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Guidebook for visiting Japan


BON
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Out of curiosity, I bought "Frommer's Tokyo 6th editon" a few years ago

and got dissappointed to see its poor description of my dearest ramen.

Click to see what made me dissappooited, if you're interested!

Since then, I have been wondering which guide book travelers to Japan would bring with them. Which one did you get and found how it was?

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Bon,

I completely agree with you, that info about ramen was way off base. I am not even a ramen eater (sorry) but I knew all the points they were wrong on.

When I first came to Japan I was terrified to go to a ramen shop because I had read in a book that if you didn't drink of last drop of broth the shop owner would scream you and throw you out of the shop. In 12 years in Japan I think I have eaten ramen (at a ramen shop) about 3 times, I still can't get what that book said out of my mind.

I haven't bought a tour guide since 1990, so mine are very outdated. I should probably take a look through just to get a laugh.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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When I first came to Japan I was terrified to go to a ramen shop because I had read in a book that if you didn't drink of last drop of broth the shop owner would scream you and throw you out of the shop. In 12 years in Japan I think I have eaten ramen (at a ramen shop) about 3 times, I still can't get what that book said out of my mind.

Hi torakris,

Thank you for the funny episode! The writer must be a big fan of the movie, "Tampopo." :biggrin:

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I don't know if nightscotsman reads this forum, but he's strongly recommended to me the Kodansha guide, Gateway to Japan, which I haven't bought yet but will.

So far I have the Tokyo City Atlas and Lonely Planet Tokyo. There is a nice book called Little Adventures in Tokyo in which the author talks about his favorite walking routes and interesting off-the-path things to do in Tokyo. He also explains pachinko to the westerner--can you believe the Lonely Planet book never mentions pachinko once?

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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The Gateway to Japan - Kodansha Guide was awesome. The best guide book I ever used (and I use a lot).

I'm not sure if there has been an update, I went in 1998 (Kyoto and Tokyo, with day trips outside town), and it was a 1998 edition I think.

beachfan

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Yes, the "Gateway to Japan" book is excellent. Lots of historical and cultural detail and covers many small, out of the way places not usually mentioned in more mainstream books. I especially like the section on Kyoto.

However, the Gateway book can be a little overwelming, so for the first-time traveler I also recommend the "Frommers Japan" book. Not as comprehensive or authoritative, but offers very practical advice and guidance on where to stay and eat (categorized from cheap to expensive), as well as help on choosing the "must-see" sights. I read both books as well as "New Japan Solo" (also from Kodansha) and ended up taking the Frommers book with me to Japan with a few key sections xeroxed out of the other books to fill in details and maps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rick Kennedy's "Good Tokyo Restaurants" has had an inordinate influence on my restaurant selection. Too bad the book is very out-of-date. Nonetheless I still grab an address or two out of it since interesting restaurants seem to always be there. Although I am not aware of a revised edition of this books, I think that Kennedy has a web site or contributes to one. Does anyone out there know him?

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www.tokyoq.com is the web-site you are talking about. He was one of the originators behind it, although there are other people contributing to the restaurant reviews these days.

Wow, thanks for that site! Never new it existed, guess I should be spending more time online!!! Hahahahaha :raz:

Just scanned it quickly, but it seems full of great info, I will check it out more once after I get off egullet.

Once more the laundry will not get done! :sad:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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