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Travel Book Lonely Planet Tokyo (2019)

your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.

Reviews summary

Overall rating
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings
  • Very comprehensive without overwhelming the reader
  • Up-to-date on the latest happening in Tokyo
  • Practical maps
Last week (20 Aug), Lonely Planet released the 12th edition of their Tokyo city guide, and it doesn't disappoint. We reviewed their Best of Tokyo 2019 a while ago and found it (not only visually) appealing. The difference between LP's city guides and their "Best of" series is that the former is very comprehensive and meticulous in detail, while the latter is more concise, focusing on the highlights and visualizations of the city presented.

The Tokyo City Guide consists of four sections that are useful to both the first-time traveller as well as the Old Tokyo Hand.

The Plan your trip section focuses on the Top 16 of Tokyo to see (in the order of description):
  • Shinjuku Nightlife
  • Tsukiji Market (bearing in mind that the fish market has moved to Toyosu last autumn)
  • Contemporary architecture and design
  • Shopping in Harajuku
  • Meiji-jingū
  • teamLab Borderless
  • Senso-ji
  • Yanesen (Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi)
  • Sumo in Ryogoku
  • Kabukiza
  • Cherry Blossoms in Yoyogi-koen
  • Mount Fuji
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • Shibuya Crossing
  • Akihabara Pop Culture
  • Ghibli Museum Mitaka
All that should keep you busy for quite a while or last for several trips.

The first section also introduces short (and longer) itineraries as well as an overview of "What's New" in Tokyo, a feature that might be interesting to Tokyo residents, too. New is, for example, the Toyosu Market mentioned above, museums such as teamLab Borderless with its digital art installations and another devoted to contemporary artist Kusama Yayoi, VR attractions such as Sky Circus in Ikebukuro, new city developments like Shibuya Stream, new places dedicated to craft sake and third-wave-style tea, etc. LP also explains the recent crackdown on apartment-sharing sites and introduces new hostels for budget travellers.

The second section on Exploring Tokyo is divided into 12 areas or neighbourhoods with a focus on the top sights for each area, covering sightseeing spots, transportation, shopping, eating and dining, nightlife and other activities for each neighbourhood. A short chapter at the end of the section expands on day trips from Tokyo: Mount Fuji, Nikko, Hakone, and Kamakura.

Understand, the third part of LP's Tokyo guide provides the reader with a plethora of background info on the history of Tokyo, its pop culture, art and architecture, onsen (hot springs which you can also find in Tokyo), and the Olympics that will be held there in 2020.

A comprehensive Survival Guide and a handy map of central Tokyo conclude the compendium.

This is, without doubt, one of our most favourite city guides on Tokyo. Five stars!
One member found this helpful.
I have the book and it is OK for me but I would assume that you and other foreigners living in Japan would probably know a lot more than what is in this book, right?
It depends on what you are interested in. Personally, robot restaurants, hedgehog cafes and kinky Akihabara staff aren't on top of my bucket list. With so many things happening in Tokyo, the guide is useful to ex-pats, too. Whenever my brother visits from overseas, *he* is the one guiding us around. :)
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