Ikebukuro Area

Gyoza Stadium sells dumplings from the most famous makers all over Japan

Let’s 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 cigarette vending machine
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. Fortunately, unless you seek them out by investigating the nooks & crannies, you can avoid the jump scares ><;;
For example, 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
Designed to look like an old street, you can wander from dumpling stand to dumpling stand at Gyoza Stadium, ordering savory bites from all over Japan.

Be sure you save room for dessert – there’s an ice cream shop at the end of the gyoza street with dozens of flavors that range from weird to fantastic. Not only do they have delicious fresh fruit flavors and various kind of chocolate, they also have really strange ones, like wasabi, curry, eel, and beer.

Wasabi, oyster, miso ramen, muskmelon, and Indian curry are only a sampling of the flavors you can try at the Gyoza Stadium ice cream store.


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


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

 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

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

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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