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‘Tokyo Geek’s Guide’: Mapping the epicenter of ‘otaku’ culture

by

Special To The Japan Times

Anyone on the lookout for “weird Japan” culture, take note.

Tokyo Geek’s Guide, by Gianni Simone.
144 pages
TUTTLE, Nonfiction.

Around the world, Japan’s otaku (geek) culture continues to grow in popularity, boasting a widening variety of nerdy-yet-hip obsessions, from manga and toys to cosplay.

Gianni Simone, the Japan correspondent for Vogue Italia and a contributor to The Japan Times, has penned a new guide to Japanese geek-dom to galvanize any fan and encourage even timid tourists to hit the streets and experience first-hand what all the fuss is about.

“Tokyo Geek’s Guide,” out this month, includes everything you need to know to navigate the spaces and places of otaku life. After a comprehensive introduction to the most popular subjects (Godzilla and gamers to Pokemon and idols) Simone then breaks down geek ground zero into specific areas.

In addition to already well known and publicized places like Shinjuku, Akihabara and Harajuku, Simone also covers local favorites such as Shimo-Kitazawa and Ikebukuro.

Accompanied by plenty of great color photographs, each area features a comprehensive introduction, maps, lists of eateries, hot-spots and more, including information on holidays, regular hours, and URL’s for the most popular places. Interspersed throughout the book’s contents are interviews with various otaku personalities.

A must-buy for anyone interested in otaku trends or Japanese culture, “Tokyo Geek’s Guide” is practical, readable and pop-culturally insightful, for geeks and nongeeks alike.