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The Rough Guide to Japan (Rough Guide Travel Guides) [Paperback]

Jan Dodd , Simon Richmond
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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The Rough Guide to Japan The Rough Guide to Japan 3.4 out of 5 stars (31)
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Book Description

27 Jan 2005 Rough Guide Travel Guides
The Rough Guide to Japan is the award-winning guidebook to this fascinating country. This new edition is published in Rough Guide's colourful design, with 24 pages of colour photos and two-colour throughout. The introduction features the authors pick of the 'Things Not to Miss', from skiing in Nagano to slurping noodles in the neon-dazzling nightlife of Shinjuku. The entire country is covered in detail with accounts of all the sights, from Tokyo's uber-hip hotels to the picturesque villages of Central Honshu and the pristine beaches of Okinawa. There is practical advice on getting around the country by train, and tips on hiking, skiing and diving. The final chapter, Contexts, gives in-depth features on all things Japanese, from temple architecture to pop culture and the environment.


Product details

  • Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides Ltd; 3rd Revised edition edition (27 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843532727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843532729
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.6 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 769,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Full of practical advice. -- Daily Telegraph, London, UK

No-nonsense advice...the A-Z of Japanese pop culture is particularly good. -- The Times, London, UK --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

When to go

In an archipelago stretching over 3000km from north to south you'd expect the average temperature and weather patterns to vary greatly. The main influences on the climate on Honsh0 are the mountains and surrounding warm seas, bringing plenty of rain and snow. Winter weather differs greatly, however, between the western Sea of Japan and the Pacific coasts, the former suffering cold winds and heavy snow while the latter tends towards dry, clear winter days. Regular heavy snowfalls in the mountains provide ideal conditions for skiers.

Despite frequent showers, spring is one of the most pleasant times during which to visit Japan, when the weather reports chart the steady progress of the cherry blossom from warm Kyushu in March to colder Hokkaido around May. A rainy season (tsuyu) during June ushers in the swamp-like heat of summer; if you don't like tropical conditions, head for the cooler hills or the northern reaches of the country. A bout of typhoons and more rain in September precede autumn, which lasts from October through to late November and is Japan's most spectacular season, when the maple trees explode into a range of brilliant colours.

Also worth bearing in mind when planning your visit are Japan's national holidays. During such periods as the days around New Year, the "Golden Week" break of April 28 to May 6 and the Obon holiday of mid-August, the nation is on the move making it difficult to secure last-minute transport and hotel bookings. Avoid travelling during these dates, or make your arrangements well in advance. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new resident in Japan finds this invaluable 9 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In the past I have found it both a bonus and a sadness that the excellent Rough Guide books do not seem to be well known outside of Britain. It is sad because their books are generally excellent - not only are there guides to destinations but a superb Rough Guide to World Music,guides and CDs on different world music types, a guide to world cinema, to the millennium, etc- but it is a bonus also because when you are travelling you don`t find yourself drawn to the same places as all those other Lonely Planet and Fodors users.
This is not simply because of their users rarity, but because the coverage seems to be so much more in depth. I have just moved to Japan and in my first 6 months here I have been as much a tourist as a resident and a travel guide has been useful. What I do now have though is a local knowledge of my part of Japan (Southern Kyushu) that goes beyond a travel guide so I think I have a good perspective on guides` coverage of this part of Japan.
I have to say that Lonely Planet is a little too trendy for its own good. It seems its coverage of the big cities is pretty much spot on, but get beyond the suburbs and it starts to become scanty. Rough Guide on the other hand maybe fails a little in the cities, but comes up trumps in the `real` areas of Japan.
I live in one of the more remote, traditional and frankly bizarre areas in Japan (Kagoshima) but LP has hardly any coverage of this area. A good example of Rough Guide`s superiority is its entry on an Island near me called Yakushima. It has been declared a world heritage site because of the `Land That Time Forgot` style rain forests and cedar trees several thousands of years old. LP has only a single paragraph while RG stretches to a few pages with travel and accomodation hints.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excelllent guide, but e-version has problems 16 Mar 2012
By Jippu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I went to Japan for the first time so I needed a good guide. I had actually both this and the Lonely Planet guide, and they are both good, but this is better. More manysided and better in details. The problem with guides is of course that you wish that they would tell about the really good places only for a select few. In my case, I was there in February, so I did not have a lot of company. On the other hand, some of the best experiences (cherry blossoms, mountain walks) were not there to be done. I only bought the guides as Kindle editions, because it is much lighter than books, but in travel guides the restrictions of a kindle edition are very obvious: maps are useless, it is more difficult to find what you are looking for, you don't get an overall picture. The when you get directly google maps, hotel lists and timetables from your e-guide, then it will be different! And that will happen in a very near future.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the major guidebooks on Japan 11 Mar 2008
By Greshon
Format:Paperback
This is the best of the major guidebooks on Japan. Much more information than Lonely Planet and the DK Guide, and better all round, too, than Fodor's. What's here is first class, solid, useful, insightful stuff. A new editon has since been published.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this as an offline resource for when traveling around Japan for two weeks, and especially wanted it for its maps, food and store recommendations, and history sections.
The way the sections are organized can be confusing, and there was a lot of time wasted flipping through sections in order to find the right information for the right area. I used tabs to help, and even then it proved difficult to find things quickly. The index isn't much help.
Many of the "getting there" and local travel information sections are vague and unclear - wikitravel online does a far better job. Using them both in conjunction was definitely necessary. Local area maps were confusing, and, especially in places like Tokyo, where addresses are done differently than in the West, and the maps are near useless at times. If you do get this book, you must get local area maps as well from tourist information, because the book itself is not useful for navigation, and is only good for general city layout.
The restaurant recommendations were often out of date, or surprisingly pricy.
Is this a perfect guidebook? Definitely not. It does the job, and is best a supplement for other travel resources. Its not ideal for budget travelers, or for people who travel light. But, it does a decent basic job, and is best used as a general inspiration guide to places to visit.
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sogoi!! 4 Feb 2002
Format:Paperback
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best and most authoritative guide available on Japan. TRG won the Travel Guidebook of the Year Award, and for good reason. Like all TRGs, the Japan edition is broken down into several logical and intuitive sections, beginning with 'the basics' (getting there, climate data, health, insurance, sports, etc.), going through all the various regions of Japan and finishing with a section called 'contexts', which deals with history, religion, arts, environmental issues, language and so forth. Like the majority of guidebooks, there is a large emphasis on the capital, with a good chunk of the book devoted completely to Tokyo, but unlike other capitals, the megapolis of c.23m people probably deserves the treatment and still not everything is covered. Unlike its poorer cousin, the Lonely Planet series, the Rough Guide doesn't go in for scorning attractions or areas, but the text is laced with good advice and enough value judgements to help you spend your time wisely. The authors have done a splendid job of rooting out some real gems and are not obnoxiously opinionated, something which always grates when one is reduced to referring to Lonely Planets. TRG has surveys of accommodation, restaurants and entertainments for each area; it covers the whole price range but in doing so can become scanty if you are always, for example, on a low budget. The text is dense and stuffed with maps which come in very handy indeed. My only criticism of TRG is that, like all products that have to be commercially viable, it doesn't really cater to minorities, e.g. gay and lesbian travellers/residents. This is - to an extent - understandable, but no excuse not to provide better links to alternative sources of information. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Handy Tips
Clear and consice, covers all basis and has really good tips for options if you are short on time. Would definitely recommend it but then again I have found over the years that I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by LR Nutt
4.0 out of 5 stars Generally comprehensive
Having had a quick scan through it, the only thing I could criticise it for (so far) is that museums neither appear to listed under 'M' in the general index, nor in the individual... Read more
Published 2 months ago by davido6552
2.0 out of 5 stars Confused!
I bought this Guide on a kindle, which explains my disappointment. Finding one's way around a Guide on Kindle is extremely confusing. The search engines - i.e. Read more
Published 8 months ago by P.A.,Fanning
2.0 out of 5 stars would be lost with it
We thought this book was so useless, we left it at a hostel in japan and carried on with the local guides given by the tourist office.. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ildem Akerman
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable. Not too deep though
Generally quite good in descriptions. Maps are not very informative. Very good first time read on Japan. Shall use it before my trip in October.
Published 11 months ago by Ases Sengupta
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful - but I've seen others with more info
I got this as it was more up to date than lonely planet but I actually prefer to the layout and design of the latter. Totally a matter of preference though. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ms Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Book great, had a scratch on the cover, slightly disappointed as it was meant to be new. Otherwise delivered in time and what I wanted
Published 12 months ago by sheba WL
2.0 out of 5 stars A little hard to read
I found this book a little difficult to get around. The layout of the pages made it difficult for me to locate precise locations that I wished to visit as they are listed under... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Leggie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
It is a good book but today the internet does most of the work. Great choice if you don't want to take your smart phone or tablet with you on the trip.
Published 13 months ago by Miguel Cunha
2.0 out of 5 stars not really for "travelling"
compared to it's competitor, lonely planet, this guide disappointed me. It doesn't really give to the "to/from" info which I normally depend on a guide book for
Published 14 months ago by Benjamin
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