Regular readers of TBTP have probably noticed that I have a fascination with travel guidebooks, both contemporary and antiquarian. If you saw my library, you might even call it an obsession. I’m always intrigued when I stumble upon a novel angle on the travel guidebook model. Tokyo Totem: A Guide to Tokyo is a wonderful exemplar of an uncommon approach to a two century old template.
Written and edited by Edwin Gardner and Christiaan Fruneaux from the Amsterdam-based creative studio Monnik, Tokyo Totem brings together contributions from forty-six “urban explorers”. This diverse collaboration of experts, ranging from long-time expats to city-born locals, fuses essays, photography, cartography, mangas, art, and illustration.
The bilingual—English and Japanese—travel guidebook eschews the typical what to see and where to eat/drink/sleep/shop model for a refreshing subjective approach that encourages visitors to engage with Tokyo on a personal adventure.
The paperback version is published by Flick Studio and is available internationally through Amazon.