Be a backstreet walker!

Rojiura: off street. "Ura" means back side of things.

If you have a couple of hours to spend in Ikebukuro, don't stick to the area around the station. As I mentioned in the last post, there are too many shops & boutiques there. So unless your purpose to visit Japan is to drop your money generously, just walking through those aisles is good enough. 

My recommendation is to explore narrower streets, the ones you'll see a couple of blocks away from a huge crossing, located on the east side of Ikebukuro station. Though it used to be described as "No fun city" compared with Shibuya or Shinjuku, more outgoers have been attracted to this changing area in the last 3 years or so.

One particular thing you might notice here is the fact that sky is still recognizable & sunlight is available. On some streets in Shinjuku or Shibuya, a decent number of buildings have no access to sunlight due to taller & larger buildings around them. Here in Ikebukuro, however, you can enjoy uplifting blue sky & sunlight thanks to the lower buildings.

For fun-loving people (like you), this weird, old eye-wear shop could be the place to go.

Look at this incredible storefront! All of them are glasses! (& must be cheap!)


In fact, there are more "old meets new" in this neighborhood. I happened to stumble on this super old coin laundry while I was wandering. Its signage suggests it has been there for more than 40 years.

Oh, and don't you think it's a good idea to take a great luck back to your home from Tokyo? One of the seven gods of fortune, Hotei-Son (known as the god of fortune & popularity, and guardian of children as well)

This peaceful & funny face will never fail to meet your expectation, I guess.


Make sure you set aside half a day to walk around this mysterious neighborhood, Ikebukuro!


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