• It's all unique in Ikebukuro, Tokyo

    2010-03-03

    When visiting Japan's capital city of Tokyo, it's easy to be distracted among the giant buildings and flashing lights of its overdeveloped urban areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya. While larger cities may draw sizable crowds, many locals prefer to spend their evenings in the slightly more reserved town of Ikebukuro.

    One of the key attractions of Ikebukuro is its plethora of shopping areas for people of all shapes and sizes. The city's train station is home to numerous Japanese department stores including Seibu and Tobu as well as the electronics haven Bic Camera. Other big name stores in the area include the fashionable wares found in Marui and the more esoteric shopping experience that is Don Quijote.

    The city also has a noted entertainment district known as Namja Town. The area is home to several izakaya (Japanese style pubs), haunted houses and sometimes combinations of the two, like the infamous "Lock Up" restaurant.

    Western travelers wondering what's happening back home might want to head to Junkudo, a massive 9-story bookstore which features a wide selection of English newspapers, books, magazines and comics.

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