Tiny travel guides are our latest Japanese gacha capsule toy obsession
Taking pocket size to new extremes.
Just as Lonely Planet travel guides are the go-to resource for English-speaking travellers, in Japan the Chikyu no Arukikata (“How to Walk the Earth”) is the bible of international jet-setters.
Like the Lonely Planet books, these information-packed guides can be large volumes to take with you abroad, so the smaller they can make them, the better. That’s why when we learned that the Chikyu no Arukikata series had been miniaturized into tiny palm-sized versions, we immediately started buying them.
▼ How to travel the Earth: Paris and its surroundings
The little books are the latest addition to Bandai’s “Mame Gasha Book” capsule toy series. “Mame,” which translates to “bean” in English, is often used to describe small, bean-sized things, and these “mame” books were even smaller than we thought when we finally got our hands or our fingers. , on them!
Each is about five centimeters (2 inches) long and 3.3 centimeters wide, about the same size as a matchbox, or slightly smaller.
Despite their small size, the the contents of each book are authentically reproduced, which was a fantastic surprise. The page above, for example, describes the Louvre Museum, in the smallest details. These books may be small, but they contain a lot of information.
▼ Parisian sweets have never been so adorable!
▼ Each small volume contains more than 120 pages, printed in color.
There are no dummy pages to fill the volumes, so you can throw a bunch in your pocket and have all the information you need to travel the world with just your wallet and the clothes you’re wearing.
▼ There are four travel guides to collect, covering Paris, New york, Hawaii and Tokyo.
▼ Shinjuku, the home of our news team, makes an appearance in the Tokyo edition.
The brochure that accompanies each book states that the information printed inside the guides is from editions published between April and September 2020. It also states that “some parts are difficult to read due to font size”, and they are not false.
Many pages can be read with the naked eye, but some fine print can be difficult to decipher. However, you can always use a magnifying glass or take a photo and zoom in on the image to read all the fine details.
The little travel guides are beautifully designed and fun to flip through, and are reasonably priced at 500 yen (US$3.65) each. The books went on sale at Bandai’s gasha capsule toy machines nationwide starting in July, so keep an eye out for them on your travels.
If you fancy more miniature tomes, you can also stock up on these equally small Showa-era books!