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Ikebukuro Station viewed from the Sunshine City observation deck

Ikebukuro (r) is one of Tokyo's multiple city centers, found around the northwestern corner of the Yamanote loop line. At the district's center stands Ikebukuro Station, a busy commuter hub traversed by three subway and multiple urban and suburban train lines. The station handles over a million passengers per day, making it the second busiest railway station surpassed only by Shinjuku Station.

Ikebukuro offers plenty of entertainment, shopping and dining opportunities. It is the battleground between the Tobu and Seibu conglomerates which operate large department stores on each side of the station, as well as train lines from Ikebukuro into the suburbs. Seibu furthermore has a stake in Sunshine City, a large shopping and entertainment complex not far from the station.

Manga and cosplay shops along Otome Road

Ikebukuro has also become the site of a more recent clashing of two of Japan's largest electronic retailers, Bic Camera and Yamada Denki. Bic Camera had been dominating the district for decades with its main store until Yamada Denki opened its first outlet there in 2007. Since then, the two retailers have been engaging in fierce competition in multiple branches around the station.

While not as large or well known as Akihabara, Ikebukuro is also a center of otaku culture. Unlike Akihabara, Ikebukuro caters more to a female clientele with butler cafes and anime, manga and cosplay related shops such as Animate, Mandarake and K-Books. The center of the female otaku scene is located along Otome Road just north of Sunshine City. It is also said to be a good place to find dojinshi, or self published manga or novels, especially those produced for women.

Department Stores

Tobu

Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (some floors open until 21:00 except on Sundays and holidays)
Restaurants: from 11:00 (closing times vary)
Located on top of the west exit of Ikebukuro Station is the Tobu Department Store, one of Tokyo's largest department stores. It belongs to the Tobu Group, which also operates several suburban railway lines, including the Tobu Tojo Line which terminates at Ikebukuro Station.

Seibu

Shops: 10:00 to 21:00 (until 20:00 on Sundays and national holidays)
Restaurants: 11:00 to 23:00 (from 10:30 on weekends and holidays)
Located on top of the east exit of Ikebukuro Station is the flagship Seibu Department Store, another of Tokyo's largest department stores. It belongs to the Seibu Group, which also operates several suburban railway lines, including the Seibu Ikebukuro Line which terminates at Ikebukuro Station.

Marui

Hours: 11:00 to 20:30
Marui Department Store is a leading fashion retailer with branch stores in almost all of Tokyo's major districts. Marui's Ikebukuro Branch is located a few blocks west of Ikebukuro Station and sells mens and womens fashion and accessories and household goods.

Sunshine City

Opened in 1978, Sunshine City is Tokyo's first city within the city. The focal point of the complex is the 240 meter tall Sunshine 60 skyscraper. The complex contains shops and restaurants, an aquarium, planetarium, museum, indoor theme parks, as well as the Sunshine Prince Hotel and offices. Sunshine City's shops are open daily from 10:00 to 20:00, restaurants from 11:00 to 22:00.

Sunshine 60 Observation Deck

Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 (entry until 20:50)
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 1200 yen
Newly renovated in 2016, the Sky Circus is the observation deck on the top floor of the 240 meter tall Sunshine 60 skyscraper. Besides views over the city, it features virtual reality rides and a few other attractions.

Namja Town

Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 (entry until 21:00)
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 500 yen (entry only), 3000 yen (entry and unlimited rides)
Namja Town is an indoor theme park by Namco, the creator of Pacman and many other arcade games and leisure products. Namja Town was recently renovated and includes various small rides and attractions. There are two food corners specialized in gyoza and desserts, in a nice Showa Period town setting with recreated old alleys.

J-World Tokyo

Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 (entry until 21:00)
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 800 yen, rides cost separately
Located just above Namja Town is J-World Tokyo, another indoor theme park by Namco. J-World Tokyo was newly opened in July 2013 and is based on characters and stories from popular manga series. There are a handful of attractions themed on the hit series of Dragonball, One Piece and Naruto, as well as souvenir shops and carnival game stalls.

Sunshine Aquarium

Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (longer hours on some days in summer, until 18:00 from November through March); admission ends one hour before closing
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 2000 yen
The Sunshine Aquarium exhibits creatures from seas, oceans and tropical forests around the world, including stingrays, sunfish, frogs, snakes, penguins, seals and otters. Located on the 10th floor of the World Import Mart Building in the Sunshine City complex, the aquarium was recently renovated and reopened in summer 2011.

Electronics Stores

Bic Camera

Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Closed: No closing days
Bic Camera, one of Japan's leading discount electronics retailers, has its flagship store at the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station. Several more branch stores are located on both sides of the station, including a new outlet branch.

Yamada Denki

Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Closed: No closing days
Yamada Denki is one of Japan's most successful electronics chains, and has recently opened branches around Ikebukuro Station in direct competition with Bic Camera. Its branches are found on the east side of the station.

Other Attractions

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space

Times and fees vary by event
The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space is a public art center that mainly features performing arts, especially concerts, operas, theater and musicals. Its main hall is equipped with one of the largest pipe organs in Japan.

Access

Ikebukuro Station is a major station on the JR Yamanote Line. It is also served by the JR Saikyo Line, JR Shonan Shinjuku Line, Tobu Tojo Line, Seibu Ikebukuro Line and the Marunouchi, Yurakucho and Fukutoshin Subway Lines.

From Tokyo Station:

15 minutes and 200 yen by the Marunouchi Subway Line or 25 minutes and 200 yen by the JR Yamanote Line.

From Shinjuku Station:

8 minutes and 160 yen by the JR Yamanote, Saikyo or Shonan Shinjuku Lines.

Orientation in Tokyo

Hotels around Tokyo

Recommended Hotels
Backpackers Hostel K's House Tokyo
One of the most popular hostels in Tokyo.
Book:
Hostelworld
Hotel Century Southern Tower
The most conveniently located hotel in Shinjuku, just a few steps from the station entrance.
Book:
Japanican
Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is one of the city's most convenient and comfortable hotels.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku
Just a few steps from Shinjuku Station, this hotel ranks among Tokyo's best values.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Keio Plaza Hotel
One of Tokyo's most popular hotels and best values, a 5-10 minute walk from the station.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Ritz Carlton Tokyo Hotel
Leading 5-star hotel on the top floors of Tokyo Midtown.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Shangri-La Hotel
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is the city's most conveniently located 5-star hotel.
Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and Experiences

Page last updated: October 14, 2016