Ikebukurobabibubebo | 22 02 2007
Ikebukuro is yet another large entertainment and commercial district of Tokyo. Ikebukuro JR Station is the 2nd busiest in Tokyo (1st is Shinjuku Station) and it’s subway station is the busiest in Tokyo. It is estimated that about 1 million people pass through Ikebukuro on a normal day. There are what seem to be an endless amount of shops and restaurants in Ikebukuro and while it is an interesting place, I recommend checking out Shibuya and/or Shinjuku first. If you still need more of an urban fix and have time, then you should head over to Ikebukuro. To be honest, it doesn’t feel too different from those places except for maybe a little older; however, there is another reason why you might want to go to Ikebukuro….
Ikebukuro was actually one of the first places in Tokyo I went to, so it will always have a special place in my heart… I guess. But seriously, there is a huge shopping center called Sunshine 60 (above photo). In this shopping center, besides having an aquarium, hotel, nice view of Tokyo and of course shops, is Namja Town. What is Namja Town? It is a small theme park built by Namco. If you can read Japanese, here is the official homepage of Namja Town.
What makes Namja Town worth the visit? Well besides the wacky decor (Playboy is REALLY popular in Japan because the bunny is really cute! Seriously, that is why. No I am 100% dead serious) that only Japan could get away with, the food. First let me start with my favorite, Gyoza Stadium. I love Gyoza. For those of you who do not know, Gyoza is a Chinese dumpling that usually has pork and vegetables or shrimp in it. Gyoza is delicious (but can make your breathe stink). Anyway, Gyoza Stadium has about 20 different kinds of gyoza ranging from the classic style to curry gyoza, friend gyoza and many which I don’t really know what they were but were equally delicious. If you are a fan of gyoza, you CAN NOT miss this place.
After Gyoza Statdium, make sure you leave room for Ice Cream City, which you guessed it, has a many different kinds of ice cream. There are about 15 different vendors, one of which has over 100 flavors of ice cream and includes very, um, interesting flavors like Japanese sake (sah kay) and aloe. Also there is another dessert area where you can buy all kinds of cakes and parfaits and other treats. One of which you can buy a dessert that looks like food but is really dessert. For example, you can buy a dessert that looks like sushi, but is really cake, or something that looks like curry and rice but really is pudding and cake or something along those lines.
Also, if you like spicy food, be sure to go to Nakamoto Ramen!
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