Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur S. Golden, Vintage Books
The by-product of a chance meeting in Tokyo with the illegitimate child of a renowned businessman and a geisha. Ten years of painstakingly detailed research, leaning heavily on the shoulder of on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, has produced a sublime first novel.
Angry White Pyjamas: A Scrawny Oxford Poet Takes Lessons from the Tokyo Riot Police
Robert Twigger, Quill
Hapless "thirtynothing" Robert Twigger decides it's time to get in shape before he becomes comfortable with his spread. Needless to say his 'white pyjamas' quickly become blood splattered during his year's training with the Tokyo riot police.
Tokyo for Free
Susan Pompian, Kodansha International
A look at over 400 modern day and traditional attractions, ranging from contemporary sculpture gardens to a sake-tasting room, and importantly it's all free.
The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto
Pico Iyer, Vintage Departures
"A beautifully written book about someone looking for ancient dreams in a strange modern place"( LA Times Book Review). Romantic cross-cultural intrigue, seeing the author becoming infatuated with a well-educated salaryman's wife.
An Artist of the Floating World
Kazuo Ishiguro, Vintage International
A look at the reconstruction of post-war Japan, and the 'floating world' of shifting attitudes and morals. Told through the eyes of a once bohemian artist whose skills are commandeered during the war to help the imperial propaganda machine.
Lonely Planet Japan
Chris Taylor et al. Lonely Planet
Going beyond the needs of just the backpacker, where other guides often fail, the Lonely Planet exhaustively and entertainingly proves the ultimate travel companion.