All about Ikebukuro

all about ikebukuro Excursion

Features of Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro Station is the second busiest station in Japan (i.e., the second busiest in the world).  It is served by many train lines and is always crowded.

The Yamanote Line and three Tokyo Metro lines serve Ikebukuro. It takes only 10 minutes to Shinjuku Station by train and 20 minutes to Tokyo Station by subway.

Haneda and Narita airports are somewhat difficult to reach, requiring train transfers, but direct airport limousine buses are available.

How to capture Ikebukuro Station

ikebukuro station

Two department stores stand in the station adjacent to each other.

The Seibu Department Store is on the east side and the Tobu Department Store is on the west side.

Written in Chinese characters, Seibu means west and Tobu means east, but Seibu is actually on the east side and Tobu is on the west side. This is common knowledge, at least among Tokyo residents. (At the same time, it is a great mystery.)

Partly because of this problem, it is also difficult for Japanese people who are not familiar with it to understand.

In fact, it is not so difficult because the entrances to almost all lines are concentrated on one floor.

The flow of people during commuting hours and on weekends is so great that you will be swept away if you do not set your direction.

Ikebukuro is recommended in bad weather because you can enter the department store without going outside through the station’s ticket gates.

Book quality hotels and ryokans in Japan at Rakuten Travel

Activate your JAPAN RAIL PASS in Ikebukuro Station

Have you bought a JR Pass but experienced long lines at the airport or Shinjuku station for activation?

Ikebukuro station might not be so long a wait! Located at the west exit, go to the JR EAST Travel Service Center.

Check here for business hours and detailed location.

Must-visit in Ikebukuro

Sunshine 60

A 15-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station is Sunshine 60, a historic skyscraper. There is an observatory on the rooftop, an aquarium, a planetarium, and an indoor theme park. There are also many commercial facilities and restaurants, making it a place where visitors can enjoy themselves all day long. The Pokémon Center MegaTokyo is also located here.

For more information about the Pokémon Center, click here.

Grand Cinema Sunshine

It is located in a building called Grand Scape Ikebukuro, a 10-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station. It has the largest IMAX laser/GT technology screen in Japan. The entire theater is a wonderful space for enjoying movies.

The 13th floor is an observation floor that can be accessed without a movie ticket.

Animate Ikebukuro Main Store

It will open in March 2023, about a 5-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station. This is the world’s largest animate store, an indispensable place for Japanese anime culture. It will have a manga and goods store as well as a hall and a café.

In addition to Animate, Ikebukuro is home to a number of manga and anime stores for women.

Junkudo Ikebukuro Main Store (Bookstore)

About 10 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station. It boasts one of the largest sales floors in Japan. From the first basement floor to the ninth floor, there is a wide selection of books, including manga, magazines, literary books, and technical books. Foreign books are also available. If there is a book you are looking for, this is the place to go.

Real Chinatown

Chinatown exists at the north exit of Ikebukuro Station. Chinatown is not a tourist attraction like Yokohama, but rather a collection of stores formed by Chinese people for Chinese people living in Japan. It has become a popular place to enjoy the authentic atmosphere and cuisine while in Japan. Of course, you do not have to be Chinese to be welcome.

Basement Floors of Two Department Stores

The basement floors of department stores, commonly known as “Depa-Chika”, are a culinary wonderland. You can find everything from fresh food to prepared foods, alcoholic beverages, and sweets. And all of it is of high quality. The Depa basement in Ikebukuro is especially popular because of the large selection of items available, thanks to the competition between Seibu and Tobu. You can buy a meal at the basement and eat it at your hotel, or you can eat it at the park. If you are thinking of food as a souvenir, this is the best place to go.

Daiso at Tobu Department Store
Opened in February 2023, this is one of the largest three-brand flagship stores of Daiso in Tokyo. Occupying most of the sixth floor of the Tobu Department Store, the store houses not only the well-known 100-yen Daiso brand, but also the three other brands THREEPPY and Standard Products. The Daiso store is large and has a fairly large selection of products, while THREEPPY is a 300-yen store with cute items, and Standard Products offers products made in collaboration with domestic industries and environmentally friendly products, with prices varying by product.
There is no other place where you can find all three brands and such a wide variety of products, so go there! It’s fun just to look!

Ikebukuro for me

night view of ikebukuro

On a personal note, I am very familiar with Ikebukuro. I used to come here with my family when I was a child, and from the time I was in junior high school, Ikebukuro was the place I went to for fun. No matter where I go, when I come back here, I feel like I am finally back in my hometown. Ikebukuro is a crowded town that is a bit halfway to being an urban area. To be honest, Ikebukuro may not be the most attractive place for tourists coming from abroad. I can’t say that I love or hate Ikebukuro because it is a part of my life. But if you have a chance to come to Ikebukuro, that alone would make me happy.