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Japan Paperback – Oct 15 2003


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Paperback, Oct 15 2003
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 8th Revised edition edition (Oct. 15 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740591623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740591621
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,282,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

As usual the guidebook standard is set by Lonely Planet-- Outside --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The origin of Japan's earliest inhabitants is obscure. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Cunningham on May 12 2001
Format: Paperback
After spending about 3 weeks in Japan with this as my only guide book, I can honestly say you NEED to buy this book before traveling to Japan. I didn't make it to Tokyo, but I did go to Kyoto and Hiroshima, and this was great for both places. It also serves as sort of a mini-travel dictionary in a pinch as well as a quick guide to cultural practices.
Just a note on how to put it to best use. I would glance through the first 25 or so pages before coming to Japan, and then read about each area you visit in more depth the day before going there. As far as using it for hotels, it's great. But I wouldn't worry too much about using it to find places to eat. You'll probably do better on your own (and have a few more adventures!).
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Format: Paperback
My preference is the Eyewitness Travel DK - Japan - which has excellent graphics but is just 400 pages long. But now I have to reconsider because of this new guide from Lonely Planet. This book is just a tremendous effort 800 pages long, very well balanced with photos, maps, history, etc. It is clearly a 5 star guide.
I would rate it (and DK Eyewitness Travel) head and shoulders ahead of Frommers, or Rough Guide or similar books that are less well balanced.
Japan is a place one does not visit every day and it is expensive. Also I like to go well armed with maps and books because unlike the USA or Canada some areas have no English signs so the more information the better. It is unnerving to be on trains and subways where there is just Japanese signs. I would recommend this book, and at least one book on Japan's society - see Amazon.com plus a good map book.
This book is well balanced and like the DK guide is that it pulls a lot of things together such as history and culture and urban areas. The book brings it all to life with just magnificent photos and maps.
Personally I would buy more than one guide and definitely a guide on just Tokyo, so I would buy this book or the lighter 400 page DK guide and one book on Tokyo.
Either case this is an excellent buy. 5 stars.
Jack in Toronto
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By Jimmy Lin on March 4 2004
Format: Paperback
Of a five-week junket to Asia in 2003, Taiwan formed the first wing and Japan the second. The Lonely Planet guides for each locale accompanied me for both wings my Asian vacation.
Considering how dreadful the Taiwan guide was (you can check out my review of it), the Japan guide was remarkably voluminous and useful. I used the 7th edition for my trip (the 8th came out while I was overseas), but, as outdated as it was, it still proved to be an excellent resource for my trip.
First facts - I speak only restaurant and "ninja" Japanese, am Chinese, and am ninhogo-illiterate, so I was plopped into the middle of a country where I had few internal resources to call on. Armed with the Lonely Planet guide and reasonable phrasebook, I was able to navigate my way through Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Nagoya, and Himeji without any significant problems. The restaurant recommendations were pretty much on the mark - the okonomiyaki and fugu joints in Osaka were outstanding in quality and price, and the gyoza recommended in Kyoto was phenomenally tasty, to pick a few.
The city maps were pretty accurate, although some of the club and bar scene locales were defunct or vague. Eschewing the book's rec's after a couple of disappointments, I started hitting random places that looked, and were in fact, pretty cool. The tourist spot info is pretty accurate and includes stuff that sometimes isn't noted in the local tourist literature (I highly recommend checking out the little "meditation" waterfall mentioned in the Kyoto section).
Lonely Planet Japan is an exceptional guide book. I would recommend it to anyone who is planning a trip Japan-wards, regardless of taste - this book covers everything. I intend to purchase the latest edition before my next trip there (soon, I hope!).
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Format: Paperback
In brief: in Japan, LP is miles behind Rough Guide, which in terms of helpfulness, detail and balance shines like a crazy diamond. There is no reason to buy it except for brand loyalty.
In detail: I am not a natural fan of Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, but on my previous trip to Japan, Rough Guide impressed me beyond belief - I found it the best guide on the market. This time, I decided to turn it up a notch and bought a Lonely Planet Japan.
I tried to approach it with an open mind - and I admit that it is much, much better than many Lonely Planets that I have seen. There is almost no cheap anti-American rhetoric (good job they kept spiteful fingers of Deanna Swaney well away from this one). The guide, however, did not think it was worth mentioning that Japan's Norhern Territories are still occupied by Russia and that this is one place on earth where World War II has not ended, because the two countries still do not have a peace treaty. Imagine now that these territories were occupied by the Americans: there would be many indignant passages denouncing imperialism of "yankees". Not a big score on fairness front.
Most maps are better than cheap-and-lazy imitations found in many Lonely Planet books, and there is plenty of information on lodging beyond your local dumpster.
Even better, Lonely Planet seems to finally have ditched their senile ramblings on flight information and no longer focuses on irrelevant oddities of Apex Fares and Courier Flights. However, the book still maliciously avoids any mention of mainstream ticketing and hotel booking websites, making sure those who can least afford it are ripped off by "youth travel specialists".
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