Axel Schwab


My name is Axel Schwab and I live in Munich, Germany. As an engineer I develop electric vehicles, as an author I write books mainly about Japan. I first went there in 1993 during my studies and later lived in Tokyo for five years. I travel the world with my camera and continue to visit Japan regularly.

My Books

Press Comments & Customer Reviews

Frankfurter Allgemeine

Vom Ablaufdatum der Nostalgie
Von Steffen Gnam

»Der Tokio-Aficionado, Fotograf und Flaneur Axel Schwab, der seiner Lieblingsstadt schon einige Bücher gewidmet hat, stellt in gewohnt liebevoll-kauziger Manier nun "30 neue Touren" von Shinjuku im Westen bis Shibamata im Osten für Fußwanderer im Labyrinth der Metropole vor. Er interessiert sich dabei weniger für grelle Sehenswürdigkeiten und "instagram-taugliche" Motive als für versteckte, mit Staub und Retro-Charme behaftete Lokalitäten, Lokale, Läden oder Museen, ...«

© Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, Frankfurt.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Im leisen Land
Von Stefan Fischer

»Axel Schwab ermuntert seine Leser, in das Labyrinth Tokio einzutauchen: Er arbeitet sich nicht an Sehenswürdigkeiten ab, sondern empfiehlt verschiedene Tagesprogramme, bei denen man die Atmosphäre der Stadt wahrnimmt.«

Blog Japanliebe

Von Elisa Minet

»Wenn ich überhaupt so etwas wie Kritik habe, ist es diese: Schwab ist ein Foodie. Und folgt man seinen Touren Schritt für Schritt, kommt man mit einem wesentlich leichteren Geldbeutel und vor allem mehreren Pfunden mehr auf den Hüften aus Tōkyō zurück. Die vielen leckeren Café- und Restaurantempfehlungen nimmt man also am besten als Inspiration und nicht unbedingt als Pflichtprogramm. Und wenn doch:itadakimasu.«

ITB Berlin BuchAwards 2021

ITB BuchAwards 2021

Statements der ITB BuchAward Jury 2021

»Axel Schwabs Reiseführer für Individualreisende lässt Tokio und Umgebung in 30 detailliert beschriebenen Spaziergängen fernab der zweifellos attraktiven touristischen Pfade erleben. Schwab hat fünf Jahre in Tokio gewohnt, kennt kaum bekannte Winkel und schätzt vor allem auch die hervorragende Küche unscheinbarer Restaurants und Streetfood-Stände in den Seitenstraßen. Die Fülle an Informationen, persönliche Tipps, wunderbare Fotos und übersichtliche Karten machen Lust, die quirlige Hauptstadt Japans zu besuchen.«

Great way to get to know Tokyo
Brian Connery

»If your idea of tourism is to walk the streets and hike the trails of the places you visit, this is the Tokyo guide book for you. I identified the 7 major sites/sights that I wanted to see and then found them in the book and did the walks in which they were included so that I got to see so much more. Includes tips on places for lunch or coffee during the walk. There are small maps for each walk which are useful in giving you a general idea of the layout, but I found that pairing the book with Google Maps on my phone was the easiest and more foolproof way to go …«

Like having your own tour guide in your pocket
Lizzy Virginia

»My husband and I recently spent five days in Tokyo, and this book was invaluable. All the "standard" guides cover the major places to see, but this one fills in the local color and neighborhoods. As an example, after seeing the Meiji Shrine (on everyone's list), we followed the author's suggestions to several nearby shopping streets he identifies as "young quirky Japan." So interesting! As a paperback with two facing pages per walk, we carried this book with us wherever we went. Really added so much to our trip!«

Love this book
Happy customer

»I'm a Japanese but never been to Tokyo. This is going to be very handy when I make a trip to Tokyo this Summer. This is written by a journalist, and he really studied well about Tokyo's famous and non-famous alley. I love this book. Well edited with a precise map.«

A must have for Tokyo visiting.
German Garcia

»We use it every day on our last trip to Japan (November 2018) it is accurate, food suggestions are awesome and day trips close to Tokyo are very good too. It is on our pocket for all the week we spent in Tokyo.«

Easy to read and navigate

»My daughter (in her late 20s) is currently using this book on a trip with friends. She reports via text it is a "great book" and their favorite guidebook to use. They like getting "to know general vibes of neighborhoods and paths." She recommends it.«

Comprehensive and easy to navigate guide - well done!

»Impressive compact guide, dense with superbly organized information (somehow, the author's engineering mindset shines through!) with complete maps and coordinates for finding your way on these interesting tours, and suggested coffee stops and lunch places for each tour. I haven't used it yet on the ground and am having fun reading it to prepare for my week in Tokyo later this year. I expect it to be an important resource for my experience of that huge city …«

Must have for exploring Tokyo
Margaret Comino

»Great to use - this was my 7th trip to Japan & for the first time spent an entire week in Tokyo. I discovered plenty of places that I hadn’t heard about before. I could manage 2 of his walks per day. He also neatly summarizes the walks into more than 30 categories such as photography fans, history buffs, museum visitors, garden fans, view seekers, gourmets, religious sites etc. I ended up also purchasing the kindle version for the colour photographs & maps etc. the author had stated he kept the printed version to B&W to keep costs down. I have about a dozen other Japan &/or Tokyo books & this is my favourite!«

Very informative little book for traveling to Tokyo
Robert Tiong

»It is a very informative small little book. The best part is it shows you how to go from one point to one point on the map by foot which other maps did not show. Very helpful for budget traveler to visit Tokyo by using metro subway which save a lot of money by following tour.«


Picturing Japan since 2009


Japan in Berlin

Japan in Berlin

Here I write about Berlin, Japan, my books and topics close to my heart.

Japan in München

Japan in München

Here I write about Munich, Japan, my books and other topics close to my heart.

Alte private Website

Old website

Here are photos and articles from 1993-2013. Not optimized for mobile devices!