Saturday, 16 August 2014

Review: Japan's World Heritage Sites by John Dougill

An enjoyable and informative book about Japan's many heritage sites

by John Dougill
Tuttle Publishing
ISBN 4805312858
Price: £29

Recently I was contacted by author John Dougill offering me a copy of his book Japan's World Heritage Sites to review here on the Itsumo Japan blog. Of course I jumped at the chance, I love the opportunity to discover new books about Japan and share them with my readers.

Japan's World Heritage Sites by John Dougill is a lovely hardback book filled with gorgeous glossy photographs and detailed information about Japan's many UNESCO heritage sites. Japan has 17 sites in all and, in 2012, Dougill set out to visit each one travelling from the north of Hokkaido to Okinawa in the south collecting the information and experiences shared in this book.

Each of Japan's world heritage sites is covered within the book with details about its history, features, location and reasons for selection along with useful maps and access information. Dougill's informative writing is accompanied by a wealth of colour photographs, some of which were taken by the author on his cross-country trip.

I really enjoyed reading Japan's World Heritage Sites. It is filled with lots of interesting information about all of Japan's UNESCO registered sites from the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and Nikko's Toshogu shrine complex to lesser known sites such as the ancient Ryuku ruins of Okinawa and the secluded meditational retreat of Kozan-ji. And, of course, the newest addition to Japan's list, Mt Fuji, is here too. I also learnt from Dougill's book that Japan is home to many natural heritage sites like the subtropical Ogasawara Islands and Hokkaido's Shiretoko Penninsula. The book finishes with a list of further sites being prepared by Japan for future nomination.

If you're interested in traditional Japan and exploring its many heritage sites then this book would make a great addition to your library as well as being an interesting and inspirational pre-trip read. So why not get a copy of this lovely book and see how many of Japan's heritage sites you can visit?


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