I love reading Pico Iyer...he really does a great job of making you see the places he describes. I've posted his book on Cuba also-- Cuba and the Night: A Novel. He wrote this book on Japan after his time in Cuba. These 2 books are great bookends-- read the Cuba one first, then Japan, for an entertaining contrast in vibes of two different places!
I mostly enjoyed this book but the side story with the woman friend started to wear a bit tedious. I found myself skimming over those sections. Other parts were very engaging and he certainly writes well which kept me reading through to the end. Overall, it's an enjoyable book.