99+1 Japan

99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.

Rough Guides

As 2009 comes to an end, I’m very happy to report that one of the projects that will be keeping me busy during the start of 2010 will be work on the upcoming fifth editions of The Rough Guide to Tokyo and The Rough Guide to Japan (due for release in 2011). I’ll be contributing to both, but mostly on the Tokyo guide — joining author Simon Richmond — with contributions to the Japan guide limited to Tokyo and surrounding areas. For more on the Rough Guides series, check out the official site.

Wallpaper City Guide: Osaka

First Tokyo, then Kyoto, now it’s Osaka’s turn to get the Wallpaper City Guide treatment. As I wrote when I covered the Kyoto volume’s release, I really like what these book’s represent. No, they’re not intended to be a thorough travel guide to the cities they cover. Instead, they act as handy compendiums of the types of spots you see highlighted in Wallpaper, but end up forgetting about (unless you cut them out and paste them in a notebook).

As with the Kyoto edition, regular Tokyo-based Wallpaper contributor Gordon Kanki Knight is the author , and I have to say that he’s come up with a very cool collection of stylish spots I never knew existed in Osaka, and I’ve already marked a few I plan on taking in on my next visit — and don’t you know you it, as with all of these Wallpaper guides, you have extra blank note pages at the end in which to write down all those things.

The official release, as indicated on its Amazon US page (or even Amazon Japan), is December 9, but Gordon tells me that the book should be popping up in some shops around mid-November. As for what’s next for the City Guide series in Japan, I hear that Sapporo is on the horizon.