When You’re Too Cheap to Get Zagat’s From the Library

Not One Shrine: Two Food Writers Devour Tokyo by Becky Selengut and Matthew Amster-Burton, illustrated by Denise Sakaki. CreateSpace, 2016. 9781532858604.

notoneshrineTwo funny, food-obsessed friends plan a week in Tokyo. They won’t visit any museums, historical landmarks, or shrines. They are going there to eat.

Becky and Matthew munch on hand-pulled candy and freshly killed eel, visit a robot restaurant, and drink booze served with massive, hand-carved ice spheres. It’s more of a travelogue than a guidebook, but they do provide an online list of everywhere they ate, with tips on vocabulary and getting around in an appendix.

I loved their back-and-forth banter as they alternated stories of where they went. I laughed out loud at their observations more than once.* This is a fun book even if you don’t plan to visit Japan, but totally necessary if you do: you’ve got to eat, so it might as well be amazing.

*Matthew: “The only time I ever use an umbrella is in Japan, because Seattleites consider unfurling an umbrella the equivalent of raising a flag that says BOO HOO I’M MELTING.”

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