The Tokyo Summer Olympics kick off at the end of July, and as visitors finalize their travel plans, publishers are releasing new guides to getting the most out of the city.
100 Tokyo Sights
A 25-year resident and the author of numerous books on Tokyo, Mansfield offers a fact-rich volume dense with political and historical context. Visitors eager for some of the frenetic energy missing from the famed Tsukiji Food Market since it was relocated to a newer site are advised to visit the old location’s remaining outer halls. There, he writes, food stalls offering the city’s freshest seafood retain the run-down, bustling character of the old market. But time may be short, Mansfield cautions, and interested readers should go before the city’s “planning mandarins” succeed in their efforts to modernize the entire site.
Two Australian chefs drink and dine their way through the Japanese capital, introducing the local sommeliers, baristas, and chefs they meet along the way. Starting with breakfast and finishing up at late-night haunts, Ryan and Burgess recommend places to find well-known dishes, such as sushi and ramen, as well as less-expected items popular with locals, including fish burgers, eel hot dogs, and Dutch pancakes. Full-page photography accompanies each eatery’s profile, along with information on where to find it and what to order.
Pocket Rough Guide Tokyo
The publisher’s first Tokyo guide in the compact Pocket format breaks down the megacity into more easily digestible neighborhoods, highlighting historical landmarks and contemporary attractions not to be missed by the first-time visitor. Some of the suggestions may seem obvious, Zatko writes, with listings on where to find sushi and sumo wrestling, geishas and gardens, “yet ticking off a bunch of travel clichés is rarely this much fun.”
Tokyo Day by Day
Manga publisher Viz releases its first travel guide, which covers 365 ways to enjoy Tokyo. Visitors can prowl the Nakano Broadway shopping complex for comics and collectibles, relax in a bamboo forest located within city limits, or dig into a plate of steamed eel or an eight-layer soft-serve ice cream cone—“It’s bigger than your face!” reads the comics-style dialogue bubble on the photo.
Tokyo Travel Sketchbook
This graphic travelogue arose from the diary Arrazola, a Spanish artist, kept during a monthlong residency in Tokyo. Inspired by the concept of wabi-sabi—embracing the beauty of imperfection—Arrazola sketches and offers her impressions on an array of locales and items, such as the mundane single room she inhabits and memorable supermarket finds including a spaghetti sandwich. Whether browsing sex shops, encountering pink coffee for the first time, or describing the scene at a five-seat izakaya, Arrazola is an amiable tour guide.