Before leaving for Japan, I went to the book store and looked around at a lot of different travel guides. After skimming through roughly half a dozen or so, I ended up buying Frommerís Tokyo.
For anyone going to Tokyo who has never been there before and especially for someone who has never traveled before, Iíd highly recommend picking up this book and taking it wherever you go. I ended up carrying this book with me everywhere I went, and it really came in handy.
The first part of the book gives you some nice general traveling tips that will come in handy for anyone whoís never had the experience of traveling abroad before, like me before my trip. Following that, Frommerís Tokyo has a great section of travel tips and general facts specific for Japan and Tokyo. For someone whoís never been to there before, this is extremely important to look over. Youíll not only find out general etiquette when in Japan, but also information about transportation and the specific things that you must do before entering the country.
After the very informative opening, the book gets into specific travel information about Tokyo, such as where to stay and where to eat. It has an extensive list of hotels and restaurants from all over Tokyo. I used the restaurant guide a number of different times to find places to eat. It gives you easy to follow directions, accurate prices, hours, type and quality of food, as well as a general feel of the overall atmosphere of the eating establishment.
Once you find a place to stay and where to eat, the book goes into all the different sites to see and things to experience. They have a top attractions section of the biggest sites to see, and then it goes into all of the different temples, shrines, gardens, museums and other places that you shouldnít miss out on. As in the where to stay and eat sections of the book, this section also gives directions to all of the locations, with hours, admission prices, background of the locations, and information on just what to look out for.
Following this, Frommerís Tokyo goes into an area-specific walking tour of four different areas: Asakusa, Ueno, Harajuku & Aoyama, and Yanaka. I used it for Ueno and Yanaka, and both were easy to follow and made sure that you didnít miss a thing.
Towards the end of the book are sections dedicated to shopping, the performing arts, the bar scene, clubs and night spots. For anyone as interested in shopping and the bar scene as much as where to stay and eat, youíll get the same useful information as you did for those sections. This book really covers just about all your bases when it comes to getting around in Tokyo.
After reading all about Tokyo, it goes into areas outside of Tokyo that you might want to check out. They are laid out kind of like a tiny Frommerís guide, with individual section on where to stay, eat, and what to see, so itís really nice for people who have extra time and would like to see more without having to buy a completely separate book.
Lastly, the back has a small section of useful Japanese terms. This is one of the areas that I felt Frommerís was weaker, when compared to other books. If you really want to know useful words and phrases, you should buy a pocket dictionary because Frommerís Tokyo probably wonít cover it for you.
Another drawback to this book is that it has no pictures. Some other books I saw had pictures, which I felt was a nice touch, but this book does a good enough job in describing everything that it doesnít really matter, and there are maps of each area which is what really matters.
For anyone going to Tokyo, picking up this book will make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Frommerís Tokyo gives you honest and to-the-point opinions of where to go, what to do, and what to expect.