Updated： June 07, 2019
13 BEST Things To Do In Ikebukuro!
If you travel to Tokyo, you need to visit Ikebukuro! It is one of the biggest stations, and is full of excitement. Here's a quick list of unique and fun things you can do in the area!
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Visit Tokyo's "Chinatown"
Ikebukuro's Chinatown is relatively new, yet offers an authentic-feeling Chinese atmosphere. As it is not that big, you can explore the town quickly and pick up some delicious, cheap Chinese food. Take the north exit of Ikebukuro station, and you will soon find yourself in a different world.
Shop at a giant, 9-floor anime store!
This place is paradise for anime and manga lovers. A huge tower called Animate, located 5 minutes walk from the East exit of Ikebukuro station, is the flagship store for the largest anime and manga merchandise company in Japan. The store's nine floors are filled with various goods that will make any otaku jump with joy. It's a very exciting store to visit, even for those who are not familiar with otaku culture.
Enjoy a spectacular view of Tokyo
You can see Tokyo Skytree (left) and Tokyo Tower (right)!
Tokyo's two famous tower landmarks are the Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Sky Tree, both of which are well known as good spots to get a view of the city. However, the view from Ikebukuro's tallest observatory gives an equally spectacular view of the city that includes the two most iconic towers in the panorama! It's called "SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 observatory," and is a tower with a view and other attractions. When the sky is clear, you can also see Japan's highest and most beautiful mountain, Mt. Fuji!
Experience rad VR attractions!
At the observatory deck of the aforementioned 'Sky Circus Sunshine 60 Observatory,' there is a recently opened collection of aerial VR (virtual reality) attractions. The VR rides combine visual, audio, and movement to create thrilling and realistic experiences. The experiences include "TOKYO BULLET FLIGHT”, “SWING COASTER”, and “SKY ESCAPE～A High-altitude Terrifying Experience." This is an awesome collection of VR experiences that have to be tried out!
Take a picture with Ikefukurou
If you're in Ikebukuro, you need to go say hi to "Ikefukurou," the iconic owl statue located in the basement of Ikebukuro station. The name is a play on words, as 'fukurou' means owl in Japanese and the station is called Ike"bukuro"... Soooo funny, Dad. After getting off the train, follow the "East exit" sign and you'll find the statue on the way. It is a famous meeting spot in Ikebukuro.
Interact with actual owls
Did you know owls could be such cute and friendly birds? At Ikefukurou Cafe, only a 1-minute walk from Ikebukuro station, there are over 30 owls waiting for your visit! Find your favorite one and take a cute picture with it. You can even let them sit on your head and shoulders! 1500 yen (weekend; 1600 yen) / hour.
Meet more animals
For animal lovers, there are many different kinds of animal cafes to visit! In addition to the aforementioned owl cafe, you will see cat cafes, rabbit cafes, and most surprisingly, even a penguin bar! Why not take a break with these cute animals and have a unique experience?
Shop till you drop
Ikebukuro is a shopping heaven where you can find anything you want. There are many big shopping malls and other stores lining the streets. The major shopping spots are "Sunshine City", "TOBU", and "SEIBU", all of which are a huge shopping malls with many floors full of stores. There are also big electronics shops like "Bic Camera" where you can browse a variety of quality electronics.
Go to the aquarium
'Sunshine City' also has an aquarium on the rooftop of a building. They have a nice relaxing atmosphere which makes you feel like you're in a resort. You can see many kinds of fish and other sea animals. In addition, there are shows performed by the animals that are super fun to watch.
Enjoy cultural shows
If you want something cultural, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre is the place to go. It was built for promoting culture and arts by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. There are impressive art performances like dance, music, and more taking place here all the time. You can check the list of shows and buy tickets through their website.
Visit a temple
Even in such a busy, contemporary city, there are several temples and shrines that are well preserved. You can experience traditional Japanese culture while taking a break from the hustle and bustle in a quiet and serene spot. Shounji temple, located in 8 minutes walk from the west exit of Ikebukuro station, is famous for its long-standing buildings and beautiful garden.
Learn about soba and make it yourself
For a typically Japanese experience, you can learn about soba history and even try making it yourself with a professional soba chef. This activity is enjoyable for children and adults. The best part is enjoying the fruits of your labour and tasting the soba you made yourself. A quick google search for soba making experience should give you a variety to choose from.
Ikebukuro is one of the hottest areas for ramen fans. There are a bunch of ramen shops and every bowl is high quality, delicious, and cheap! There is pretty much every variety of ramen you can imagine in the neighborhood, so all you have to do is decide what kind you want to eat and go! Check out our list of best ramen in Ikebukuro below.
Eat more Japanese food!
Ramen is not the only thing you should eat in Ikebukuro. As with any major city center in Tokyo, there's pretty much any kind of food that you want. Check the links below and see our lists of the best Japanese restaurants in Ikebukuro.
You definitely should visit Ikebukuro on your trip to Tokyo! You will have a great unforgettable experience.
- I love traveling and eating. My favorites are everything matcha and cheesecakes.
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