JAPAN JAUNT Vol. II, No. 1, $?, 8½” x 11”, 8 pgs.

This travel zine by Steve DeRose is a handy Cliff’s Notes on the minutiae of planning a fairly thrifty trip to Japan, specifically Tokyo and Yokohama. DeRose covers lot of basics such as recommending atlases, hostels, and a walk through on currency exchange recommendations. A section on figuring out the multiple train pass systems in Japan gets particularly detailed, but it sounds like it’s the type of system that doesn’t really make much sense until you get to work your way through it firsthand. There is also an interesting, but rather sparse, section on ramen. DeRose admits to not being the most knowledgeable about ramen culture, but it does feel like even here in Los Angeles it is becoming possible to develop at least a little expertise in the subject stateside with the expansion of Japanese-style ramen rapidly taking place (AKA the ramen in insanely rich broths, not the five for a dollar packages in every supermarket). I do have to say I was kind of surprised by the unexpected and lengthy guide about Japanese adult video buying strategies capping off the zine, but I guess everyone has their areas of expertise. –Adrian Salas (Steve DeRose, 4821 W. Fletcher St., Chicago, IL, 60641,

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