Let’s stroll around Ikebukuro!
Ikebukuro (池袋) is known for being a Mecca for otaku girls. The numbers do not yet compare with those of Akihabara, but there are many mega anime billboards, cosplay restaurants and anime shops in Ikebukuro. Most of otaku girls visit there, and enjoy selective buying. It is firmly established as “The Second Akihabara.”
My university was in Ikebukuro and I used to live there few years ago, so this town is an adopted hometown for me. Stylish and sophisticated towns in Tokyo like Omotesando (表参道) and Roppongi (六本木) are good, but this chaotic atmosphere is exactly “TOKYO.”
Platform of JR Ikebukuro Station. This station is the giant hub of several major railway lines, including the JR Lines, Tokyo Metro, Tobu Tojyo Line (東武東上線) and Seibu Ikebukuro Line (西武池袋線). Almost 2.7 million passengers get on and off here every day, and it is the second only to Shinjuku (新宿) in the world.
The underground of Ikebukuro station is just like a huge maze. My friends said that it is the most labyrinthian station in Tokyo.
Found a big advertisement of Uta no Prince-sama! SO COOL!
There are many exits at Ikebukuro Station. East exit is for otaku places.
Two big department stores at Ikebukuro. Seibu Department store (西武百貨店) is at the east exit, and Tobu Department store (東武百貨店) is at the west exit. This location is one of the source of confusions in Ikebukuro maze. (“西” means west, and “東” means east)
Sunshine 60 Street (サンシャイン60通り), the most heavily traveled spot in the city.
You can see the symbol of Ikebukuro, Sunshine 60 (サンシャイン60) after the Sunshine 60 Street.
Namco Namja Town (ナムコナンジャタウン) is in the building. This entertainment park holds several anime events, and now is Kuroko’s Basketball fair.
Otome Road (乙女ロード) is located to the west of the Sunshine 60 building. The name is derived from a dense grouping of shops that specialize in Otome-kei (乙女系) (otaku girls who like ikemen characters) merchandise, all on one side of a roughly 200 meter corridor.
Animate Ikebukuro is the entrance of Otome Road, and several shops are here.
Found that my favorite dojin artist Shiro Yamada (山田シロ) draw the nameboard of K BOOKS! I did not know that! Kawaii!!
There are cosplay shops as well. You can get both new and secondhand.
I recommend this Wig Shop Maple for cosplay beginners, because the staffs are very kind and you can try all of wigs and costumes up to two times. (*This shop is a bit off from Otome Road)
WIG SHOP MAPLE
3-5-7-101 Higashiikebukuro Toshima-ku Tokyo 170-0013 JAPAN
Official Website: www.maple-wig.com (Japanese)
P.S. Found Musubimaru, the character of Sendai at the satellite store of Miyagi. Kawaii?