has also been featured countless times in the UKs leading otaku culture publication – Neo Magazine. If you have ever seen her t-shirt designs, you would have guessed right that she gets most of her inspiration from the many kawaii aspects that can only be found in Nippon!
From the front cover alone, it is visually eye catching. With her own iconic ‘Cakes with Faces’ logo above the title and her unique art style ever present – just look at the cute faces on those sushi! Without having known of the brand before, I would certainly go and pick up this book if I ever came across it. I also enjoy the added detail used on the page edges, as there is a red tint to them that looks great when you have the book closed. It just gives it more character.
So this book mostly focuses on your trip to Tokyo, with very helpful guides on the local customs, types of places to stay, ideal times to visit temples and how best to get around the city. As well as tons of more information, which I am amazed this book wasn’t more than the 300 pages. It’s so full of colour, helpful links to websites and videos that go into more detail on certain destinations. There’s even recommendations for other YouTube channels to check out, which the author found useful when planning her trips. Many of which I already follow, so it was nice to know the author and I have the same common interest.
The bit I found most helpful were the blank pages provided, where as you are reading the guide – you can also start planning your trip. The book is also a handy enough size to keep in your carry on and take with you on your holiday. The tone in which it was written is helpful and cheerful. As though you were talking to a friend. A far cry from the cold and factual feeling I have gotten from many other travel guides I have picked up over the years. This really is a breath of fresh air!
The most incredible thing about this book is that it was entirely crowd funded in under 24 hours over on KickStarter. This was certainly a fan funded project, but was one that would not have been possible without the vast knowledge, experience and sheer devotion to putting pen to paper from the author. I wouldn’t mind seeing a follow up to this book in a few years, as Japan is an ever changing country and even the likes of Akihabara have started to change in recent months.
If you enjoyed this small review, then make sure to check out the book in the link below. On the Cakes with Faces website you will also find tons of kawaii merch from t-shirts to dresses, pins, jewellery and cushions. All with the cutest of designs, not only inspired by Japan, but also hamsters and the pyramids.
This books is available to buy exclusively through her website at: https://www.cakeswithfaces.co.uk/product/japan-travel-guide-book/