written by Scott
Dodd, Jan, and Simon Richmond. The Rough Guide to Japan. London: Rough Guides Ltd., 2001. (Amazon, Publisher's Site)
I travel by the Rough Guides. I've planned and taken three previous trips with Rough Guides and did the same for Japan. The Rough Guides work passably as overview guides but really shine once you know where you're going. Their listings tend toward the inexpensive end, but they have the full range and warn you ahead of price ranges. One thing that I really like is that they give good concise histories and context for each location as well as having a "Contexts" section at the back of the book for nationwide topics like history, religion, art, film, environmental issues, etc. On the Japan trip, I did have trouble with their section on Tokyo. Since the Rough Guides break things down by city, the 100-page Tokyo section was unweildy. I had to jump around to figure out whether something was mentioned in one region or another of the city, jump back to the city-wide accomodation or region listing, hop back to the maps, etc. Once we were in Tokyo, our [city guide] was much more useful, though I found the Rough Guide's listings more appropriate for my style of travel and budget.
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