If you are like me and have many visitors that come to Japan and you are not always there to help them, I have a couple of recommendations for books which explain Japanese customs and are more importantly very useful for daily life necessities (e.g. ordering food at a restaurant). These books are also useful for beginners as well. I really wish that I had them when I began my Japanese studies and exploration of this country. These books are full of pictures and are considered point books. All that you need to do is point at the picture for something you want to buy or do and a Japanese citizen can see the picture and the Kanji and help you out. These are great books.
Furthermore, if you don't know where to buy them or know how to buy them, IKUKO NAKAMURA (Japanese Tutor) will do that for you for an additional charge. She purchases them in Tokyo and depending on the book and how fast you would like them will be the basis for the charge. Her email is ikudayoo(at)yahoo.co.jp.
The Original "POINT-AND-SPEAK" Phrasebook 21 Japan (English Edition) Author: Toshiya Enomoto Cost: 1,575 yen Short Description: This book is very useful for pointing and getting what you want done, has cartoons and pictures and everything is in English, easy to read.
Eigo de Shokaisuru Nihon (Japan Introduced in English and Japanese) Author: Kuwabara Koji Cost: 1,659 yen My Review: Shows more customs and ways of Japanese personal life and has less pictures of food but more useful things like the explanation of pricing so that you don't buy very expensive sashimi like I did my first week here.
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