Ikebukuro Area


I love to wander through a faux Meiji Era town eating savory Japanese dumplings, then roam around the LABI electronics superstore to see all the strange toys and appliances.

Inside a huge shopping complex called Sunshine City, there’s an odd only-in-Japan indoor amusement park called Namco Namja Town, designed to look like an old-fashioned Meiji Era (pre-war) town.

Stroll through corridors filled with vintage sets
Like this charming cigar vending machine (that now dispenses only candy)
Included in the admission price is this obakeyashiki haunted neighborhood
Warning: Japanese haunted houses are the most frightening in the world, and the streets here are lined with interactive hidey holes that will scare the pants off you
Like this murderous clown, who’s not afraid to use his cleaver when you stick your hand into that little window

But my favorite reason to to to Namja town is this: Gyoza Stadium!

The stands lining this quaint “street” offer the best savory dumplings from all over Japan
Inside, you can wander from dumpling stand to dumpling stand, ordering savory bites, beer, and other delicious noshes. Unlike food courts at foreign amusement parks, the food here is worth the price of admission!
Upstairs on the Mazaria floor you’ll find a very 21st-century gaming haven, where you can compete at classic larger-than-life video games…
Or race each other at amazing VR Mario Kart

Open: Every day

Hours: 10:00 – 22:00

Admission: Adults, ¥500; Children (4-12), ¥300 (video games and some attractions are extra)


Afterwards, let’s wander into the magnificent LAB1 electronics superstore. It has a really quirky toy department and an indoor playground for tots.

Isn’t an AnpanMan sushi roll maker at the top of every kid’s birthday list?
The bullet train sushi delivery toy. Words fail me.

The Japanese appliance department at this store is entertaining too – they not only have a large selection of only-in-Japan appliances like electronic toilet seats and futon dryers, they also carry miniature countertop dishwashers

Tiny dishwashers for tiny apartments
Tiny countertop dishwashers for tiny apartments

And we can’t leave Ikebukuro before stopping in at the Mega-Pokemon Center!

This shop often has only-in-Japan Pokemon merchandise for sale.

Most stores open from 10:00 am


Click here to explore more

Jonelle Patrick is the author of five novels set in Japan

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

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