I am constantly looking for good travel guides to Japan. I've used three of them. I choose to use the Rough Guide now. It is the most accurate and the most interesting, and also the most recent. I am surprised that the maps have been criticised. In some cases (Nikko, for example) they are much better than those of other guides. Finding things in Japan can be harder than elsewhere, and books can only help you so much. I had trouble finding a particular restaurant in Kumamoto because the book only gave its address and map location, but another well-known guide gave no contact information for any of the restaurants it mentioned. The Rough Guide is my first choice. The Lonely Planet guide would be my second choice. None of the other guides come close to offering the right combination of practical data and background information to help you enjoy what you see and do. A useful tip to people who get very upset over errors in guide books: first, learn to expect some, second, take two guides if you can afford the extra space and weight - if a phone number or address is wrong in one of them it is usually right in the other.
i used this guide on a recent two week trip in japan. although it is packed with practical information, inaccuracies are common. maps were terrible and some reviews unreliable. it's a first edition so i would recommend lonely planet until they get this one up to snuff.
Maps were useless. Lonely Planet always denotes suggestions on map. This book mentions a subway stop for your DETAILED directions. That is it. You are on your own from there. Sometimes there is no map, no address, and not even a phone - i.e. Megero Parasite Museum in Tokyo. I personally would suggest that a Paris map would be more helpful in Tokyo than the maps in this book. At least the Paris map would not falsely lead you into believing that any effort was spent on making it helpful for you to get around Tokyo. I assure you, the people of Japan will thank you for not buying this book, and asking their assistance every time your foolish enough to open it and try to follow the cryptic directions to a suggested site.
Unless you're completely void of imagination and self reliance, DISREGARD THE ROBERT COMMER REVIEW... he's blaming the book for his own stupidity on one occasion on one city. The book isn't useless, and I strongly doubt it was less help to him in Tokyo than a map of Paris. What a crybaby. There's plenty of info in any guidebook (certainly in RG Japan); sometimes that one piece isn't, so sometimes you look elsewhere...