The Ikebukuro dormitory for KCP students is just 30 minutes from the school–a real find, in the world of the famous Tokyo commute. Ikebukuro, a thriving entertainment and commercial district, is also one of the busiest commuter hubs, where over more than a million people pass through every single day. It’s the place to go shopping at the many department stores, be entertained by the uniquely Japanese Otaku culture, or simply relax over a fine meal at a restaurant.
Ikebukuro street scene | Harry Vale
Ikebukuro has a fascinating history. During the Taishō and Shōwa periods, it was known as “Sugamo,” where foreign laborers and artists chose to live because it was not as expensive as other places in Tokyo.
The word “Ikebukuro,” “pond bag” in kanji, is derived from three sources. The first is a tale that there was once a lake shaped like a person holding a bag in the northeastern part of the area. The second is folklore that there were several lakes of varying sizes, which resulted in the idea of a bag full of lakes. The third tale is about a turtle carrying a bag on its back that emerged from the lake. At the center of the city is a statue of an owl called “Ikefukurō-zō,” a well-known meeting place.
Check out some of the large department stores in Ikebukuro such as Tobu, Seibu, and Marui. If you want to fiddle with the latest models in gadgetry, visit the giant electronic stores Yamada Denki and Bic Camera.
Bic Camera in Ikebukuro | James Nash
If you fancy taking in the sights of the city, stop in at Sunshine 60 Observation Deck. Its enclosed lower level and open upper level deck give you a breathtaking view of Tokyo. You can also marvel at Sunshine City, a city within a city.
Sunset over Ikebukuro. | irrational_cat
Sunshine City is a 240-meter-tall skyscraper housing a multitude of restaurants and shops you can pass through on your way up to the observation deck. There are a planetarium, aquarium, museum, and indoor theme park on your way up. Can you imagine?—All of this is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the Ikebukuro dorm.
The Sega store | luisvilla