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Tag Archives Ikebukuro

Top 5 Things to Do in Ikebukuro Tokyo

By Posted on 4 3 m read

If you made a wish list of what to do and what to see in Tokyo, a list of Tokyo ‘must haves’ then Ikebukuro would surely fulfill most of your requirements: Ikebukuro is one of Tokyo’s biggest districts with art and culture spots I can recommend during your Japan trip. So why not experience a different side of Tokyo? Here are 5 things to do in Ikebukuro.

1. Tokyo Metropolitan Theater: Culture and Architecture?

Top things to do in Ikebukuro: Tokyo Metropolitan Theater

Top things to do in Ikebukuro: Tokyo Metropolitan Theater

If you feel that you want to get away from the hustle and want to enjoy a wonderful time, take the west exit of Ikebukuro station. The Tokyo Metropolitan theatre offers a  variety of unique music program, theatre and dancing. The heart of the modern theatre is the Concert Hall, where classic music lovers enjoy great concerts. Adjacent to the theatre is Ikebukuro West Gate Park.

2.West Gate Park: Artistic?

Ikebukuro Nishigushi Park with a beautiful fountain. Adorned with colorful sculptures – a must see in Tokyo. The fountain bekame a popolar shooting spot with the avored TV commercial or TV drama West Gate Park. You can visit the Mottainai Flea Market which is well known for second-hand clothing. It moves around Tokyo, but is often held at Nishi-Ikebukuro Park.

3. Parks in Ikebukuro: Green Spaces?


There are several smaller or larger parks in Ikebukuro. Mejiro Garden is a traditional garden with great view over ponds and waterfall. I recommend you take a hike to the viewpoint and have a picnic on the ever-cleancut grass. There is another little space of tranquility, Minami-Ikebukuro Park, offering a nice grass square to lounge.

4. Shops and Malls: Shopping in Ikebukuro?

Top things to do in Ikebukuro: Hello Kitty Store

Top things to do in Ikebukuro: Hello Kitty Store

Top things to do in Ikebukuro: Tobu department store

This list of things to do in Ikebukuro would not be complete without some places for shopping, of course. Ikebukuro main station is the second most busy station in the world. Connected via subterranean passages you will find the adjacent shopping malls. Here you can buy everything you’ll need without any need to leave indoors at all. Then again, that would be a shame, becaus about 10 minutes’ walk from Ikebukuro train station is Shunshine City. Here you will find many great shops. Pokemon Center, Hello Kitty store, ore Studio Ghibli store, anyone?

5. Pubs and restaurants: Going out in Ikebukuro?

Top things to do in Ikebukuro: Sushi restaurant

The Penguin Bar is a very special place in Ikebukuro. Here you can have a drink – sake, cocktails, liquors, and wine while closely watching the cute penguins on display – you may even help and feed them, if you feel like it. There are also restaurants where you can eat with owls (the Owlparks Owl Cafe) or with cats (Cat’s House Nekobukuro). This reminds me of our cat house back in Bielefeld. These are all great things to do as a solo traveler in Tokyo. While you are in Ikebukuro, you might also want to try Shabu-Shabu.

Rock bar Oasis offers 200 whiskys – accompanied by classic American rock. What an awesome way to start the night!

Things to do in Ikebukuro Tokyo: Whisky tasting

At the Kurand Sake Market, you may drink as much and whichever Sake you want from an offered variety of more than 100. Just go ahead and help yourself!

Looking for more great tipps for things to do in Ikebukuro? If you’re here near Christmas, make sure to check out Ikebukuro illuminations!

Where to stay in Ikebukuro?

Don’t forget to book your stay in Ikebukuro. The Metropolitan Hotel – found it on Agoda (Affiliate Link) – next to Ikebukuro station is a great point to start your Journey:

Nabezo Ikebukuro: The best Shabu-shabu restaurant in town

By Posted on 1 2 m read

What is Shabu-shabu?

Have you ever heard of Shabu-shabu? Sounds like your dog’s tail whisking the floor? Nope, it’s the sound of stirring Shabu-shabu’s ingredients in this well-known hot-pot dish. Consisting mainly of paper-thin beef slices and many vegetables, the pot of steaming broth is served. The diner selects his choice of ingredients and dips them into the broth. The beef will need mere seconds to be ready – thanks to its exceeding thinness.

Is Shabu-shabu the right thing for you?

Soon after your order, the hot pot arrives and the waiter will be happy to help with your first round of self-boiled beef. Then, you can proceed as you like and enjoy your tasty assortment of beef and mushrooms. Did you ever try Sukiyaki? Do you like it, but find it just a tad bland and a wee bit too sweet? Then Shabu-shabu is definitely your choice, since it is quite close to Sukiyaki, but closer to the chinese original and more savoury and less seet than Sukiyaki.

Is there such a thing as vegan Shabu-shabu?



You fellow vegans out there need not worry – no need for beef, since the vegetable selection at Nabezo, my Shab-shabu restaurant of choice in Ikebukuro is a veritable vegan heaven. I recommend taking the all you can eat buffet starting from 2,400 Yen (Nabezo Course) up to 4,400 Yen (Yapanese Beef and Pork Course) along with the drink flat rate, which does not add a large burden on you funds at 1,500 Yen per person. Shabu-shabu can be enjoyed completely vegan. Be aware that you only have 100 min to eat! On that evening I had my first sake or even two. Lucky me – after the waitresser came to take the last order I had my attention back on my date and not the yummy food!

How to eat Shabu-shabu

How to eat Shabu-shabu in a Japanese restaurant? – Ikebukuro, Tokyo.


And this is how you eat Shabu-shabu: You pick one of you selected raw vegetables or slices of meat and swish-swish (“shabu-shabu”) it around some seconds in your boiling water. Harder or thicker vegetables like pieces of carrots will take longer to boil – just leave them in the broth for a while. Then dip your treat in a sauce. Typically, you might choose Goma-tare for meat and Ponzu for vegetables – but do just as you like. Goma tare is a sesame sauce, Ponzu a soy sauce with a slightly acidic citrus taste.

I was at Nabezo Shabu shabu Ikebukuro during my solo Japan trip (yes, I tried some restaurants all alone – its not as bad as it sounds). If you visit Japan, check out in the restaurant search to find your nearest “hot pot paradise”.  This well-established chain of restaurants offers more than 15 branches in Tokyo, 3 in Kangawa and 1 in Saitama. Do visit Ikebukuro – in winter around christmas, if possible – then you can visit the wonderful illuminationsu.