Books / Reviews | RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN

'A Manga Lover's Tokyo Travel Guide': Picture the capital in a whole new way

by Steve John Powell

Contributing Writer

If you are irritated by the bossy “go, do, eat” tone of much contemporary travel writing, Singaporean mangaka (manga artist) Evangeline Neo offers this gentler alternative. Her manga-style guide to Tokyo works on two levels: It’s a fun book, whether you intend to visit Tokyo or not and it’s packed with practical information.

A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide, by Evangeline Neo.
128 pages
TUTTLE PUBLISHING, Travel.

As the title suggests, manga and anime haunts figure strongly. The “Animanga Tokyo” chapter guides you around the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, the Fujiko F Fujio (Doraemon) Museum, a cosplay studio and Sanrio Puroland (a Hello Kitty theme park). But even if you’ve never felt the urge to dress up as a comic book character, it’s a fascinating read.

The book also visits traditional must-sees like the Meiji Shrine, the Imperial Palace East Gardens and Asakusa. You’ll also find handy hints on bathing at an onsen (hot spring), visiting a shrine and day-tripping to Mount Fuji.

Neo tells it all in short comic-style vignettes, showing you just what to expect at each place. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside a maid cafe, but have been too shy to go in, she’ll reveal exactly what it’s like.

The “Shopping Heaven” chapter takes you shopping for everything from electronics to cute clothes, while another chapter is devoted to Japanese food. Elsewhere, you’ll find advice on getting around by public transport, tax-free shopping and some survival Japanese expressions.

The book’s fun format makes it an ideal companion for confused visitors seeking to make sense of the city. And even seasoned Japan vets will find plenty to chuckle about.

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