In terms of sheer size, Aeon Laketown is awe-inspiring - it's basically made up of three very large shopping malls lined up next to each other, with over 700 shops and restaurants plus a cinema complex, department store and supermarket. You can choose from five separate branches of Starbucks, not to mention a pretty decent selection of restaurants in all price ranges.
Designed as Japan's first eco-shopping center, the mall incorporates extensive solar paneling and other eco-friendly features, and sits next to the scenic Koshigaya Lake in this new planned community, where it opened in October 2008.
The entrance is located right outside the train station (Koshigaya Lake Town on the JR Musashino line), although it takes a good twenty minutes or so to walk to the far end, and hours to stroll past every shop on every level. If you're coming from Tokyo, it takes around 50 minutes by train from either Shinjuku or Tokyo station.
One of the mall's three component parts is called Laketown Outlet, itself one of the largest and best outlet malls in the country, with some 140 stores spread out over three different wings. Along with well-known brands like Harrod's, Tommy Hilfiger, United Arrows, and Katharine Hamnett, we also found some more surprising European brands such as Zwillig (German knives and kitchenware), Illums (Scandinavian furnishings), and Fjallraven (Swedish outdoor gear). The Starbucks branch here sells discounted coffee mugs.
Laketown Kaze is the section of the mall nearest the station; it includes a Maruetsu supermarket, a cinema complex, a Vivre-branded mini-mall area, a Victoria sporting-goods mini-mall, a food court and a restaurant zone.
The third component, reached by a second-floor walkway, is called Laketown Mori, and it includes an Aeon department store; a Nojima electronics store; a "Pet City" (with animal hospital, dog training school, and pet boutiques); a sports club and spa; a Toyota showroom; a food court and restaurant zone.
Most shops are open 9am-10pm, while restaurants are open 11am-11pm and outlet shops are open 10am-8pm.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From our sister site Bento.com.