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Traveling to Japan
The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara
The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara
Japan Travel Book Review

For technology hobbyists or anime/manga otakus, Akihabara is a haven and popular shopping destination. For visitors to Japan, there are many travel guides available as sources, how about adding The Akiba to your reading list of guidebooks?

The Akiba presents a unique way of exploring Akihabara through manga. The story is about Yoko exploring Akihabara for the first time, while searching for Hiroshi her missing boyfriend. On her search she befriends an otaku named Okada, and she discovers an unexpected otaku side to her boyfriend.

The Akiba: A Manga Guide to AkihabaraThe manga gives information on the history of Akihabara, and sufficiently introduces what type of products or stores are expected in this enclosed Tokyo community. Toward the back of the book or inserted around the book are recommended shops and helpful maps. Akihabara is a great place to visit and explore for more than one day.

For females visiting Akihabara might be a slight bit of a shock, since the community is more popular for male visitors. Since I have personally visited Akihabara before, I do encourage people to explore and have fun.

Reviewed by Linda Yau, December 2011

What's What in Japanese Restaurants: A Guide to Ordering Eating and Enjoying
What's What in Japanese Restaurants:
A Guide to Ordering, Eating and Enjoying

Japan Travel Book Review

Perhaps you consider yourself a sushi fanatic; perhaps you know enough about Japanese cuisine and Japan to order the Kappa Maki. But, hey man, what's the purple stuff next to the Yakisoba? Are you ready for pickled carrots? Do you know a Daicon when you see it?

If you are going on a trip to Japan, take "What's What in Japanese Restaurants" with you. It is a handy, pocket-sized reference book that will save you many a stomach-ache and hopefully let you discover many a good taste. Not all strange Japanese food is to be feared!

What's What in Japanese Restaurants: A Guide to Ordering Eating and EnjoyingWith descriptions of grilled chicken skewers (yakitori), hearty plates of pork cutlets (tonkatsu), barbecue (robatayaki), and steaming rice bowls topped with grilled eel (unagi donburi), author Robb Satterwhite lets you in on a world of Japanese cuisine that's little known east of Tokyo, but well worth learning.

The guide outlines many of the main Japanese foods, a few ways to eat them and some simple restaurant etiquette. The food(s) are named in both English and Japanese, with the Japanese written in Katakana and Hiragana. This is important, as most Japanese menus will not contain any English translation.

The small size of the book is most convenient, as luggage space can be at a premium (We prefer carry-on only, even on long trips!). In the end, you will be glad you brought this book along.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2006

Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo
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Cruising the Anime City:
An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo

Animation Book Review

Regardless of whether you are planning a trip to Japan or not, every anime fan should have a copy of this guide. Within it's pages, you'll discover a modern metropolis whose soul has been rewired into a pulsing monster machine of pure pop culture. Where on every corner you may see a cosplay gal, a Bishojo gamer, a Gachapon collector, a Morning Musume idol worshipper, a dojinshi artist, or just an older otaku enslaved by that gooey Japanese sentiment known as moe.

Confused? Intrigued? Learn to navigate Neo Tokyo right here, with this, the Anime City's first street-smart guide in English. Plus detailed finder maps of shops at Nakano Broadway (home of manga mecca Mandarake) and Akihabara's "Electric Town," with transportation tips and a survey of the colossal Comiket anime/manga/dojinshi convention.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, May 2005

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