If you don’t know how to spend a weekend, head to Ikebukuro.
Have you seen all the must-see spots in your travel guide? Don’t know where to go or what to do? Just head on out to Ikebukuro. There are shops and things there for everyone, it’s a great travel hub, and it’s popular with foreigners. Let’s take a look!
Great access! To other prefectures without transfers
As a terminal station, Ikebukuro lies on the JR Yamanote line, Saikyo line, Shonan-Shinjuku line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line, Yurakucho line, Fukutoshin line, Tobu-Tojo line, Seibu-Ikebukuro line—that’s 8 lines run by 4 different companies. Not only is it easy to get around Tokyo, but it’s easy to get to neighboring prefectures as well, like Kanagawa (Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokosuka), Saitama (Tokorozawa, Kawagoe, Saitama city), and others without even having to transfer. Over 2.5 million people go through this station every day.
So many shopping areas you won’t be able to visit them all in 1 day!
Ikebukuro is definitely known for shopping. There are many different kinds of shops, and there are duty-free places as well.
Located within the station building are the Seibu and Tobu department stores, Parco, Lumine, and the underground shopping park Echika. On the west side there is Marui City and Esola, and on the east side there is P’Parco and Sunshine City. There are plenty of places for fashion shopping. There are also many shops lining Sunshine street, which leads out from the east exit, with high-end branch shops and fast fashion just a few steps away from the station. It’s great whether you’re shopping for yourself, a friend, or a significant other.
You may be surprised to learn that Ikebukuro is also home to great electronics shops. There is the large flagship store of Yamada Denki, and 6 Bic Camera stores in the area. Because of the competition, you may be able to find great deals on many things.
There are also large bookstores. There are large stores with great selection like Junku and Libro. You will probably find what you’re looking for between these two stores. There are also many cafes, so why not take in a tea break with a newly-purchased book?
【Convenient and interesting goods】
There’s more still: within the Seibu department store is Loft, and along Sunshine street is Tokyu hands. Both these stores are well known for having almost anything you can think of, like party goods, kitchen goods, stationary, etc. etc.!
Places to play
If you’re looking to have fun, we recommend going to Sunshine City. It has a movie theater, an arcade, karaoke and bowling. If you go further in, there is an aquarium and a planetarium, and the Namco Nanja Town theme park. There is so much to do in just this one place!
Ikebukuro’s hidden subculture
Modern Japanese geek culture is ruled by Akihabara and Nakano, although it turns out Ikebukuro is also a destination for subculture enthusiasts. Inside Sunshine City is J-WORLD TOKYO, a place dedicated to Jump Comics manga. Also nearby Sunshine City is a place called “Otome road”, where there are many shops with anime goods and comics geared toward young women. This is a famous place for girls who are anime and manga fans to come see, and foreign fans come as well.
Ikebukuro is also home to theaters. Near the west exit is the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, and Sunshine City has the Sunshine Theater, and there is also the historical Theater Green. The Meropolitan Art theater especially hosts orchestras and operas, and there are often works of art on display.
There are many great areas in Tokyo, but few of them have everything you need gathered in one place like Ikebukuro does. You will find people of all ages walking the streets. If you have a free weekend, why not visit Ikebukuro? You might find your new favorite place.