Book Review: Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan


Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan the sequel to one of my favourite travelogue sketchbooks, Voyage au Japon, Tome 1: Tokyo.

This time Sandrine Garcia and Rémi Maynègre travel to Koya-San (高野山) or Mount Koya, the mountains in the Wakayama Prefecture to the south of Osaka, to visit the countryside, temples and the largest graveyard in Japan. They recorded their journey from the start with a train from Tokyo to Koyasan, ending just before they leave for Kyoto.

There are paintings of various places they saw while on the train, the scenic countryside with traditional Japanese houses, temples, torii (traditional Japanese gate) along mountain paths, lots of tombs, and on the culture and way of life there.

The book's a large landscape 160-page hardcover. The beautiful watercolour paintings are huge. You get a sense that you're standing at the place there, just like the first book, and it evokes the holiday mood, the urge to book a plane ticket.

The bulk of the paintings are on the temples and tombs. I love the architectural details of the old houses, temples and other buildings. For the tombs and cemetery, you can see many different types, how they are worn from weather, stone guardians, the decorations and offerings put alongside, and the surroundings.

This book looks at the more spiritual side of Japan. It's written in French and Japanese. The tone is rather light-hearted going by some of the humorous depiction of the couple's adventures and short comics. There's one particular double page spread of the cemetery drawn with spirits hiding behind tombstones from the view of the people.

It's a wonderful artbook. Highly recommended to sketchbook and travel lovers.

This is one of my favourite books for 2013.

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Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP) and Book Depository

You will want to check out Book Depository prices before buying from Amazon USA. It could be cheaper as shipping is included.

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

Voyage au Japon - Tome 2: Koyasan

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Here are direct links to the book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn | Bookdepository.com

You will want to check out Book Depository prices before buying from Amazon USA. It could be cheaper as shipping is included.

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