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Gateway to Japan Paperback – Apr 1 1998


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Paperback, Apr 1 1998
CDN$ 138.97 CDN$ 74.92

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside; 3rd Revised edition edition (April 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 477002018X
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770020185
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #403,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
Japan underwent three distinct cultural transformations during its prehistoric era (ca. 100,000 B.C.-A.D. 538). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "feigeg" on Feb. 19 2002
Format: Paperback
My friend and I bought this in a Tokyo bookstore during our trip. We had come equipped with a Lonely Planet guide, but found its perpetual bad attitude a huge drag.
The locations described range from standard tourist attractions to out of the way treasures that give the traveller a comprehensive sense of Japan. We used this guide as we travelled all over Honshuu (the main island)to several famous large (i.e. Tokyo, Kyoto) and small lesser-known cities (i.e. Kakunodate, Dewasanzan). The book gave us indispensible insight into each city, and attracted us to incredible places we no doubt would never have seen if we stuck with Lonely Planet.
The book includes housing accomodation and food recommendations, with valuable cultural information for each town.
I highly recommend this book for its thoughtful and detailed representation of Japan. The information was accurate and helpful, both for basic survival purposes and for a greater historical and cultural context for each town.
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Format: Paperback
Gateway to Japan is more than a mere guidebook. In fact, even though the book is outdated, the information is still relevant. The sheer amount of information regarding Shintoism, Buddhism and Japan's history really gives depth with regards to the place you're visiting. And if you have an inkling to head off the beaten path, the book does provide a good deal of information about more obscure locations.

Is this book perfect? No, because well, it IS outdated. In spite of the wonderful essays and background information, Japan has seen its fair share of development over the past 8 years or so. However, this book is a great asset to carry along with you.
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By T. Hooper on Jan. 19 2003
Format: Paperback
Having lived in Japan for the past 6 years, I've had the opportunity to use all of the major guidebooks (and quite a few of the minor ones as well), and without a doubt, the most useful and informative guidebook is this one. Of course Lonely Planet has lots of information about restaurants and hotels, but you can get the tourist information center to help you with hotels and wherever you walk you can find plenty of nice restaurants. What you really want is a purpose to visit the places that you are visiting. Lonely Planet just tells you what things are, but this guidebooks tells you the history of each place, so you can understand why each place is important. If you're looking for a guidebook to tell you where the clubs, hangouts, and youth hostels are, then maybe this isn't the book you're looking for. However, if you're looking for a nice meaty book to feed you mind on, this is it.
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Format: Paperback
This book has everything...history of the country, essays on architectural styles, religion, festivals, Inn and bath ettiquete, language, and very extensive hotel, transportation,shopping and dining information. The maps and directions are always correct, and their ratings always match the product. I'm on my third edition, and wouldn't dream of heading to Japan without it!
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By Nancy on Sept. 25 2002
Format: Paperback
After four and a half years living in Japan , five return trips and purchases of many guide books of uneven quality I was delighted to come across "Gateway to Japan". It became my most reliable travel companion. On one trip through the back roads of Japan during which I saw few English speakers and was forced to fall back on my sketchy Japanese, with little to read in English I found that "Gateway to Japan" became my bedtime reading. It has served me well. It is well organized and most informative.
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Format: Paperback
I took this book with me to Japan and I was disappointed. There is plenty of detail about history, sumo wrestling, and art with little practical information. Plus I found errors in directions, maps etc. Here are my issues with this book.
1) The coverage of how to use the train system is horrible. There is more than just the JR system, much more. Don't buy the rail pass unless you plan to do major traveling all over. It skips things like basic ticket purchasing, transfer tickets, what the signs mean when red/green/black/flashing, how to get on and off a platform etc. Did you know that English speaking rail people or even the police wear a red badge on their shoulder to indicate they speak English? These are the sorts of things this book misses.
2) Restaurant/places are described in the text and numbered like they should be on the corresponding map, but then aren't always. This happened at least 3 times in Tokyo, and once in Hakone that I can recollect off the top of my head.
3) The maps leave a lot to be desired. There is no coherence between maps. It was hard to even make this book work with the map book I bought.
4) Better coverage of how to get to or even spot subway stations would have been nice. I also didn't like how if you weren't at a specific starting place, it was hard to get to another destination because the directions only came in one form and again, the maps aren't much help here.
Overall, some of the details the book covers on history and such were nice to have once you got somewhere, but the practical information such as how to get around was severely lacking. I don't recommend this book. I bought it cause it had a 5 star rating. I gave it 1 star to bring that down to a more appropriate 2-3 star rating.
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