Ikebukuro, Takadanobaba, Edogawabashi
Ikebukuro Sunshine City
Sunshine City Alpa - Shopping complex: Ikebukuro
One of central Tokyo's oldest shopping malls, Alpa anchors the Sunshine City complex, which also contains the Sky Circus sixtieth-floor observation deck, the World Import Mart (where Sunshine Aquarium and Planetarium Manten are located), the tiny...
Namja Gyoza Stadium - Restaurant complex: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-9pm (LO) daily.]
Food-focused "theme parks" in Japan range from full-on amusement park style (Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum) to glorified shopping-mall food courts. The long-running Gyoza Stadium is at the themier end of the spectrum, with entertaining retro-style...
Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo - Retail: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
Open since the end of 2014, this mega-shop offers the biggest selection of Pokemon goods in Japan, including lots of limited-edition items. You'll find everything from Pokemon-themed ramen, curry and candies to tableware, slippers and stationery. ...
Sunshine Aquarium - Aquarium: Ikebukuro
[Open summer 10am-8pm; winter 10am-6pm daily.]
You'll see marine life from all over the globe swimming and splashing around in this big, three-story aquarium, which was completely renovated in August 2011. The biggest draws are probably the giant manta rays and the huge sunfish (called mambo in...
Planetarium Manten - Planetarium: Ikebukuro
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
The planetarium was completely renovated in July 2011 and equipped with the latest computer graphics and high-quality audio systems. There are usually several shows on any given day, taking place in Planetarium A, Planetarium B and the very relaxed...
Ancient Orient Museum - Museum: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-5pm (entry until 4:30pm) daily.]
The exhibitions at this small museum focus on archaeological finds and fine arts from the Ancient Near East (Egypt, Mesopotamia) and Central Asia (the Silk Road). Standing in the entranceway is a replica of the stele of the Code of Hammurabi from...
Mocha (Ikebukuro West) - Cat cafe: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-8pm (last entry 7:30pm) daily.]
Located overlooking West Ikebukuro Gate Park, this cat cafe is a little oasis of relaxation in the heart of the city. As soon as you climb the stairs to the third floor and enter the cafe, the warm natural wood decor and cool instrumental jazz...
Owl Park - Bird cafe: Ikebukuro
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
One of a growing number of owl cafes in the city of owls, Ikebukuro, Owl Park opened in September 2015 in the middle of a bustling nightlife district. A spacious room on the second floor of a busy entertainment building, it offers a dozen friendly...
Mimi - Rabbit cafe: Ikebukuro
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed weekdays.]
Mimi has some of the friendliest and most relaxed rabbits we've encountered in Tokyo - we were impressed with how well they get along with each other, and how easy-going they are with human visitors. Unlike other cafes that allow only one or two...
Tobu Department Store - Department store: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-8pm. Closed some Wednesdays.]
This massive department store is spread out over several buildings along the west side of Ikebukuro station, with dozens of brand boutiques and more than fifty restaurants.
Seibu Department Store - Department store: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
One of the biggest department stores in the world, this flagship branch of the international chain is spread out over fourteen floors and includes specialty shops Muji and Loft as well as dozens of restaurants. The two-level food hall is the...
Parco Factory - Art gallery: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-9pm (enter by 8:30). Closed irregular holidays.]
Manga, anime, toys, gaming and pop culture are the typical themes for exhibitions at this department-store art gallery. Most shows last two or three weeks; check their website for show dates and other details.
Hyper Lane - Bowling alley: Ikebukuro
[Open 9am-8am daily.]
Bowling 23 hours a day in the heart of Ikebukuro. (They take an hour off for maintenance from 8-9am.)
Nyankoto - Cat cafe: Takadanobaba
[Open 11am-10pm daily.]
Nyankoto has some of the prettiest cats in town - all thirteen of the residents have impressive pedigrees, and the two frisky Exotic Shorthair kittens are especially cute. The little booklet introducing the cats by name also lists an unusual...
Intro - Jazz cafe: Takadanobaba
[Open noon-midnight daily.]
An old-fashioned "jazz kissa" where you can nurse your drink and nod your head to the music for hours on end.
Big Box - Bowling alley: Takadanobaba
[Open 10am-11pm daily.]
A conveniently located bowling alley in the sports/restaurant complex in front of Takadanobaba station.
Kigumi Museum - Museum: Waseda
[Open 10am-4pm. Closed Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon.]
Traditional Japanese wooden architecture is the focus of this fascinating mini-museum, with a particular emphasis on the technique of wood joinery - the art of constructing wooden buildings with interlocking wooden joints instead of nails and...
Hiromart Gallery - Art gallery: Edogawabashi
[Open 1-7pm. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays.]
This local gallery puts on regular shows of up-and-coming international artists in their compact one-room exhibition space. It can be combined with visits to the nearby Gallery Niw and other galleries in neighborhing Kagurazaka, but you might want...
Gallery Niw - Art gallery: Edogawabashi
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.]
This small, three-room rental gallery has frequent short-running group shows of up-and-coming Japanese artists and art students. Although the space is small, there are a number of other galleries in the immediate neighborhood, so this can be one...
St. Mary's Cathedral - Notable building: Edogawabashi
Designed by Kenzo Tange and completed in 1964, St. Mary's has come to be known as a landmark of twentieth-century Tokyo architecture. The concrete structure is clad in stainless steel, and the swooping, parabolic curves of the walls evoke the image...
Printing Museum - Museum: Edogawabashi
[Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Run by Toppan Printing Company, this medium-size museum explores "printing culture," showing off interesting examples of both printed word and image. You can admire beautifully illustrated books from the 18th and 19th centuries, and see the...
Bingoya - Retail: Wakamatsu-Kawada
[Open 10am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
The main draw at this long-running folk craft store is probably their extensive selection of pottery - dishes, bowls and other tableware in various styles and price ranges - as well as a smaller selection of bamboo and lacquerware for the table. ...
Yayoi Kusama Museum - Art museum: Ushigome-Yanigicho
[Open 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays.]
Best known internationally for her prolific work with orange polka dots, the avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist Yayoi Kusama now has a new museum (as of October 2017) devoted to her work and life. There's a lot to see, with closely packed...
Natsume Soseki Memorial Museum - Museum: Ushigome-Yanigicho
[Open 10am-6pm (last entry 5:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Open since September 2017, this tasteful and expensively produced museum is devoted to the work of esteemed novelist Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), whose portrait appeared on the face of the Japanese 1000-yen note from 1984-2004. The museum will...
Eitoeiko - Art gallery: Kagurazaka
[Open noon-7pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.]
Since its debut at the Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair in 2009, the mission of this small gallery has been to showcase work that "treads the boundary between art and non-art," representing an interesting group of both international and Japanese artists....