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Going to Tokyo and Kyoto for first time- what guidebook to buy? (don't only say Fodor's!)

Going to Tokyo and Kyoto for first time- what guidebook to buy? (don't only say Fodor's!)

Jan 18th, 2007, 05:14 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Going to Tokyo and Kyoto for first time- what guidebook to buy? (don't only say Fodor's!)

I was just about to order my copy of Japan "Rough Guide" on Amazon when I read the comments underneath that many readers felt it was lacking detail and had poor indexing. (I usually like the writing in RG guides, as well as the excellent Fodors of course)

So then I considered the "Lonely Planet" guide but it too didn't have excellent reviews, and anyway I usually find LP a bit to backpacker-like for me.

I prefer only taking 1 book with me if possible- for bulk and cost reasons.

What would you recommend?
minto is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 06:02 PM
  #2  
 
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I like Frommer's Japan.
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 08:31 PM
  #3  
 
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Gateway to Japan by Kinoshita. It hasn't been updated in a while, so prices are off, but the "guide" parts is wonderful.

I also like Frommer's for lodging/eating/shopping.
lcuy is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 03:34 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi

I bought Eyewitness Guides Japan before I went there. Here is my trip report from 2005 by the way: http://www.gardkarlsen.com/japan_tokyo.htm

regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 05:55 AM
  #5  
 
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I thought the Frommer's was the best for specifics.

They also had examples of days laid out.

I did find Lonely Planet to have some different info. It was nice to have contrasting books.

I took the Frommers' with us every day.
angethereader is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 08:53 AM
  #6  
 
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If you decide to bring an extra book I highly recommend Time Out: Tokyo. It's not heavy and has maps and insider's sensibility.
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Jan 19th, 2007, 10:53 AM
  #7  
kja
 
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I highly recommend Japan Solo - it has great maps! I also found the Rough Guide very useful, despite its limitations.
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Jan 25th, 2007, 04:28 AM
  #8  
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Thanks to all of you for your considered suggestions
minto is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 03:08 PM
  #9  
emd
 
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Although I traveled twice to Japan with DK's Japan Guide and Judith Clancey's book on exploring Kyoto on foot (very small book and so worth it), I don't really rely on guidebooks for day to day info. I take a flexible 3 ring notebook with information webpages printed out and maps of places I am going to and am considering going to. I tag the pages w/index tabs as to what city and place they are, so I can locate them when I need them, and just take them out of the notebook for that day. I find that web info generlly is much more up to date, more specific, and more accurate than the books. But I would definitely not leave for Kyoto without having Clancey's book in my bag.
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Jan 25th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Hope this is not too late. I especially like "Old Kyoto: A Guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants and Inns". I have the original 1986 paperback edition, but have seen it updated several times in the bookstore.

Lots of interesting places listed, some are generations old. It's also nicely laid out into sections of Kyoto. I see it at Borders and Barnes and Noble.
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Jan 25th, 2007, 04:36 PM
  #11  
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Well in the end I got Time Out Tokyo and Old Kyoto by Diane Dunston.

Old Kyoto looks fascinating- full of little traditional places.

Time Out is very lively.


I do make my own notes beforehand, copying info from the internet so I have my own little packet... but there is something about actually having a book with me.
minto is offline  

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