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The Rough Guide to Tokyo - 4th Edition Paperback – January 21, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jan Dodd and Simon have both lived and worked in Tokyo and are also co-authors of The Rough Guide to Japan.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rough Guide Travel Guides
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 4th edition (January 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184353908X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843539087
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,345,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Writer and photographer, Simon Richmond specialises in travel, food and popular culture. He's the author and co-author of guidebooks on destinations as diverse as Cape Town and Russia for Lonely Planet, as well as titles for Rough Guides, Insight, Thames & Hudson, Time Out and Frommers.

Simon honed his skills as a young journalist with the UK consumer magazine Which? before heading east to Tokyo in 1991. He spent two and a half years in Japan learning the language and working as an editor and writer for a major financial news organization. At the same time he travelled Japan, Asia and Australia, scribbling notes and writing travel features. All this paid off when he was hired by Rough Guides for his first gig updating peninsular Malaysia on their Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei book. Next came the first editions of Japan and Tokyo.

In 2000, the Rough Guide to Japan won the Travellex Travel Guidebook of the Year award and a Japan Foundation award. Since then Simon has written four more editions of the Japan guides the most recent published in Feb/March 2011. He's also the author of the Rough Guide to Anime and a contributor to the Rough Guide to Manga.

He's also written guidebooks to a host of other countries (Russia, South Africa, Chile, Myanmar, Korea, Brazil, Bolivia, Australia, India, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Iran) and cities (Cape Town, Sydney, Lisbon, Brussels and Antwerp), for all major travel publishers including Lonely Planet, Time Out, Frommer's and Thames & Hudson.

In particular he's done a lot of adventure travel writing (a series of four books for the AA Adventure Travellers series on Australia, India, South America and Southeast Asia) and writing about food including contributions to restaurant guides to Sydney and London, including Time Out's annual London restaurant guide.

His travel features have been published in newspapers and magazines around the world, including in the UK's Independent, Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph and Royal Geographical Society Magazine; and Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Australian Financial Review Magazine and Vogue Entertaining and Travel. He's also presented a travel documentary on Japan for BBC's Radio 4.

Simon is currently based in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eichan on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has very good written content (e.g., clearly written, up-to-date, lively, contains web addresses for further reference), but the neighborhood maps that appear throughout the book are mostly monochrome, and are not very easy to negotiate with the eye. This is a big problem if you're trying to use this book partly to learn the topography of Tokyo. I use this book in conjunction with the well-crafted "Streetwise Tokyo" laminated color map. This would work, but until Rough Guide adds better-designed (and colored) maps, it might be more efficient and cost-effective to look at some of the competing books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tech & Nature on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1) It gave better advice on restaurants then our Lonely Planet guide. I'm Filipino (American) and food is a big part of my family and culture. Wherever I go, I need to know where is the good food is.

2) It gave us great advice on places to stay. I'm a graduate student studying design and my wife an I found some great housing options alternative to expensive hotels that were unique and inexpensive (like a boutique hotel).

Yes, the maps are not so great as the previous reviews stated, but they were sufficient relative to the size of the book. To be honest, I generally find that maps in guide books are poor, except for the detailed/zoomed in sections generally spanning a couple of blocks (which this Rough Guide did a fairly good job with). Larger fold-able maps are the way to go. (there are free ones all throughout Tokyo--usually in residential places like hotels, airport, etc)

Yes, the transit system looks scary and overwhelming--culture says that it resembles a bowl of noodles. However, don't be afraid of it and just start using it. Get a foldable map. There is a system to its organization that will eventually make sense. In fact, I think its brilliant. After 2 days, my wife and I were cruising all over the city. Get a rail pass (similar to a euro-rail-pass; good for trains and subway), which is all explained in the Rough Guide.

Tokyo is an incredible city. Maybe one of my favorites. Some say it's expensive, but with all the various guides, it's not that bad. I was in Copenhagen, Denmark last summer, and that was way more expensive than Tokyo--much higher cost of living. The thing with Japan is that very little English is spoken. Don't be afraid or let that hold you back. People are very friendly and open minded. You just need to be the same--friendly and open-minded. Have a great trip!!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Viviana on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are going to Tokyo-do not buy this book! Do not buy the Rough Guides to Japan either-it's written by the same writers. The writers supposedly lived in Japan for several years. Didn't seem like it with all the circles they led us in and the bad directions! They did not even explain the subway system well enough. Book doesn't have a real map of the Tokyo metro (like the other books do). I was very disappointed with the book, having been a fan of Rough Guides for years. I will be switching to Lonely Planet.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jackal on July 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is boring. Probably because it is written by two gaijins who taught English in Tokyo some 15 years ago. This is just by guess, not a fact. However, it is a fact that Tokyo is a very exciting place and that does not come across reading this book.

This book only deals with the budget conscious traveller, except that it doesn't talk about good places to go out to have a drink or to experience real Japan. The latest edition is from 2008 and for instance nothing is mentioned about the new sake bars. The book provides information about the main attrations in Tokyo and as such it is useful, but then you are on your own for additional planning. I haven't read Lonely Planet, but it cannot be worse than this book. The free sites on the internet are better than this book, [...]

If you have more money to spend and would like to try ryokan or some nice genuine Japanese restaurants, this book has absolutely nothing to say to you. Guides like Fodors and Frommers are good if you have money, but are quite afraid of many things in the Japanese culture. Those guides will make sure that you get your western breakfast and bed, get a western steak with Japanese meat, etc. If you have money and want to experience Japan as wealthy Japanese experience it, you won't get much help from any of these books.

It is about time that we get good Japanese travel guides translated into English.
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