Things to do in Ikebukuro

Are you planning to come to Japan? Are you planning to stay in Tokyo? Are you planning to check out Ikebukuro? Then this is the post for you! I’ve been living in Ikebukuro for about a year now and decided to come up with this list to help people who are thinking about traveling to Ikebukuro. Below are my suggestions for things to do in Ikebukuro.

Getting Around

Before we get started, I strongly urge you to get the app Google Maps. Simply type in a location or address you want to go to and Google Maps will tell you how to get there and how long it’ll take. However, the details are not always 100% correct. I’ve been using Google Maps in Japan for about 2 years now and it’s been correct about 90% of the time. Also, you can bookmark locations so that you can easily find it for future reference. If you need help getting or using the app, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Nearby Eats

  • Mutekiya – Probably one of the most popular ramen restaurants in Ikebukuro. There’s almost always a line. Click here to read my post on Mutekiya.
  • Ichiran – Despite being a ramen chain, this ramen shop is a must. You can even customize your own ramen! Click here to view my post on Ichiran.
  • Hayashiya – An izakaya that specializes in pork, this place is more for the adventurous. They serve pork meat, including the insides, cooked and raw. Expect to wait because this place is always busy. Click here to check out my post on Hayashiya.

Nearby Bars

  • Beer Saurus – Come here if you love beer, especially during Happy Hour where beers are 50% off. This place also has one of the best bar food in Tokyo. Check out my post on Beer Saurus by clicking here.
  • HUB – HUB is a British Pub chain in Japan. Due to its inexpensive prices, a lot of young people come here to drink, especially during Happy Hour.
  • Penguin Bar – Ever thought about drinking with penguins? Now you can! Well, not literally but within view at least. If you don’t mind the fishy smell, then check out the Penguin Bar.

Nearby Cafes

  • Ikefukurou Owl Cafe – I personally have not been here, but do check this place out if you’re into owls. This place is located on the 6th floor in the same building as Mutekiya.
  • Nekorobi Cat Cafe – I haven’t been here as well, but give this place a try if you’re into cats.
  • Swallowtail Butler Cafe – Forget about the maid cafes. Check out the butler cafe!
  • Ikebukuro Danshi BL Gakuen – For those that are interested, this is a BL or Boys’ Love cafe. I haven’t been to it before nor will I ever go, but you can watch this video for more info:
  • Animate Cafe – Watch anime or read manga? Then check out the Animate Cafe. Keep in mind that this place is super busy on the weekend because flocks of female anime lovers visit here. People say Ikebukuro is like the girls’ version of Akihabara. This location has an entire building and almost an entire street worth of anime related establishments.

Nearby Things To Do

  • K-Books Cosplay Store – Even if you have no intention of buying a cosplay outfit, do check this place out because it has almost every anime outfit you can imagine. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up leaving with an outfit on.
  • J-World – An indoor theme park with fun and unique One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball attractions.
  • Sunshine City Aquarium – An aquarium located on the 10th floor of Sunshine City.
  • Pasela Resorts – A resort of cafes, restaurants, karaoke, bars, ballrooms, and more. However, I recommend coming here for karaoke and their honey toasts. Pasela Resorts probably has one of the nicest karaoke rooms in Japan. Click here to view my post on Pasela Resorts in Shinjuku.
  • Round1 – Round1 is like an all-in-one for entertainment. It offers bowling, arcade games, karaoke, billiards, darts, ping pong, and so much more.

Nearby Places To Shop At

  • Sunshine City – A commercial complex that features a variety of facilities including an office building, aquarium, observatory, and shopping center. There are lots of places to shop and eat at here.
  • Parco – One of the most famous shopping centers in Japan, Ikebukuro Parco has about 200 shops and restaurants.
  • Tokyu HandsThe one stop shop for hobby and crafts products unique to Japan.
  • Don Quijote – A discount chain store that’s opened 24 hours and has about everything. This is a good place to buy gifts, such as green tea flavored Kit Kat, for yourself or friends and family back home.
  • Okashi no Machioka – A discount snack and candy shop. Definitely check this place out if you love your sweets and snacks.
  • Matsumoto Kiyoshi – A drugstore chain that sells a variety of beauty and health products.
  • Daiso – A famous franchise store that sells a wide range of products for only 100 yen.
  • Cando – Another 100 yen store that sells a wide range of products, but not as famous as Daiso.
  • Seiyu – A decent sized 24 hour supermarket.
  • Bic Camera – One of the two largest electronic retailers in Japan. The other is Yamada Denki.
  • Yamada Denki – One of the two largest electronic retailers in Japan. The other is Bic Camera.

If you want more information about a specific place, let me know in the comments area and I’ll try and reply as soon as possible.

Here’s a map of all the locations for your reference. Click on a point to view the location name. You can then get directions to that location from where you’re located or a specific address. Furthermore, you can also zoom in on the point or view it from street view to get a better idea of where it is.

Sunday Night Out in Ikebukuro

It’s been a while since I’ve been out, let alone drink alcohol. I’ve been trying my best to stay home and save money ever since I came back from Taiwan back in December. As much as I love Japan, it’s just too damn expensive here.

Hoegaarden Beer

Hoegaarden Beer

So on with my night out in Ikebukuro. I met up with my friend at a place called Beer Saurus. It’s like a 5 minute walk from the Ikebukuro West Exit. I found this place online and read that they had happy hour from 6-8PM daily where beers are 50% off, and that included Hoegaarden. Yup, so you could say I specifically chose this place because of the half-off Hoegaarden. A big glass came out to about 850 yen. I also tried out the Heartland beer from Kirin, which wasn’t bad. The atmosphere wasn’t bad. It was similar to a sports bar kind of feel, but without the HDTV’s, pool table, darts, etc. On a side note, the place was really English ready which was perfect for me. I also liked the restrooms they had there. Why? Because they had pictures of semi-naked women on the walls! It was a little distracting, so I had to wait until I was finished urinating before taking a good look at the pictures. After half way done with my first glass of Hoegaarden, we started getting hungry so we ordered some buffalo wings and omurice. I have to say, the food was great. We were done around when happy hour was about to end. As I got the bill, the waiter brought over a box with slips of paper inside. Apparently, they had a special where you get to draw a slip for each 3,000 yen you spent. The bill came out to a little over 6,000 yen so we were allowed to draw twice. I wasn’t expecting much, but after handing them the slips, they brought over an object wrapped in newspaper and a black ticket. Turns out we won a glass cup and a coupon for 20 buffalo wings (the buffalo wings alone are worth about 2,000 yen). I was pretty happy. Cheap beer, great food, and free gifts! I’m definitely coming back to this place again, but of course during happy hour.

Beer Saurus
SEIKO Building 3F
1-38-5 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Tokyo, 171-0021

Next stop we went to the local Pub. For those of you that don’t know Pub, it’s a British Pub that’s English-friendly and they have it all over Tokyo. In fact, I think there’s 3 alone in Shibuya. I might be wrong though since I was pretty wasted the night that I think I hit all 3 Shibuya Pubs in one night. Anyway, they have their own happy hour too but by the time we got there, it was over. My friend and I ordered two of the cocktail towers and some snacks to save money. I was pretty drunk. I didn’t puke, but I was close to it. My tolerance is usually pretty high, but once you stop drinking for awhile, you have to start back from 0. I ended up taking about a little over an hour to get home, which should have only took me about half an hour. I kind of got mixed up with the express trains and ended up going past my station and went back and fourth a few times.