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Japan (Lonely Planet Country Guides) [Paperback]

Chris Rowthorn , Ray Bartlett , Justin Ellis , Craig McLachlan , Simon Sellars , Wendy Yanagihara
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Lonely Planet Japan (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Japan (Travel Guide) 4.1 out of 5 stars (21)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2005 Lonely Planet Country Guides
the most detailed map coverage of any Japan guidebook lead author Chris Rowthorn is a long-term Kyoto resident, Japanese arts expert & sashimi buff Japan's culture & lifestyle is addictive: 38 per cent of travellers to Japan find themselves on a long-haul trip up-to-the-minute advice on getting the most out of your visit the Hamamatsu Matsuri, a spectacular traditional kite festival, turns into a kite-fight. Participants' kites battle to cut the strings of other kites, mid-flight 'Character dolls', the giant, cartoon-like statuettes that sit out the front of Japan's stores, are now being abducted in broad daylight and sold on the black market for up to USUSD3000 Japan received an honourable mention at the Pacific Asia Travel Association's 2004 Gold Awards


Product details

  • Paperback: 812 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 9th Revised edition edition (1 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740599241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740599245
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 661,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Best for curious and independent-minded travelers' --Wall Street Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I travel to 2-3 new destinations per year, always relying in the Lonely Planet travel guides. When I decided to go to Japan this spring, we ordered the newest country guide from Amazon. I am sorry to say: this guide was disappointing. It lacks basic information that usually the Lonely Planet guides have. Probably Japan is not an easy country for writing a travel guide about (and given the astonishing choices of places to visit, to eat, etc., it is not straightforward to write such a book), but some of the recommended places were not, by far, the best choices. Don't get me wrong, this guide has also very good suggestions and information, but compared to other Lonely Planets... it just did not live up with my expectations.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kyoto section needs to give more guidance 8 July 2008
By TV Girl
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just returned from 2 weeks in Japan with 2 teens, using only this book. Visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. The Tokyo section we found quite good and we only got lost using its maps twice in 6 days (in Asakusa and Akihabara areas). Oddly the subway map doesn't seem to show all the stops on the Yurikamome Line (which you take to see ASIMO and other robots at Miraikan Museum). Fortunately took Tokyo City atlas with us as well.

Our main criticism is that the Kyoto section we felt underinformed us as to the most important sights in the city and we ended up missing some wonders. The orientation section at the beginning doesn't list key sights, just says it is difficult to recommend and to visit east, northwest and southwest areas! Quite a cop-out really and this left us struggling to know what to choose to visit from the vast array of temples and gardens in the limited time we had. We needed some guidance! i.e. of the type 'if you have 3 days in Kyoto do not miss'. Also there are apparently some good things for teens to do in Kyoto - the Geisha make-over studio, the Manga Museum - but we didn't hear about these from the guidebook. There is an emphasis on travelling by bus in the Kyoto section with scanty info on the tube - but we found the tube far easier to use and less confusing than the bus.

The mobile phone section buried in the back of the guide tells you how to hire a mobile but doesn't make clear that apparently UK mobiles don't work in Japan at all - unless they are 3G. So it was impossible for us all to split up and do different things during the day. We would have hired local mobiles at the airport on arrival, had we known this was essential.

Buried in the back of the book it tells you to buy your JR Pass before you go to Japan.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly only second best 22 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
We take both this Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide on our Japanese road trips, allowing us to compare them side by side. And two ARE better than one, since the authors make different choices about what to cover.

During our latest four-week visit, however, we concluded that this Lonely Planet just can't compete with its rival.

Too often, its decisions about what to emphasise and what to exclude are downright eccentric. Moreover, there is an annoying style in some regional chapters - humorous or sarcastic parenthetical comments that add no information and feel like padding.

The Rough Guide, by comparison, is more straightforward. If you can afford and have room for both, that's probably still the best option. If not, though, Lonely Planet would not be the first choice.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lonely planet - safe option 12 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback
I have just come back from a month long trip to japan, This book saved my behind on many occasions, but without any other guide books on japan to compare this to i will have to give it a 4 star, I found the information to be quite accurate... apart form distances and travel time (on foot) it would say 5 mins east... then 25 mins later in the humid heat and with a 20kg backpack on you arrive at the destination wishing you had taken the bus!

most travelers i met were also using the lonelyplanet guide and found it very useful!

there are very few pictures which leaves you uninspired when looking for things to do in each place! so check things out before you leave for japan

lonely planet is always a safe bet so buy in advance of your travels and make a rough plan... I would reccomend a couple of days in Tokyo and as much time as you can spare in Kyoto and Nara - the 2 most interesting places japan has to offer!

in conclusion - buy this book, i think you will struggle to find a better one for japan!
[...]
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Written by teenagers, for teenagers 12 Nov 2007
By S. King
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having used this book in Japan as our main guidebook, we find it increasingly irritating. It has an obsession with listing all the gaijin hangouts, as if finding a pint of Guinness was the authors' main objective, but omits numerous interesting places to see.

The book is also very Tokyo-centric and - as other reviewers have noted - often takes a condescending tone when describing other places. The quality of the writing is generally quite poor. Where the authors attempt a "serious travel writing" style, they generally come unstuck pretty quickly.

Overall, the book is written in that 'we're not tourists, we're "travelers" ' style from the previous millennium and cannot be recommended to anyone over the age of 20.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some obvious omissions 1 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback
It was 'good', but not definitive - I would use it to see what direction to head in etc but then usually find something else interesting along the way.

One MAJOR omission is that all of the phone numbers listed for hotels etc do not have the region/city code at the beginning so it is a major effort to sort that out!! So be warned...

Also we found the maps incredibly difficult to orientate ourselves by.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for what it does
Like all these guides it tends to be a bit backpacker biased but it is useful for general information on hotel and rail bookings as well as attractionns
Published 3 months ago by Mr. P. Mcloughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Guide
Excellent Travel Guide, very helpful and easy to consult. A must for any trip you want to plan. Superb destination.
Published 4 months ago by Simone Mathaess
5.0 out of 5 stars Japan de-mystified
I bought second-hand the 2007 edition for use last month in Japan (October 2013), and found it a great help. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pubsampler
5.0 out of 5 stars good guide
I was going to Japan for a 10 days trip and wanted to visit the most important places. It gives all useful information and addresses to places where you want to go. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Barbara Hrycaj
1.0 out of 5 stars Still not recieved it, so how can I review it?????
Despite waiting for over one month, this book still hasn't arrived. I'm sure it's a good book, but thanks to Amazon, I'll probably never know.
Published on 1 Oct 2010 by Bookless
4.0 out of 5 stars LP - quality and detail as usual
I got this because it was the most recently updated Japan guide I could find at the time. It's the usual good standard LP seem to be able to give across their travel guide range,... Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2010 by PE
5.0 out of 5 stars as comprehensive as can be!
While I cannot comment on the restaurant/accomodation listings, I was completely happy with the book concerning directions, information on the sights etc, as well as the maps- as... Read more
Published on 31 July 2010 by pavotrouge
2.0 out of 5 stars Good on Kyoto and Tokyo, terrible for off the beaten track
We went to Japan on a three week break, going to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Osaka, Kyoto and Takayama. This was the only guide book that we took, unfortunately. Read more
Published on 4 July 2010 by Irmani Darlington
5.0 out of 5 stars Japan Lonely Planet
Not only is this a good travel guide for the whole of Japan, covering all levels of accommodation, restaurants, festivals, museums and sights and other general travel information,... Read more
Published on 28 May 2010 by Spider Monkey
4.0 out of 5 stars Travel Guides
I always choose Lonely Planet Guides for my touring holidays. I like the format and layout of the books. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2010 by Michael Claydon
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