)

Ikebukuro|JOURNEY of JAPAN

2018.12.26

In Japan's leading terminal station Ikebukuro, there are four types of railway companies (JR, Tokyo Metro, Tobu and Seibu Railway). Despite its size, it is not famously known to the foreigners compared to places such as Shinjuku and Shibuya. However, in fact, there are numerous sightseeing areas in Ikebukuro as well. This article introduces those sightseeing areas and the fascinating parts of Ikebukuro.

Ikebukuro|JOURNEY of JAPAN

What is Ikebukuro?

One of the leading suburbs areas in Tokyo such as Shinjuku and Shibuya is Ikebukuro. The average number of passengers getting on the Ikebukuro station per day in 2017 is approximately 239,848 people. It is the second largest station around Tokyo next to Shinjuku.

Ikebukuro is a residential area for commoners since a few for a very long time. It was a residential area for a while even after Ikebukuro Station opened in 1903. It was around 1930 that Ikebukuro has become a downtown area like how it is now. What trigger this shift of urbanization was the opening of Kikuya Department Store in Ikebukuro, which currently is called Seibu Department Store. After the World War II, department stores opened one after another in the city of Ikebukuro. As the number of shops related to fashion increased, young people gathered together, which is believed to be one of the factors for the urbanization.

Meet up place in Ikebukuro

The most popular meeting place near Ikebukuro Station is a statue with the shape of an owl called “Ike Fukuro.” It is located under the staircase that goes to the underground floor of the east exit of JR Ikebukuro Station. For those who are not good with crowded places, set the meeting place at “Mother and Child Statue” located near the east entrance after the ticket gate.

How to walk around city of Ikebukuro

One of the fascinating activities in Ikebukuro is shopping. A number of boutiques of fashion brands are inside of department stores adjacent to the station. In addition, Ikebukuro has many date spots so you will not get bored even if you stay in Ikebukuro for an entire day.

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops

“Seibu Ikebukuro main store”

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops
Seibu Ikebukuro is one of the most famous station-connected department stores in Japan. There are plentiful products related to fashions. As there is a nickname “Fashion Seibu” for this department store, regardless of the types of clothing or brands, Seibu deals with a large number of products.

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops2
One of the largest cosmetic counters in Tokyo that carries about 80 brand cosmetics. Every week, many promotional events by some of those brands occur in this place.

●1-28-1, Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3981-0111
https://www.sogo-seibu.jp/ikebukuro/
●10:00-21:00(Sundays/Holidays 10:00-20:00)
* Opening hours might differ in some specific areas of the department.
●Irregular holiday


“Tobu Department Store, Ikebukuro”

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops3
As well as Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store is interconnected with Ikebukuro Station. As a large number of stores are open between the 1st floor and the 10th floor, this department store has one of the largest areas of the sales floor. It is very popular for any age groups from children to elders as the products vary in a broad range of genres.

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops4
Tobu Department Store is also known for the restaurants. Between the 11th and 15th floor, numerous restaurants are located. In total, there are 46 restaurants in those five floors. There are Japanese, western, and Chinese cuisines are offered there. In addition, on the food floor of B1F · B2F called “DEPACHIKA,” there is an event space where shops change every week or month. There is even a dessert area where famous sweets and desserts are gathered from all over the country. A selection of items related to “food” is outstanding in Tobu Department Store.

●1-1-25, Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3981-2211
http://www.tobu-dept.jp/ikebukuro/
●10:00-20:00(B2F~3F、6F3~7 District、9F・10F opens until 21:00 every day except Sundays and Holidays)
●Irregular holiday


“PARCO Ikebukuro”

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops5
It is PARCO Ikebukuro that is in the center of the youth fashion trends in Japan. It deals with a wide range of items. From the B2 floor that is interconnected with the Ikebukuro Station, to the 6th floor of the main building, there are products such as fashion, commodities, cosmetics, interior and etc. From the 7th floor and above, there are many restaurants centered on the Japanese food, and can enjoy meals such as Sushi and Hitsumabushi.

1. shopping at Ikebukuro・shops6
Also at P'PARCO, not only fashions, there are items related to music, sports and even some anime characters.

●1-28-2, Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-5391-8000
https://ikebukuro.parco.jp/
●10:00-21:00(P'PARCO11:00-21:00、Restaurants 11:00-23:00)* Some stores: 11:00-23:30
●Irregular holiday

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro

Konica Minolta Planetarium “Manten”

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro
“Manten” is a perfect planetarium for a couple. There is a relaxing music and the aroma scent spread within the dome. The seating can be a couple seat as well by folding the armrest. You can have an enjoyable date under a sky full of stars.

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro2
In addition, it is unusual for a planetarium, but there are many types of seats in the dorm. For example, there is a grass seat where two people can lie down to watch the sky. Also, there are seats called the “cloud,” where people can feel as if they are on clouds. It is their fascinating features as well that makes this place enjoyable.

●Sunshine City World's Import Mart Bldg., 3-1-3, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3989-3546
https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/manten/
●11:00-20:00
●Opens all year (closed for replacement of work and maintenance of equipment)


“Sunshine Aquarium”

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro3
With the concept of “an oasis in the sky,” Sunshine Aquarium exhibits from the classic sea aquarium creatures such as penguins and jellyfish to rare ones. The theme of the aquarium is fantasy, and their layouts of the exhibition are matching exactly with that theme. It is known for being enjoyable for people who do not usually enjoy going to aquariums.

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro4
There are also shows with sea animals like sea lions and otters.

●Sunshine City World's Import Mart Bldg., 3-1-3, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3989-3466
http://www.sunshinecity.co.jp/
●10:00- 21:00 (September 25th - March 20th, 2019: 10:00-18:00)
●Opens all year


“Sky Circus Sunshine 60 Observatory”

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro5
It is one of the best date spots in the symbol of Ikebukuro, Sunshine City. Sky Circus offers an excellent location for looking over the city of Tokyo as it is located 240m above the ground. There are various photogenic places for social media and some night-only compatibility checking(machine) with your date.

2. Date spots in Ikebukuro6
Sky Circus also offers some interesting attractions utilizing VR devices. For example, there are ones called “TOKYO Bullet Flight,” “Swing Roller Coaster,” and “Sky Escape - High Altitude Fear Experience.” There are all very thrilling and it is going to be a fascinating experience with your partner.

●Sunshine City Sunshine 60 Bldg. 60F, 3-1, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3989-3457
http://www.sunshinecity.co.jp/
●10:00-22:00 (Last entry 21:00)
●Open all year

3. Sightseeing in Ikebukuro

“Gokoku-ji Temple”

3. Sightseeing in Ikebukuro
Gokoku-ji Temple was opened due to the request of Keishoin, the mother of Tsunayoshi of the fifth Tokugawa shogun, in the first year of Tenwa (1681). The main hall is full of a masterpiece of crafts. It was built using the art and construction technology of the Genroku era (late 17th century - early 18th century). Its majestic view is known to be one of the best in Tokyo. Other halls and building in the temple, such as Nio-mon Gate, Gekko-den, Furo-mon Gate and Daishi-do Hall are registered as the important cultural property of the country. Furthermore, it is also known as the cemetery of many famous people such as Shigenobu Okuma, the founder of Waseda University, and Ikki Kajiwara, the author of the famous cartoon “Kyojin no Hoshi.”

●5-40-1, Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
●03-3941-0764
http://www.gokokuji.or.jp/


“Ikebukuro Nishiguchi (west gate) Park”

3. Sightseeing in Ikebukuro2
Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park that has a big fountain in the center of the park, is known as a relaxing place in Ikebukuro. This park is adjacent to the bus terminal near Ikebukuro Station, and also known as the stage of a novel by a famous Japanese writer. Regularly in this park, there are live performances and some flea markets held.

●1-8, Nishi-Ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo
http://iwgp-management.com/events/


“J-WORLD TOKYO”

3. Sightseeing in Ikebukuro3 (C)B/S・F・T

An Indoor type amusement park to enjoy the view of the world of Japan's leading manga magazine “JUMP.” In the center of the entrance, some JUMP characters appear from every direction. In each area of the amusement park, there are some photo shooting spots and attractions dedicated to each manga.

3. Sightseeing in Ikebukuro4 (C)K S/S・T・P

Staying here even for an entire day would not let you be bored because there even are some food and items that people can only buy them here in the J-WORLD TOKYO.

●Sunshine City World's Import Mart Bldg., 3-1-3, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●050-5835-2263
https://bandainamco-am.co.jp/tp/j-world/
●10:00-22:00 (Las entry 21:00)
●Open all year

4. Eat in Ikebukuro

“Kabuto”

Unagi (BBQ eel) is one of the famous high-end Japanese cuisines. Among them, especially kabayaki, a very soft eel meat grilled on charcoal fire with a sweet sauce is popular among locals as well as foreign tourists. It is this restaurant that people can fully enjoy such Japanese cuisine. With the taste of the eel is certainly exquisite, this restaurant is also interesting in a visual manner. The chief cuts and cooks a live eel in front of the customers. There would be no boredom of waiting for the meal in this restaurant as you will certainly be intrigued by their cooking process. Not only that people can enjoy the excellent Unagi since this restaurant cuts the eel themselves, customers can enjoy some parts of eel that are rarely eaten with a skewer. Kabuto is a restaurant where customers can enjoy every part of the tastiness of eel without a waste.

●Ikebukuro ES Bldg., 1F, 2-53-2, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3983-8608
●17:00-22:00
●Closed on Thursday, Sundays and National Holidays


“Noodle Restaurant Hulu-lu”

It is a unique ramen noodle restaurant where it incorporated the taste of Hawaiian cuisine. Even the atmosphere of the restaurant is as if it is a Hawaiian cafe. Using chicken and flavored vegetables as broths, the signature ramen here uses water from Hawaii to make the noodles. You can enjoy the fine and healthy tasting ramen from this restaurant. Other than ramen, this restaurant is also popular for tsukemen (a type of noodles accompanied by soup for dipping).

Also, for every period of time, there is a limited menu, so maybe it is fun to try different ramen here with your friends or family.

●2-60-7, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●050-5872-4667
http://www.hulu-lu.com/
●11:30-15:00 / 18:00-21:00 *Sundays and National Holidays: 11:30-15:30
●Closed on Tuesdays


“Mihashi Tobu Ikebukuro store”

This dessert place serves a very Japan-like dessert, shaved ice. In this shop, gorgeous shaved ice that took seasoned such as Matcha and Azuki beans on the finely crushed ice, and even toppled soft serve and Shiratama are popular. Other than the one listed above, this dessert place serves bean-jam-filled wafers and Anmitsu using roasted green tea. This place's desserts are filled with the taste of Japan. Also, some Anmitsu using a plenty of fruits are very photogenic on the social media. Mihashi is in the Tobu Department Store, so please pay a visit here for resting after shopping.

●Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro Store Plaza Hall, B2F, 1-1-25, Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-5928-5701
http://www.mihashi.co.jp/top.shtml
●10:00-21:00 * Sundays and National Holidays 10:00-20:00
●Irregular holidays

5. Nightlife in Ikebukuro

“BAR Too”

BAR Too is a place that serves authentic cocktails in Ikebukuro. Cocktails made by skilled bartenders are all exceptional, but among them are fruit cocktails recommended by regular customers. The cocktail made with seasonal fruits are excellent as the sweetness, sourness and the aroma of the fruits are kept as is inside the cocktail. The atmosphere in the bar is a perfect fit for a couple as well.

●Evergreen Heights 1F, 2-8-1, Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo
●03-5979-1822
●17:30 - 2:00 next day
●Closed on Sundays and National Holidays


“Beer Pub Camden Ikebukuro Higashiguchi store”

If you want to drink beer instead of cocktails, this is the place. All sorts of international beers are in here. If you would like to have beers that you're used to in your country, come and visit here.

●Tokoma Bldg., 2F, 1-7-2, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3982-6599
http://beerpubcamden.com/
●17:00-2:00 next day(Saturdays and Sundays 12:00pm - 2:00 next day)
●Closed on New Year Holidays


“Bar with Penguins”

For families who want to enjoy the night as well, this is the perfect place. The most interesting features here is that in the bar, there are penguins. There are shows by penguins and some opportunities to interact with those lovable penguins as are going to have greeting sessions.

●COSMY 2 Bldg., 1F, 2-38-2, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●050-5890-1098
https://www.penginbar.jp/
●18:00-1:00 next day
●Closed on New Year Holidays

6. Hotels in Ikebukuro

“Sunshine City Prince Hotel”

6. Hotels in Ikebukuro
This hotel is located one of the highest among all of the hotels in Ikebukuro. From the rooms, you can look around the great view of Tokyo. Also, there are multiple types of rooms from Japanese style to suite rooms.

6. Hotels in Ikebukuro2
Also, this hotel is located inside the Sunshine City. It is just a few floors from the planetariums and aquariums that are listed above as some very interesting tourist attractions. Furthermore, there are some plans that some special prices are offered for some sightseeing spots in Japan.

●3-1-5, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3988-1111
https://www.princehotels.co.jp/sunshine/


“Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro”

6. Hotels in Ikebukuro3
For people who are not fluent in Japanese, Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro is the perfect fit. In the front, there are staffs ready 24/7 who are able to speak multiple languages. The cafe in the open-air is also open 24/7 and breakfasts are ready from 4:30 am. Even for those who want to go sightseeing from very early in the morning, this hotel is ready.

6. Hotels in Ikebukuro4
This hotel offers a wide range of rooms. There are dormitory-type rooms where people can stay at the very affordable price, and also single rooms with a semi-double bed. You can choose from the budget.

●2-40-7, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3971-2237
https://www.sakura-hotel.co.jp/jp/ikebukuro


“Family inn Saiko”

This hotel has a high review from foreigners who have visited Ikebukuro. The most appealing feature of this hotel is a friendly service by hotel staffs. If you don't know how to get to a restaurant you wish to go, the staff will guide you to the restaurant. If you want to know some hidden restaurants only known to locals, the staff will show you some. Everyone in this hotel will support you to have a great experience in Japan.

●2-34-16, Nagasaki, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
●03-3972-1315
http://www.familyinnsaiko.com

How to get to Ikebukuro

How to get to Ikebukuro
There are numerous ways to get to Ikebukuro Station. However, the most popular way is probably a method using the JR Yamanote Line. Using the Yamanote Line, you would be able to go to major stations such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo stations only using one line. It is very less likely to get lost if you use the Yamanote Line. From the Haneda Airport, there is a single railroad that connects to Hamamatsucho, which is on the Yamanote Line. Also, Keihin Express from Haneda Airport will stop at Shinagawa, which connects to the Yamanote Line. From the Narita Airport, there is a direct way using Narita Express towards Ikebukuro.

Summary of Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro has a station where very many types of trains go through. There is a number of shopping areas, gourmet, popular date spots. Of course, for families but also for couples, it would be a fantastic journey to strengthen the connections of each other. If you are visiting Japan, why don't you come and sightsee to Ikebukuro as well?

* This information was last updated on August 27th, 2018. Please contact the facility directly for further details or inquiries.

"Like" if you think this article is interesting

New Information Column

Read more columns