If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo and you enjoy manga, look into A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide; it’s so fun! From high-tech and high-fashion to no tech and budget-wise, there is lots of information in this fun book. It certainly isn’t you general manga; it’s a practical travel guide with buckets of valuable information that is illustrated in a fun way so that you’re more likely to remember it.
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I was so pleased to receive A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide: My Favorite Things to See and Do In Japan! from Tuttle Publishing! I love to see Japan through new eyes, and this manga version is a unique perspective. There are, of course, many things about Tokyo that I was already familiar with, having lived in Japan, but there’s so much I haven’t experienced, particularly in Tokyo, so it was fun to learn about places I didn’t get to visit while I was there…it gives me more to add to my bucket list for my return trip.
I’m really starting to get into manga, thanks to Tuttle; see our reviews on the Tokyo Pop-Up book and Japanese Cooking with Manga, as examples of what I’ve been enjoying. To me, manga is a bit like Tokyo; not something I was interested in before I experienced it. My first time in Tokyo it was just a bit city with buildings, concrete, and hoards of people. But it was a needed stop on my way to climb Fuji-san so I stopped by for a few hours.
I would return to Tokyo, however; both as a transport link to Beijing or other locations around Japan. But I also started to visit for the city itself – sumo tournaments, meet ups with friends for New Year’s Eve, Ueno Park, Kabuki, seeing the Emperor, etc.; there’s still a lot of history in this metropolis.
I didn’t grow up with comic books, so it’s also something to learn to like. Of course, many Japanophiles love manga, so having a Tokyo travel guide in manga form is a great idea!
Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide Chapters
- Exploring Traditional Tokyo
- Animanga Tokyo
- Adventure in Japanese Food
- Shopping Heaven
As you can see by the chapters, this book covers the basics, and the author, Evangeline Neo does it well; pulling in her personal experiences of visiting the locations and experiences mentioned. One thing I really like about this Tokyo travel guide, is that it isn’t sugar-coated; Evangeline tells it like it is – she gives great reviews when they’re deserved, but also lets the reader know about things that may not be up to their expectations, which makes for a balanced approach that isn’t often seen.
Interesting Things In The Tokyo Travel Guide
There are some very interesting aspects of Japanese culture and day-to-day life that may be taken for granted when living there, but can be surprising for visitors. Here are a few important points to note that are in this travel guide:
- Taxi doors open automatically so don’t try to open them yourself.
- Japanese travel can be difficult for those in baby strollers and wheelchairs, particularly along gravel roads and accessing buildings with more than one floor.
- There is a particular way to approach temples and shrines so as to be polite and not disrespect the gods and spirits there.
- Save money by visiting supermarket delis in the evening when they discount the prices of their items.
- Learn the etiquette for visiting onsen (hot springs)
- Never take photos in a maid or butler cafe (including your of own food, in some establishments)
- Find out the best way of eating on a budget (I’ve done this!)
If you’re not sure what Tokyo has to offer, flip through A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide and see what grabs your attention. Some of the ‘stories’ are quite funny – such as getting in trouble for taking photos of toilet paper in the bathroom of a butler cafe in Ikebukuro; but they illustrate the point that there are prescribed ways of doing things in Japan that foreigners must respect.
I’d recommend this book for those who are making plans to travel to Tokyo, but with the caveat that some of the subject matter in this book may not be appropriate for young readers (the mention of keeping youngsters away from the comic books in convenience stores due to the soft porn magazines in full display is a great tip). There isn’t anything too obviously offensive in this book, but having to answer questions such as why would someone want to go to a maid cafe, might be a bit awkward. The tips on etiquette, where to find good food and bargains, what to try, as well as what to avoid are all very helpful tips.
Have fun learning about Tokyo and be inspired about what to do on your next visit there!
If you’re interested in purchasing A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide, it’s available through:
- Tuttle Publishing
- Great bookstores near you
If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Tuttle Publishing, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (and you can see our other Tuttle reviews here).