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Frommer's Japan (Frommer's Complete Guides) Paperback – August 7, 2006

4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Frommer's Japan is the premier guide to this fascinating destination, offering an authoritative introduction to the nations culture and history, accompanied by a wealth of logistical advice, etiquette tips, and detailed color maps to help travelers find their way. This new 5th edition provides detailed walking directions to every sight mentioned and a user-friendly glossary of Japanese phrasesaccompanied by a Japanese character guide that helps readers recognize establishment names. In addition to reviewing the top business hotels and expense-account restaurants, our author has rounded up the best affordable and moderately priced hotels and restaurants throughout the country, so there are choices galore for any budget.

Frommers is there every step of the way to help travelers discover the scenic wonders, intriguing cultural experiences, and dazzling cities of the Land of the Rising Sun. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Experience a place the way the locals do. Enjoy the best it has to offer. Frommer's. The best trips start here.

  • Insider tips on the best Japanese culinary experiences, from indulging in an exquisite kaiseki feast to plucking plates off a conveyor belt at a kaiten sushi shop.
  • Outspoken opinions on what's worth your time and what's not.
  • Exact prices, so you can plan the perfect trip whatever your budget.
  • Off-the-beaten-path experiences and undiscovered gems, plus new takes on top attractions.

Find great deals and book your trip at Frommers.com


Product Details

  • Series: Frommer's Complete Guides (Book 230)
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Frommer's; 8th edition (August 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471763918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471763918
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,834,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth Reiber's career as a freelance travel writer has spanned more than three decades and has included four years living in Germany and three years in Japan. Over the years she has written more than a half-dozen guide books, two travel apps (Hong Kong Explorations and Branson and Beyond Traveler) and many articles that have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online. Since 2009 she has been a VISIT JAPAN Ambassador, an honorary title awarded by the Japanese government for her contributions in fostering tourism in Japan, and in 2011 she won the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award for fiction. She resides in Lawrence KS in an 1890s house that keeps her plenty busy and enjoys hanging out with friends and family, gardening, and keeping peace between her dog, cat and chickens. Everyone always asks her what's the favorite place she's been to, to which she always replies, "The place I haven't been to yet."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely useful in planning my trip to Japan, especially when selecting destinations outside of the obvious Tokyo and Kyoto. In particular this book convinced me to stay over in Miyajima after going to Hiroshima, and to spend a night at a Buddhist temple in Koyasan. These were unforgettable experiences. While this guide does not provide adequate navigational information (I used Lonely Planet and Japan Solo) it is more valuable for itinerary planning. I also found the hotel and restaurant recommendations reliable and interesting.
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Format: Paperback
We recently returned from a 2-week trip to Tokyo and this was the guide we took with us on our trip. We had originally planned to venture outside Tokyo but due to some unforseen circumstances we ended up staying in Tokyo the entire time. So, although I think we would have been better off with Frommer's Tokyo-only guide this was a solid guide and served us well on our trip.

The guide has a large amount of information about Japanese customs, food choices (which we referred to often, sometimes to figure out what it was that we had just eaten!) and transportation options in Japan. The sections on transportation are invaluable; we were able to get from Narita to our hotel using the Limousine Bus service recommended by the book and had no trouble figuring out Tokyo's metro system after reading the guide's information.

The "walking tours" the book provides in Tokyo are excellent and we had fun following the Asakusa and Omotesando/Harajuku walking tours. Shopping in Japan is world-class and the book has a huge amount of info about where to go depending on what you're shopping for. We and our travel companions found great deals at one place in particular recommended by the guidebook, Oriental Bazaar on Omotesando-Dori, which was also recommended to us by an American living in Japan as the place he goes to shop for Japanese gifts.

I have two quibbles with the book: a. The author glosses over the offerings in Ueno Park and the Ueno Park area of Tokyo which are staggering. You could spend 2 or three days just in the Ueno area, there is so much to see. Maybe she goes into more depth in the Tokyo-only book, but I felt the Ueno information in the Japan guide was really weak. 2. The restaurants recommended in the guide are extremely expensive.
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Format: Paperback
Although this book is filled with helpful information, for example, "recommended tours if you have 1 day, 3 days, or 5 days", or "Top 10 Japanese experiences", the (rich, culturally inept) woman who wrote this book intended this for a very specific demographic. This causes a whole plethora of problems when trying to use the book, particularly if you are young, can speak some Japanese, or would like a Real Japanese Experience. Why?
1. Reviews for restaurants and hotels seem to focus on restaurants that serve Western food and speak English (how dare they speak Japanese in Japan!) and Western style hotels that have beds, rather than Japanese styled tatami mat rooms and futons. The humbling experience of entering a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant and pointing at other people's dishes or the pictures on the menu and eating foods you've never seen or heard of-or staying at a fairly inexpensive hotel sleeping on the floor in a futon-is top notch! I felt this book really neglected to mention a lot of these opportunities for cultural experiences, and I found that frustrating when looking for ideas.
2."And what good is a book with no pictures?" Alice wondered...Many of the best ways to get excited about a place is to first see pictures. There are very few, if any pictures in this book.
3. She refers to the Japanese language as "symbols".
4. In addition, rather than giving the Japanese characters for the cities, towns, restaurants and hotels she recommends you visit on that same page (this is very helpful because English translations are not always written, but you can easily make sure you're in the right place simply by comparing the book with the sign), she puts them all in an appendix at the back for inconvenient referencing.
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Format: Paperback
Whenever I travel abroad, I usually buy at least two travel guides to pore over before I leave, but I travel with only one. This is the one I took with me to Japan because it seemed the most practical and comprehensive for its size. Although it doesn't have the depth and the off-beat information of the Lonely Planet series, the Frommer provides solid paragraphs about the attractions as well as reliable recommendations for dining and lodging (though I wish they provided longer lists.) The walking tour sections are well-planned, and the cultural details are accurate. Because of the size of Tokyo, the guide divides the city into neighborhoods, a feature you'll welcome when you're there but which makes for difficult planning beforehand, as you have to page through the various areas to find all the hotels in your price range.
I have never found a single guidebook to meet all my needs, but, if you can only buy one, this would be a good choice.
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Format: Paperback
I've been living in Japan for six months now, using this book to plan a number of trips to various places. So far, it hasn't let me down once; recommended eateries and accommodation have been excellent, and the guides to attractions have been accurate and helpful.
It is targeted at people who speak no Japanese, and who are interested in seeing the tourist sights. If you're interested in hiking around the bits of Japan that no tourists visit, you'd be better off with a different book. However, I don't see that as a flaw of this book. It does what it sets out to do extremely well.
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