Ikebukuro Overview


Ikebukuro is one of the major hubs of Tokyo. Every day approximately 2.6 million people are passing through the massive station area making it not just the second largest train station in Tokyo (after Shinjuku), but also the the second biggest one in terms of daily passengers in the entire world. Several lines operated by JR, Tokyo Metro, Tobu and Seibu railroads contribute to the high passenger figures, and also to the area sometimes being referred to as “the gateway to Saitama”, as most lines are connecting the capital with its neighbouring prefecture in the north.

All the people passing through here every day has helped turned the area into a major shopping and entertainment area, with a plethora of massive shopping malls as well as several big shopping streets located in, around and under the station area. The most prominent is the Sunshine City complex, located at the base of Sunshine 60, the tallest building in Asia once it was completed in 1978. It has obviously been surpassed by countless other skyscrapers since then, but it remains a famous Ikebukuro landmark today. Inside, you’ll find several indoor theme parks, an aquarium and a planetarium, as well as a plethora of shops, of course.

After sunset, Ikebukuro becomes a nightlife hotspot, where the many bars and izakayas are full with salarymen and students alike drinking and eating until late. The area is particularly well known for having some of the finest ramen restaurants in Tokyo, many of these open all night. Ikebukuro also has it’s own miniature version of Kabukicho, the (in)famous red-light district in Shinjuku. On the west side of the station you’ll find a wide range of everything from hostess bars to more shady establishments.

Ikebukuro is also home to several massive home electronics stores, with both Bic Camera and Yamada Denki operating several multi storey buildings filled with everything from cameras to hairdryers in the neighbourhood. If you’re looking for a bargain, make sure not to miss the Bic Camera Outlet store, located on Sunshine Dori. Here, you can pick up demo units and models from previous years for heavily discounted prices.

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