Tokyo Stroll Supplement: Ikebukuro Station Area
This page is for locations in the Ikebukuro Station Area of Tokyo. This neighborhood is not part of my book Tokyo Stroll.
For users of the Organic Maps, Maps.Me and Google Maps apps the items below have bookmarks you can import into those apps to make navigation easier.
ACOS Ikebukuro (ACOS池袋)
ACOS is a major store for cosplay supplies where you can get costumes, wigs, shoes, makeup, colored contacts, props, even chest binders for women wanting to crossplay as male characters. They even allow customers to try on costumes.
animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store (アニメイト池袋本店)
This shop is the main store for one of the largest anime/manga specially chains in the world. This particular store is the largest of its kind consisting of nine floors with various goods including books, art supplies, magazines, a wide variety of character goods, anime, CDs, game software, dōjinshi, and an event hall.
BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT / ALICE and the PIRATES池袋店
Founded in 1988 BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT is perhaps the most famous worldwide chain focusing on Lolita fashions. It should come as no surprise that they have an Ikebukuro location. ALICE and the PIRATES is a fashion brand launched in 2004 inspired by a mashup of Alice in Wonderland and pirates aimed at a slightly older clientele.
Book Gallery Popotame (ブックギャラリー ポポタム)
A small bookstore and art gallery with an international flavor. The bookstore part sells mainly new titles and has a selection of used volumes. The store's focus is on small press books and art books, both foreign and domestic. The gallery sells prints, original drawings and paintings, as well as 3 dimensional objects. Gallery exhibits change regularly.
Founded in 1990, BOOKOFF is a major international chain for used books, DVD. Blu-ray, CDs, and in its related shops HARD-OFF for electronics, Hobby-OFF for toys and games, etc. It is not unusual to see two OFF stores paired together or just selling a variety of goods along with books. You can find BOOKOFF stores all over Tokyo. This particular one is on the second and third floors of the Humax Pavilion and handles books, music, DVD, Blu-ray, games, anime goods, figures, models, etc.
Caramel Cube (キャラメルキューブ)
In these two stores women, yes men need not apply, crafters can rent a small clear showcase on a monthly basis to sell their handcrafted items. The stores operate on a consignment system in which they rent the seller the case, handle the sales transactions, and keep a percentage of the sale. Each case and item has an identification code, the buyer fills out the information on a purchaser card, hands it to a staff member who retrieves the item, and handles the payment at the register. They even have gashapon machines that sellers can rent and sell their items that way. Rentals can be handled through the mail for sellers who live some distance away. Most of the items sold are fashion accessories, some of the sample items shown on their web site include jewelry, pins, plushies, and various character goods.
Comic Toranoana Ikebukuro (コミックとらのあな 池袋店)
The Comic Toranoana Ikebukuro, in the Seiko Sunshine Building on the 6th and 7th floors, is the flagship store of the chain which originated in Akihabara in 1994. The chain is mainly known for selling dōjinshi. This particular shop has a strong focus on works for women and girls including anime, manga, dōjinshi, light novels, CDs, and other merchandise. The company also has stores in numerous other locations in Japan, but not as many as it used to the as a significant drop in sales during the COVID 19 pandemic resulted in most of their stores closing in 2021 and 2022. Toranoana continues to operate their ToraCon matchmaking and dating service and has been part of the production of several anime. The store name comes from a pro wrestler’s training hall in the Tiger Mask manga and translates as “Tiger Pit.”
Edogawa Rampo Memorial Center for Popular Culture Studies (江戸川乱歩大衆文化研究センター)
A research center established in 2006 dealing with the works of Edogawa Rampo, a major author of Japanese mystery stories. The center includes his home and his library in a separate traditional fireresistant storehouse. The work of the center focuses on Rampo and related material. The center holds lectures, publishes scholarly journals and promotes the study of popular culture.
Evangelion Store Tokyo-01
An entire shop devoted to the TV series and movies of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Clothing, coffee mugs, fashion accessories, DVD & Blu-ray, limited at store only items, etc.
Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro (ガシャポンのデパート池袋総)
The variety of gashapon, capsule toys, is so vast in Japan that if I started listing a few samples of what is available the toys probably would have been replaced with other designs by the time you read this. This store is the largest gashapon store in the world with over 3,000 machines according to the Guinness Book World Records in March 2021, their final count was 3,010 machines. Located on the third floor of Sunshine city and operated by BANDAI NAMCO, the store opened February 2021. This was actually the 17th such store the company opened and is now the flagship store for the chain. Machines are organized by theme to make shopping easier. They even have an app, Japanese only, for smartphones.
Ikōsan Hōmyōji (威光山法明寺)
Founded in 810 as a Shingon sect Buddhist temple. In 1312 it was converted to a Nichiren sect temple. There are unusual decorations on the temple’s bell such as an abacus and scales. The bell has been designated an important cultural property by the Tokyo government. The grounds have been a famous cherry viewing location along the path leading to the Sanmon since the Edo Period. The main hall burned down after the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923 and rebuilt in 1932. The temple complex was destroyed in the firebombings of WWII, the present structures are a reconstruction built during the 1950s and 60s. The Zōshigaya Kishimojindō to the south in Zōshigaya is a branch temple of Ikōsan Hōmyōji.
A small chain specializing in new and second-hand goods with a focus on anime, manga, video games, popular music, and related items. Their stores in the Ikebukuro area specialize in goods for women and girls, each with a particular focus. In the company a majority of the staff are women with many managers also being women. The main store and numerous branches are located in Ikebukuro.
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Anime (K-BOOKS 池袋アニメ館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Cast Pavilion (K-BOOKS 池袋キャスト館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Character (K-BOOKS 池袋キャラ館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Cinema-kan (K-BOOKS 池袋芸能館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Cosplay Pavilion (K-BOOKS 池袋コスプレ館/池袋素材館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Dōga-Kan (K-BOOKS 池袋動画館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Doujinkan (K-BOOKS 池袋同人館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro GAME Pavilion (K-BOOKS 池袋GAME館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro K-POP Hall (K-BOOKS池袋K-POP館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Live Pavilion (K-BOOKS 池袋ライブ館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Oshikatsukan (K-BOOKS 池袋推し活館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Otome-Kan (K-BOOKS 池袋乙女館)
K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Voice Pavilion (K-BOOKS 池袋キャスト館/池袋VOICE館)
Kanjoin is a Nichiren-shū temple established in the Keicho era (1596-1615). It is also on the Zōshigaya Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage route, this time for Benten, also called Benzaiten. A statue of her is to the left as you enter the grounds. If you have the shikishi from Otori Jinja place the stamp at the bottom center.
An international chain of shops selling new and second-hand anime/manga/game/tokusatsu related goods. All types of goods, figures, CDs DVD/Bluray/ costumes, posters, dōjinshi, etc. There are six stores in Ikebukuro, some in the same building.
Lashinbang Ikebukuro Trend Store (らしんばん池袋本店トレンド館)
Lashinbang Ikebukuro Character Goods Store (らしんばん池袋本店キャラクターグッズ)
Lashinbang Ikebukuro Audio Cast Hall (らしんばん池袋本店オーディオ・キャスト館)
Lashinbang Ikebukuro Female Doujinkan 2F Purchase Reception (らしんばん池袋本店女性同人館2F 買取受付)
Lashinbang Ikebukuro Female Doujinkan 4/5F (らしんばん池袋本店女性同人館4・5F)
Lashinbang Ikebukuro Female Doujinkan B1F Character Goods (らしんばん池袋本店女性同人館B1F キャラグッズ)
Le Bois Hiraki (ルボワ平喜)
Built in 1979 and designed by Von Jour Caux who worked with a group of craftspeople to create works in the Art Complex Movement style which includes heavy ornamentation in both the exterior and interior of buildings. The exterior is of shaped concrete giving the impression of organic shapes that remind one of vegetation or insects. The lobby of the building, be quiet and respectful of the tenants, is a wonder with tile mosaics, sculpted walls and lights held by arms protruding from the walls.
Mandarake LaLaLa (まんだらけ ラララ)
The Ikebukuro branch of the famous chain of second-hand shops for fans of anime, manga, movies, and video games. Given the location the shop is entirely devoted to women's manga, Boys Love manga, related dōjinshi, character goods, they also stock some cosplay items and dolls..
Said to be the largest selection of new and used dōjinshi in the Ikebukuro area. Not just manga but also dōjinshi music, video, games, and other items.
Otome Road (乙女ロード Otome Rōdo)
An area east of Ikebukuro Station near Sunshine City that is famous today for the density of shops for female fans of manga, anime, voice actor CDs, and games, especially works that fall into the Boys Love category. Fans of Boys Love are known as fujoshi, "rotten woman" a term the fans came up with, and have a male counterpart called fudanshi. Originally the shops, starting in the 1980s, were general in what they stocked, the focus to the present specialty seems to have been in 2000 when Animate and K-Books both reorganized their stock. The Otome Road shops include several anime/manga/game related shops, cosplay shops, cafes and even a butler cafe. The name means "Maiden Road" due to the clientele of the shops and came from the May 2004 issue of Puff magazine. While not as large as Akihabara the focus on works for women and girls makes this a unique area when compared to the broader, and more male oriented, variety of Akiba.
To find it from Ikebukuro Station head towards exit 35 on Green-odori, head south east a block and a half to a plaza with large trees, cut across the plaza and cross the next street to the entrance of Sunshine 60 Dōri street, at the Lotteria cafe, which will take you in the direction of the Sunshine 60 building, soon you will see the shops of Otome Road. If you get lost ask a shop keeper on how to get to Sunshine City. To find it from Higashi-Ikebukuro Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line head north towards Sunshine City, the tallest building in the area. At Sunshine City take a left and walk to the first intersection where you turn right and soon see the shops.
It is not only shops that the area is known for there are also events such as the cosplay gatherings organized by Acosta! and the Sunshine Creation dōjinshi events which take place several times a year.
Pokemon Center MEGA TOKYO & Pikachu Sweets (ポケモンセンターメガトウキョー ＆ ピカチュウスイーツ_)
Pokemon Centers are found in many parts of Japan, the Ikebukuro one is located on the second floor of Sunshine City. This is one of the most famous with a variety of Pokemon goods sold. Some items can only be purchased at this store. Then there is Pikachu Sweets, a take away cafe where you can get lots of Pokemon themed confections and drinks.
This Nichiren Buddhist temple was founded in the Edo Period. The temple was destroyed in the firebombings of WWII with only a stone statue remaining. The current building was designed by Harada Masahiro and was completed in 2018. It is very modern, a seven story structure with local trees and shrubs on each level making the building stand out as very green in relation to its neighbors. The ground floor has a massive statue of the Buddha that seem to more float than sit on the floor, other floors provide traditional functions with the top floor housing the prayer hall.
Sunshine City サンシャインシティ
Sunshine City, a complex of buildings often referred to as Sunshine 60 after the number of stories the main tower has. While Sunshine City is known for many attractions it also includes the Prince Hotel, offices, two convenience stores, a post office, and a variety of shops. Some of the better known attractions include the Pokémon Center, Gashapon Department Store, Namco Namja Town, the "Manten" planetarium, the Sunshine Aquarium, the Ancient Orient Museum, and Sky Circus, a top floor observatory deck accessible for a fee. The building was completed in 1978 on the former location of Sugamo Prison where political dissidents were held under fascist rule. After WWII it was used to hold convicted war criminals and over 55 of them were hung here.
Swallowtail Butlers Café (執事喫茶 スワロウテイル)
The first ever butler cafe, opened in 2005, where you are served by elegant men dressed as butlers. The fantasy setting is that this is the tea salon of a mansion where women guests gather. The menu changes every month, set meals are served, there are English menus however the staff may not speak English. Swallowtail is also open for dinner. The cafe is so popular that online reservations are required, you can make reservations from ten days in advance. Cosplayers not allowed, there is a gift shop
The local branch of the Osaka based wig company. While the focus is on wigs, both regular and for cosplay, they also stock other items such as boots, shoes, and elements for costumes for both genders.
Used Books Ōraiza (古書 往来座)
A neighborhood used bookshop. There is a special section for writers who are buried in Zōshigaya Cemetery.
Yellow Submarine Ikebukuro
Actually two stores are in this location, both focus on games.
Zōshigaya Shichifukujin Hoteison (雑司が谷七福神 布袋尊)
The Hotei statues here date from around 1917, yes statues in the plural as there is also a smaller one, the combination is sometime referred to as "parent and child Hotei." Originally the statues were in front of the Nakano Stone Company, the Nakano family was involved in several projects in the Tokyo area starting int he Edo Period. The larger Hotei statue was damaged in two of the air raids during WWII which is why the right arm had to be reconstructed. The present shrine dates from 1987 when the No. 6 and 7 Nakano buildings were completed. This location is on the Zōshigaya Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage route. The stamp for this location goes in the lower left-hand corner of the shikishi.
Created October 8, 2022 | Content last updated August 23, 2023