Lonely Planet Japan (6th ed)

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9780864424938: Lonely Planet Japan (6th ed)
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Lonely Planet provides the perfect companion for exploring Japan with plenty of suggestions for things to see and do and good-value recommendations for all budgets. This new edition contains over 150 maps, essential advice on cultural and social mores, details on outdoor activities, and an indispensable language section.

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From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, if you're going there, chances are Lonely Planet has been there first. With a pithy and matter-of-fact writing style, these guides are guaranteed to calm the nerves of first-time world travelers, while still listing off-the-beaten-path finds sure to thrill even the most jaded globetrotters. Lonely Planet has been perfecting its guidebooks for nearly 30 years and as a result, has the experience and know-how similar to an older sibling's "been there" advice. The original backpacker's bible, the LP series has recently widened its reach. While still giving insights for the low-budget traveler, the books now list a wide range of accommodations and itineraries for those with less time than money.

This thorough guide is the perfect companion for discovering the classical and contemporary delights of Japan. The more than 170 maps have keys in both English and Japanese script and there's a 30-page arts section covering everything from calligraphy to rock music and an enticingly descriptive guide to the joys of Japanese cuisine. Whether your interests lean toward culture and history or the great outdoors, this book will get you there. --Kathryn True

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Few countries make such conflicting claims on the imagination as Japan. The mere mention of the word Japan is enough to set off a cascade of contrary images: ancient temples and futuristic cities; mist-shrouded hills and lightning-fast bullet trains; kimono-clad geisha and suit-clad businessmen; quaint thatch-roofed villages and pulsating neon urban jungles.

Amazingly, all of these images are accurate. This peculiar synthesis of the modern and the traditional is one of the things that makes travel in Japan such a fascinating experience. It also ensures that no matter what your taste, you'll find a side of Japan that suits your interests.

If traditional culture is your thing, you can spend weeks in cities like Kyoto and Nara, gorging yourself on temples, shrines, kabuki, no, tea ceremonies and museums packed with treasures from Japan's rich artistic heritage.

If modern culture and technology is your thing, you'll find Japan's cities an absolute wonderland - an easy peek into the future of the human race, complete with cool cafes and great restaurants!

Outside the cities, you'll find natural wonders the length and breadth of the archipelago. From the coral reefs of Okinawa to the snow-capped peaks of the Japan Alps, the giant cedar trees of Yaku-shima to the wide-open spaces of Hokkaido, most visitors are pleasantly surprised to discover that Japan has more than enough natural wonders to compete with its cultural treasures.

But for many visitors, the real highlight of their visit to Japan is the gracious hospitality of the Japanese themselves. Indeed, a night in a good ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) may well put you off hotels for the rest of your life. From the deep bow of the hostess at the door, to the steaming ofuro (Japanese bath), to the thick futon laid out for you after you dine, you'll find the whole experience unforgettable.

Then there's Japanese food. No matter how much Japanese food you've eaten outside the country, nothing can prepare you for how delicious the genuine article is when served in its home country. Whether it's impossibly fresh sushi in Tokyo, perfectly battered tempura in Kyoto or a hearty bowl of ramen in Osaka, if you like eating, you're going to love Japan!

Best of all, Japan is an incredibly easy and safe country in which to travel. The Japanese public transport system is one of the best in the world. From the sleek bullet trains to humble local buses and trams, you will find that getting around the country is an absolute breeze. And with an extensive network of information offices spread across the nation, figuring it all out is remarkably easy.

The fact is, whatever your image of Japan, it probably exists somewhere on the archipelago - and is just waiting for you to discover it. So what are you waiting for?

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