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Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 29 City Guides, 2nd Edition Paperback – August 1, 2007


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Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 29 City Guides, 2nd Edition + Streetwise Tokyo Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Tokyo, Japan
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Trailblazer Publications; 2nd edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873756976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873756973
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

‘A find…Well researched.’
-- The Japan Times (Japan)

‘Trailblazer’s new guide is practical, highly interesting and should enable the visitor to save money and add to the enjoyment of Japan.’
-- National Railway Museum Journal (UK)

‘Japanophile train enthusiasts, it seems you’ve met your hero’.
-- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan

From the Back Cover

Fully revised second edition. Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than they’ve ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to travelling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass. With this pass you can travel on some of the fastest trains in the world as often as you like for as long as you please – and all for one bargain price. Use this comprehensive guide in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of your trip to Japan.

* Practical information – planning your trip; what to take; getting to Japan from Europe, North America and Australasia

* City guides and maps – where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, what to see in 29 towns and cities; historical and cultural background

* Kilometre-by-kilometre route guides – covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert; 34 route maps

* Railway timetables – Bullet trains and all routes in this guidebook

* Plus – Customs, etiquette, Japanese phrases and 28 colour photos


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Customer Reviews

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I have read parts of the book and think it will be a great help when travelling in Japan.
Sherry
Japanese Ryokens are also very good ... we stayed in one and are old enough that we were thankful that we didn't have to get up to go to the bathroom that night!
Tricia
Loaded with lots of great information about the stunning tourist attractions in the country.
Will Kalif

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Yasunori-San on May 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I browsed through this guidebook in the bookstore before I bought it and was really impressed with how it covered almost all areas of Japan, provided ample maps and photographs, and had lots of practical detail information, like on lodgings, cheap meals, and unique attractions. Once I bought the book and started reading/researching for my trip, I was even more pleased with it as I thought it was written in a casual and practical style, giving ample hints and pointers to the best of the best and more than a few offbeat and unusual things to see in Japan. I bought my Japan Rail Pass and airline ticket and with this guidebook in hand, I had the most fun, interesting, relaxing, remarkable and indeed amazing trip of my life through the magical land of Japan. In every city (at every rail stop) I consulted this book and felt fortunate to have experienced some of the wondrous not-to-be-missed sites and attractions thanks to this book. It was an excellent resource, and I highly recommend it.

If I had to mention any minor criticisms of the book, I'd just have to mention that the author's tastes/preferences in food differ a bit from mine, and I found some of his restaurant recommendations questionable. But that's a personal choice matter. Of course, his general recommendation to look for good eats near railway stations and in the basements of large department stores was absolutely true, and I found lots of great, delicious foods that I liked. Also, a large section of the book is devoted to railroad timetables and itineraries, and though it might be very useful to some people, I had a very enjoyable time being a more casual and free form traveler, just choosing whether to step onto a train or not on a whim. I personally found this section unnecessary.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Will Kalif on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are going to Japan and plan on traveling around a bit you absolutely have to get this book. It will pay you back a hundred fold. Literally. There is so much to see and do in Japan and if you want to travel a bit you have got to use the rail system which criss-crosses the whole country and will get you wherever you want to go fast and on time.

Now here is the gold in this book. Japan has a very special deal for tourists where you can get an unlimited rail pass (free ride) practically anywhere for either a 1 week or 2 week period. The cost of the pass is less than a single train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. Which is a ridiculous bargain. But the caveat is that you have to purchase a voucher for the pass out of the country! And then when you arrive in Japan you cash in the voucher for your rail pass. I did all of this and am so happy I did. I rode around, all over the place from city to city, for free. I can't tell you how much money this saved me. The rail pass gives you the freedom to see what you want to see, and where, without even considering the cost.
This is the focus of this book. It tells you exactly where and how to get the rail pass, where to cash in the voucher, and how to use the rail system to see the country. Loaded with lots of great information about the stunning tourist attractions in the country.
If you are going to japan and want to travel around a bit, maybe see Himeji castle, Kyoto, Mt. Fuji, Tokyo etc. then simply buy this book. There is no question that it is money well spent.

The train system for outsiders: The Japanese train system is very laid out, very organized, very disciplined and on-time. But it can be hard for a foreigner to understand. There are different types of trains and different train lines, you can reserve a seat etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
The title says it all. If you are planning on doing a lot of train travel in Japan this is a very informative book with lots of tips and information that I haven't found in other guides (and I've read them all I think). It doesn't have a huge amount of information about the rail linked cities & towns but this would require a huge book and there are plenty of others that do that, but it does give overviews and list places of interest. This simply tells you how to get from place to place by the most efficient rail route and will save you lots of time especially if you haven't travelled by rail in Japan.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Hingle Jr. on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so excited to find this book as we were planning to see "Japan by Rail" just like to title. Browsing through it when it arrived I wan't immediately disappointed, but upon actually trying to use it in Japan I wanted to toss it out the train window. I ended up leaving it at one of our stops so I wouldn't have to carry the extra weight. This book is TOTALLY USELESS! Here's a short list of why I hate it:
- horrible organization, good luck finding out about your next stop, it will be scattered over a whole chapter
- woefully incomplete, why not just list every train route? How could a two-inch thick book about trains in Japan not include a complete all-in one route guide?
- waste of space sightseeing information, there's no way you're going to Japan with this as your only reference, you're going to need a Lonely Planet or something. So don't waste heavy pages trying to tell me what to see in a couple randomly selected write-ups
- no time table - are you kidding?! No timetable?! A freaking book about trains!
- no station information - how about some station maps and information? even airplane magazines tell you where you're going to need to go in major city airports
- mostly covers bullet trains - bullet trains are very easy to take and have English announcements. The local trains are difficult and are only in Japanese. almost no information on these routes.
DON'T WASTE THE TIME MONEY OR WEIGHT!
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