Even for a resident of New York City, a trip to Tokyo can be overwhelming to contemplate–consider the length of the flight, the sheer size of the city (in terms of geography and inhabitants!), the tremendous cultural differences and the legendarily difficult street address system. But the rewards of Tokyo are worth it–ask anyone who has visited! From the fascinating clash of old and new to the wonderful culinary options, Tokyo is an incredible experience. Here is our selection of guidebooks to help you cut through the noise to find the most amazing Tokyo experiences, plus a few novels set in Tokyo that will make those hours of air travel fly by!

lost in tLOST IN TOKYO — One of our favorite guidebooks series, back in print after a hiatus! The long-awaited Tokyo edition of the LOST IN guides combines practical recommendations with short essays by locals about their favorite aspects of Tokyo. I appreciate the small selection of bars, restaurants, and sights they recommend–in such a large city, it’s great to have manageable list of selections from a source you can trust. We loved their suggestions for cozy hot pot meals and an underground nightclub in Shibuya…

EAT LIKE A LOCAL TOKYO —The title says it all! Well, maybe if you were a very discriminating and elegant local. This new series provides a selection of beautiful restaurants chosen for their excellent food and beautiful design. Great for foodies who are interested in contemporary cuisine!

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ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE TOKYO, Ulf Meyer —This book from DOM Publishers is indispensable for the traveller who loves architecture–and in Tokyo, with so many exceptional examples of both high-tech modern buildings and traditional structures, everyone can find something to love. Get this book to help you plan a day of scenic architectural walks around Tokyo.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A SCANDAL IN JAPAN, Keisuke Matsuoka — Proof that Sherlock Holmes is truly universal. This contemporary Japanese writer imagines that, following his faked death at the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes travels to Japan, where he encounters a mystery based on the attempted assassination of Tsar Nicholas of Russia on an official tour to Japan. Combines historical research and page-turning mystery.

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CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN, Sayaka Murata — A bestseller in Japan, this quirky novel brings the reader into the head of a young Japanese woman who has never fit in until she gets a job at a convenience store. The near-mechanical, rote nature of her work and interactions with customers helps her understand humanity for the first time, and leads her to choose an unconventional future.