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Lonely Planet Japan 12th Ed.: 12th Edition Paperback – Sep 9 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 12 edition (Sept. 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741798051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741798050
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Born in England and raised in the USA, Chris has lived in Kyoto since 1992. Soon after his arrival in Kyoto, Chris started studying the Japanese language and culture. In 1995 he became a regional correspondent for the Japan Times. He joined Lonely Planet in 1996 and has written or contributed to guidebooks on Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Victoria (Australia). When not on the road, Chris spends his time searching out Kyoto's best temples, gardens and restaurants. He also conducts walking tours of Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. For more on Chris and his tours, check out his website at

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just what I needed for getting my trip prepared! Plenty of information, some tips about the culture, things to see and taste! Good up to date information, with personal appreciation!
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Exactly as I was expecting.
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great service and goods
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most helpful resource, brimming with information. Made planning our trip much easier: where to go, what to see and how to get there.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa03d29e4) out of 5 stars 27 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03e757c) out of 5 stars not all that helpful Oct. 27 2011
By Constant Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have the book, not the Kindle version, and I have to second the other reviewer in saying that there seem to be a lot of changes that make this less helpful that the older version. There's still a fair amount of information about places, good directions, etc., but they have thrown out separating the accommodation into budget/midrange/topend and also seem to be focused on toprange places. I don't need a guidebook to tell me that the $400 a night hotel is good-- but I don't buy Lonely Planet because I can afford to stay there, or eat the $100 meals they rave about. When it comes to booking accommodation in Tokyo, they list a bunch of $300 places and then say to just check on the internet if you want budget... ???? Well, that would be helpful if I were coming in late on the train. It makes you wonder why you bought the book... Weirdly, the Fodor's had more budget options in some places.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03e77c8) out of 5 stars Great for planning a trip, bad when you're actually there March 31 2012
By SocraticMethod - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I got this book (not e-book) in preparation for a trip to Tokyo this past month. It seemed great with the maps and suggestions for places to go. I made a whole itinerary based on this book which was quite nice. However, once I got to Tokyo/Japan, I was only able to find the major sights on the maps. Some of the minor places on the map flat out weren't there when I was standing exactly where the map said, and when I'd look at the description of the place, no location was given. While I was loving the book for planning, I realized there's so little important information about each sight (such as where exactly it is) that the book became pretty much a heavy paperweight I carried around all the time. The only thing truly useful while I was there were the maps themselves in regards to where I was. It was nice but as I have a good sense of direction it still proved unnecessary ultimately. The additional subway map is great but you can get that for free at any hotel or the airport.

Also, many of the suggestions themselves (particularly with food and hotels) are plain expensive and not catering towards the average or frugal traveler. Most suggestions are very expensive (even for Japan) and instead of offering some cheaper options, they tell you a few websites to check out instead. Pretty stupid to buy a book only to be told to look elsewhere.

Ultimately this book was only useful to find major places before I left, which any Japan travel site could do for you. I didn't end up going to a single restaurant or hotel from this book because the suggestions were either too high-priced or they just gave poor directions (or none) to where they were.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03e778c) out of 5 stars Nothing like Lonely Planet Dec 23 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This e-book was a huge disappointment. Nothing at all like the lonely planet guides that you can buy off the lonely planet website as PDF's. There are hardly any maps and the book is very hard to navigate. Very disappointing considering this is only the second Kindle ebook I have purchased :(
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03e7a80) out of 5 stars This book burned me so many times in Japan, time for revenge July 1 2012
By Theremin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Okay, my title's pretty ridiculous, I know. What lonely planet has to offer as far as Japan goes, is a nice little overview of cities in Japan, they can let you know some big places you want to go to in each city to get a nice feel. Maybe you want to plan out some big things, and leave some time so you can go to the tourist offices in each city and talk to someone who actually knows what they're talking about. This means the book isn't much more useful than their website. Speaking of websites, why are these articles so small and uninformative even on e-books when you don't really need to worry about fitting everything onto a set number of pages. A common issue is a lack of information, I was told about Osaka that I just needed to walk around and long aimless walks would be rewarding. Was that written by a person who has ever been to Japan? Long aimless walks are the easiest way to end up in a residential district with no end in sight. Partially thanks to that, but also thanks to my love of weird buildings, I went to Shinseikai (where Tsutenkaku Tower is) which was definitely interesting, but one of the worst places in Japan... Especially when you consider that there's a strong Yakuza influence outside of that area (not that it matters THAT much). So we returned thinking Osaka was kinda dumpy which isn't really fair to all the nice open Kansai-jin.

The bigger issue I take with this book is that it is the biggest wealth of information they have about the entire country, yet they make some small places seem very unappetizing or leave them out together. They made Tanegashima seem like it was the least interesting place in all of Japan, along with other former Ryukyu islands, failing to mention that they're beautiful and have a wealth of interesting natural beauty, and Tanegashima once a year has a festival to celebrate being the first place in Japan to have the arquebus. Thanks for the tip?

Lastly, how exactly are we getting around Japan? It's a bit lazy to assume everyone just picked up (or could pick up) a rail pass and even weirder when it seems we were supposed to be driving along the way too. For Shikoku I'm pretty sure we're supposed to travel in the motion that pilgrims take on Ohenro... really? so beautiful islands off the coast of Kyushu are nothing special but you think your readers are going to do Ohenro?! Even with that, there's little indication of atmosphere or how large or small a city is. There's either no or very little mention of markets, ones that have been open for ages. No mention if there are restaurants around that will be open at night or if you need to go get breakfast there.

My honest advice is that you need to be really savy in order to travel Japan, and that savyness isn't just innate in some people, go with recommendations of what ryokan or guest houses to stay in, use those places websites to find others, and soon you'll see that a lot of cheap great accommodation in Japan are operating at only about 3 degrees of separation. I would recommend using the website as a resource for planning all of this, but the book just doesn't hold up as being more necessary or helpful.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03e7f6c) out of 5 stars TERRIBLE! HORRIBLE! Aug. 15 2011
By ^Daphne^ - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just bought this guide in Kindle version, in order to replace my 11th paperback version.

- Far LESS information than before! I had the time just to compare a few locations and the first feeling is that it is all made SHORTER! Even correct and useful informations that were in the previous guide have been removed! For example: why remove the Akechihira Ropeway from the locations around Nikko??? I have been there last week -thanks to the 11th version- and there is a great view of the lake and the waterfalls from there!
- Unusable: the back button does not work properly, so if you enter a link there is no way to go back to what you were reading before!

These are the main complaints for the moment...
So sorry I even spent over 20 dollars to get this...
I'll keep on using the dear old paperback version, heavier but DEFINITELY richer of informations!!!

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