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  • Location: Tokyo

Made in Japan

Made in Japan

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: A young girl traces her mother’s steps all the way from London to Japan to search for the father she never knew.

  • ISBN: 978-0008201012
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Hana arrives in Tokyo with only two words in her mind: The Teahouse. She’s a long way from home in East London and still fresh from the loss of her mother.

But her grief has sent her across to the other side of the world to find out who she is, and for Hana that means finding the Japanese man she has never met, her father with only these two words as clues.

Travel Guide

Tokyo

Tour of “Made in Japan”

Shimokitazawa

A quiet residential suburb that the guidebook promised as a suburb of film cafes, low-key nightlife with ‘hundreds of reasonable restaurant choices’

She stays with Noru and her Japanese family as part of the ‘homestay program’

Tea house

She goes in search of the tea house which she hopes is going to allow her to meet her mum again. She finds many and some aren’t attached to temples , Hanna discovers. The one over a the lake at Hamarikyu Gardens was enormous ad so trodden by tourists as to be disappointing.

Shibuya

Hana is shown around this popular area and take the metro to Ayoyama and walks the hill to Omotesado. They stay in this area to drink sake and it’s where the dog named Hachiko has his own statue – the story of the dog who waited patiently for his master every day after he died is a heartbreaking story!

Akasuka

The approach to this painted wooden structure at Asakusa was lined with kiosks selling souvenir biscuits, miniature samurai swords and polyester silks, and , under the canopied bronze incense burner, people stood washing in the curling smoke. Cupped hands dew the incense silently over their faces and hands. It was, Hana supposed, as effective as any purification for the soul..”

Rappongi

Naomi is taken to dinner here with her boss. It’s described as a tourist playground and an architectural tart”

Made in Japan

Streetview Maps

A) Tokyo -Shimokitazawa
E) Tokyo - Hamarikyu Gardens
Hachiko Memorial Statue
Rappongi

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

A somewhat melancholic type of read. Immersive and all encompassing too as a girl travels to Japan in order to find out about her father, using ‘the teahouse’ as her only clue to her fathers’ identity.

Hana may be lost in life but she acts as a good guide to 2012 Japan as she immerses herself in life there and goes to great lengths to fit in with local tradition and habits in the ‘when in Japan, do as the Japanese do’ line of thought.

When the mother’s story unravels and we travel back to 1980’s Japan, this for me was when  the power of the narrative really came into its own. Japan comes to life in every way – modern versus tradition – and the beautiful chaos of the city shone through. What really stood out as well were the descriptions and history behind Japanese architecture . Here’s an author who’s really enjoyed doing her research!

This is quite an emotional novel and journey to read and one which brings out sadness, a sense of belonging and family ties all within a within a foreign environment. Where do we call home?

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Made In Japan

Destination:Tokyo  Author/Guide: S. J. Parks  Departure Time: 2000s

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