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Tokyo (Lonely Planet City Guides) Paperback – 1 Aug 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 7th Revised edition edition (1 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741047889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741047882
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 999,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Best for curious and independent-minded travelers' --Wall Street Journal

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Louis on 2 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book introduces Tokyo (and Japans) history and culture. It give good tourist information and tells of the festivals and celebrations throughout the year. It contains many maps, phrases, a dictionary and a menu reader. The only negative thing about it is the lack of pictures (considering how big Tokyo is).
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arctic Nomad on 25 April 2009
Format: Paperback
The guide does give you a nice overview of different areas of Tokyo, and of different things to do. The maps are fairly decent also. Where it does fall short however is information on accomodation and eating places. It focuses heavily on luxury (and other fairly expensive) accomodation places (Hint: just stay in the local ryokans, good value, very comfortable and very japanese). Also many of the restaurants it lists are for western style food like pizza, hamburgers, steaks, pasta etc.

Now Japan is famous for its food culture and rightly so. So why on earth would you go to Tokyo to eat pasta. If you're going to Tokyo and just want to eat western style food, fine. I just don't understand why you are going to Tokyo then.

For area descriptions, maps and information on sights it is a decent guide. For everything else it is not. Not good for backbaggers, like lonely planet guides were originally meant for. Now it is only good for someone who just wants to stay in the local Hilton and go eat a schnitzel in the near by restaurant and then complain to his friends back home how they can't even cook.

Alright, maybe that last bit was a bit harsh. The generic information on the book is good after all, but if you're backbagging, try something else.

And yes, go to Tokyo, it is the most amazing place ever. Oh and get phrase book for japanese language.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Reformatted, Not Revised? 24 Aug. 2008
By J. Silversmith - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found the previous edition of the Lonely Planet Tokyo city guide handy as an independent traveler. Unfortunately, the new edition appears to be a reformatted version of the 2006 edition, rather than an update.

For example:

pp. 62-63 - The guide bizarrely claims that the Ghibli Museum is located in Ginza, when it is in fact located in a western suburb of Tokyo (the correct information appears on p. 112).

p. 64 - The guide fails to note that the hours for tourists to visit the Tsukiji fish market have been officially restricted since April 2008. Incredibly, the lead author of the guide wrote in his blog about this very issue in April 2008 ([...]) - so he certainly knows about the new rules.

p. 125 - The hours for the Edo Tokyo Museum - apparently copied from the previous edition without the editors verifying them - are wrong and have been so for at least a year.

p. 242 - The guide describes Passnet cards as an option for train and subway travel. Passnet cards haven't been sold since January 2008 and haven't worked since March 2008.

Much as I would like to give the new edition of the guide a more positive review, I can't do so; a shiny new cover doesn't offset the unrevised content. Given that Lonely Planet's website says the next edition won't be out until 2011, there is no excuse for not having updated basic information in the guide.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Satisfactory Writing, but Horrible Editing and Maps. 28 Dec. 2009
By asoka88 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just returned from Tokyo barely 24 hours ago and wanted to relate my feelings on the latest Lonely Planet Tokyo Guide. I'm a hard core Lonely Planet reader, which is why I bought Lonely Planet's Tokyo Guide without doing any research about the latest edition. I spent four days in Tokyo as a tourist with the Lonely Planet Guide as my only source. The writing within the guide is generally good. However, and this is a big however, the editing and the maps are absolutely horrible. There are numerous editing inaccuracies within the guide, which I am amazed by. I'm fairly certain that the editor just gave a cursory nod to the latest edition without doing any actual work. A good example of this conclusion is that the location of a restaurant within the guide that I really wanted to go to turned out to be on a completely different map from the one specified in the guide, and the location of the restaurant on the correct map also turned out to also be incorrect. Additionally, the maps had numerous errors and were usually on such a general scale that they were for the most part useless. In cities like Paris or Istanbul where street signs are in Roman script, this wouldn't be a huge difficulty. In Tokyo, however, there is almost no street signage in English, so you unfortunately have to completely rely on the maps within the guide. The author is also to some part to blame in that they give no written directions about how to get to places and restaurants that are written about in the book. As an example, the written directions that are given for a particular onsen in Northern Tokyo are factually inaccurate. I had to seek help from people on the street and was introduced to a social work office where they gave me a photocopy of a very accurate map with the route that I needed to take highlighted. Without the help of that office, I never would have found the Onsen.

Additionally, I have noticed that in recent editions Lonely Planet has begun to steer away from a mini city atlas in the back of their guides in favor of a detachable map of the city. The detachable maps are also to a great extent useless.

In conclusion, and I hate to say this as a faithful reader of Lonely Planet Guidebooks since 1997, I would recommend that you steer clear of this edition of the Lonely Planet Tokyo Guide.
Generally Helpful 25 Aug. 2009
A Kid's Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just returned from a trip to Tokyo and used Lonely Planet Tokyo as my reference. It provided me sufficient information to get around and since I'm used to LP guidebooks, I've learnt that detailed information e.g. costs is sometimes outdated.

The main draw of this guide is its coverage of the different neighborhoods that a tourist to Tokyo would want to experience. Each neighborhood section provides useful information on what the sights are, including the train or subway station that is nearest. The guide even provides the exit number at each station you'll want to take for each of the sights which, as you'll find out in Tokyo, becomes extremely important when it comes to finding your way around.

The difficulty in using a guidebook like Lonely Planet Tokyo which doesn't get updated yearly is that things change and information therefore changes too. One of the restaurants that I went in search of that was recommended had shut down. Costs had also changed. As long as the traveller using the book realizes this, the book is useful in providing general information; information that is enough to give any traveller a starting point to explore.

For a place like Tokyo, relying on a book like Lonely Planet for maps isn't the best idea. Tokyo is one of those cities where getting general direction and information is all one can expect ... to truly experience the city requires straying off the path.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
any guide but this one, which makes me sad because I normally like LP 16 Mar. 2009
By Bachelier - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a very bad and inaccurate re-tread of the previous Kara Knafelc authored edition (2003), which itself was inaccurate and highly disorganized. Poor editing and fact checking throughout, and even maps are out of date. The new cross-metro and JR Lines PassMo card information is not included (and old information on a discontinued card is), although it has been online since March 2007.

It looks like LP has a dud on the top destination for those who first experience Japan (Tokyo), which makes me sad.

As of March 2009, I have to say "any guide but this one."
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Poorest LP guide ever 4 May 2010
By Michael Alessio - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have been to 69 different countries around the globe, and mostly use the LP guides as my guidebook of choice which is why I was severely disappointed in this city guide.
The text of the guide was heavily biased towards venues preferred by gay travelers. What to find a good Onsen? well, there's heaps of stuff about Gay onsens, and not a scrap for the straight traveler. Bar? Yup same story.
The book is also full of undefined terms - What does "Golden Gai" mean? Don't know, but it's a term used throughout to describe places.
The maps contain references to places not elaborated upon in the text, and the text contains places not plotted on the maps. When a place is plotted on the map the location may be wrong.
The text tells you which subway exit to use to visit an attraction, but in many cases the subway exit mentioned in the text does not exist (for example to see the imperial palace it tells you to use the Tokyo station's Western exit - there is no such exit)
It also strangely omits some things you would think should be there - for example; in the neighborhood of Asakusa there is an amusement park. Not a word about it in the guide book. The Asahi Brewery? Nope. Despite the great tours they give. Disneyland? nada.
Thumbs Down.
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