London Anime Club
The anime and electronics shopping guide to Tokyo is an impressive undertaking - a practical guide to what shops, sights and stores are available in Tokyo - and which ones are the best value.
The guide - published by London Anime Club in 2005 and written by members of the club - is split into three sections;
The first third is the basics of Japan - it gives information about Japan, the currency, accommodation and some telephone number which, although useful, was too short in my opinion, and besides you could get much the same information from any other tourists guide available on the market. However, it does help make the book more rounded.
It’s the second section of this guide that most people will be interested in - the actual shopping guide!
The guide covers five popular locations for anime, manga stores and maid cafes - Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Nakano, Shibuya and Shinjuku - with indexed maps for each area and contact details and reviews for the majority of the shops and maid cafes in each section. I found the reviews a touch short, giving only the basic of summaries about each particular shop.
The last third is made up of a brief (read: three pages) section about other locations you could visit in Tokyo, and an equally brief guide to the languages which, again, has been done in other travel guides. Besides if you haven’t learnt enough Japanese to get by in Tokyo then this section isn’t going to help much in my opinion!
Apart from these my main concern is that as a guide to shopping in Tokyo, as indeed with any guide, it has the problem of becoming dated very quickly - businesses close, new ones open, others change premises - and the A.E.S. guide was published in 2005, and as yet no new editions have come to light, I would recommend caution about trusting this guide exclusively - instead checking on the internet ahead of your trip.
In summary I would recommend that, should new edition be planned, they should shorten the introduction and expand the guide, expanding the reviews of each store, and maybe adding information on some of the other districts - the bookstores of Jimbo-cho perhaps?
Welcome to Tokyo - and goodbye to your pocket money..