Ikebukuro Station Travel Guide

Learn the ins and outs of Ikebukuro Station with our travel guide. Train lines, facilities and much, much more.

Photo Credit: saturnism via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: saturnism via Flickr cc

Japan is a rainforest of railways, with staggering amounts of trains leaving and arriving stations around the country each day. The busiest railway station in the world, after Shinjuku, is Ikebukuro, having nearly three million passengers walk through its concourses and onto its platforms every day. It has been serving the public since it was opened during the Meiji Period on April 1, 1903, thirty-one years after the opening of Japan’s first railway in Shimbashi in 1871.

Today, the station is much more than that, also serving as a hub of shops, restaurants and an array of amenities. Let us be your guide to everything Ikebukuro Station has to offer. 

Ikebukuro Station Entrances

Railway Lines and Destinations

Useful Information

Sunshine City

Buses, Taxis, Bicycles

Restaurants & Cafes

Shops

Places to Stay

Other Attractions

Ikebukuro Station Map and Entrances

Ikebukuro Station has two main exits: East and West, plus a variety of sub-exits such as the JR North exit and exits leading from the various private train lines. 

From the West Exit, visitors enter out onto Ikebukuro’s main shopping and commercial district, which includes the Sunshine City shopping mall. 

The East Exit, again, offers an array of shopping and entertainment options as well as access to the the ivy-covered Rikkyo University.

Railway Lines and Destinations

Platforms

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Ikebukuro Station is well equipped with signs pointing passengers in the direction of their desired platform. They are clearly labeled in Japanese and English, some in Korean too, and are distinguishable by color, so even those with a visual impairment are able to navigate the station.

Beyond the gates, on the platforms themselves, electronic signs display the train schedule in Japanese and English, letting passengers know the expected time of arrival for the next train and whether it a Local, Semi-Express, Express, or Rapid train. 

 

Railway Lines

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

The train lines operating from Ikebukuro Station are the Tobu Tojo Line (Blue), Fukutoshin (Brown), Marunouchi (Red), Yamanote (Light Green), Saikyo (Teal), Yurakucho (Sand), Shonan-Shinjuku (Orange, Dark Blue) and the Seibu Ikebukuro Lines. Trains arrive every three to five minutes in most cases. 

We’ve detailed three of Ikebukuro Station’s most useful lines below: 

 

Yamanote Line

The Yamanote Line is one of Tokyo’s most widely used and convenient lines for traversing the city. A loop line, it circles central Tokyo, passing through major stations such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa and Akihabara along the way. 

 

Marunouchi Line

Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line runs underground through central Tokyo, taking in Shinjuku, Ginza, Nakano, Yotsuya and ending up in Ogikubo.

 

Yurakucho Line

The Yurakucho Line runs north from Ikebukuro to Wakoshi, taking in much of Toshima along the way, as well as south through Yurakucho and Ginza and terminating at Shin Kiba. 

Useful Information

Ticket Gates

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Ticket gates, aside from their obvious use, are also handy for finding out train information or asking directions. Always staffed, simply approach the window and ask. Be ready to use some sign language and your best Japanese, however, as English speaking staff are not always on hand. 

 

Ticket Machines

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Find ticket machines lined up throughout the station. Buy single or multi-journey tickets, a Pasmo or Suica IC card or charge your IC card at these machines which all come with an English language option. Some ticket machines, though not all of them, will allow you to charge your IC card with coins as small as ¥10, otherwise they accept ¥1,000 bills or larger and always provide change. 

 

ATMs

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Towards the East and North Exits, there are ATM machines operated by Seven Bank which accept international credit and debit cards and can be operated in English. Although Japan is very cash-based, many shops also accept payment by IC card. 

 

Other Facilities

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Restrooms are located in multiple locations throughout the station on both sides of the ticket gates. There are also numerous places to find coin operated baggage lockers, for those of you who might be returning to the station within the same day, that are very convenient. They are located near all ticket barriers in all areas of the station.

Transportation 

Buses

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Ikebukuro Station also acts as a bus terminus for local buses and those traveling further afield.   

From 4:24 to 22:15 buses depart for Haneda Airport, a journey which takes roughly 50 minutes. A variety of highway buses for destinations throughout Kanto, Shinshu and Koshin also run from the station for popular spots such as Mount Fuji, Ueda and Nagano Prefecture. The Seibu Group also run overnight buses to Osaka, including those that directly reach Universal Studios Japan

Local buses for all parts of Tokyo also depart from Ikebukuro Station, including the number 86 bus for Shibuya Station and the 63 to Asakusa. 

 

Taxis and Bicycles

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Taxis surround the station, easily identified by their mainly green or yellow designs. Bear in mind that most taxi drivers in Japan do not know very much English, so having a map ready will doubtless solve any problems. 

There are also several locations near the station and elsewhere in Ikebukuro for renting a bicycle. The process is pretty easy, involving a small deposit and time limit. 

Restaurants and Cafes

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Traveling makes anyone hungry, and there are many places to eat and have relax in and around Ikebukuro Station. If you’re in a rush, you can grab a rice ball or a drink at many one of the many convenience stores located in the station or at one of the small supermarkets, one of which is located in the corridor to exit C3, by the Fukutoshin Gate. 

Some other options include:

Saffron Ikebukuro-The Indian RestroBar 

Photo Credit: iamleesam via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: iamleesam via Flickr cc

Here you can enjoy many a dish prepared by Indian chefs with the finest imported ingredients in a fast and affordable manner. This eatery sheds some light on the heritage, culture, and cuisine of this other, enormous far eastern nation. 

Access: 8 minutes away on foot

Address: 1-28-1 Higashi Ikebukuro 201 Takuto T.O.Building, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan

Website: Saffron Ikebukuro

 

Midori Sushi

Photo Credit: Jeremy Keith via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Jeremy Keith via Flickr cc

To some Japanese, sushi is only true sushi if served and eaten in Japan. Midori Sushi does a good job of proving this, serving a variety of fresh and delicious sushi and sashimi.  

Access: 5 minutes away on foot

Address: Seibu Ikebukuro, 1-28-1 Minamiikebukuro, Tokyo 171-8569, Japan

Website: Midori Sushi (Japanese)

 

Kineya Ikebukuro Lumine

Photo Credit: Hiroyuki Takeda via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Hiroyuki Takeda via Flickr cc

Here you can enjoy some sensational, hand-made udon noodles and other Japanese dishes. 

Access: 3 minutes away on foot

Address: Japan, 〒171-0021 Tokyo, Toshima, Nishiikebukuro, 1 Chome−11−1, 8F

Website: Kineya Ikebukuro (Japanese)

Sunshine City

DSCF0023

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

If you’re in Ikebukuro, no visit can be complete without having had a glimpse of Sunshine City, a city-within-a-city located beyond the East Exit and filled with shops, cosplay cafes and electronic goods stores. 

Just follow the path alongside the ticket gates to the Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku and Saikyo Lines towards the East Exit, past a 7-Bank ATM and some ticket machines and you’ll come to the surface of the street with Seibu department store overlooking you. From here, Sunshine City is easily reachable. 

Access: Take the East Exit from Ikebukuro Station

Adress: 〒170-0013 Tōkyō-to, Toshima-Ku, Higashiikebukuro, 3 Chome−3−1

Website: Sunshine City (Japanese) 

Shops

DSCF0003

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

There is a plethora of shops within the confines of the station itself, but the bulk of the shopping facilities can be found within the Tobu and Seibu department stores, located on the North and East Sides of the station respectively. There is nothing you can’t find in these mammoth stores. 

Tobu

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Adjacent to the West Exit, the Tobu department store has many floors of household items, stationary and clothing.   

Access: 350 meters on foot from the West Exit 

Address: 〒171-8512 Tokyo, Nishiikebukuro, 1−1−25

Website: Tobu (Japanese)

 

Seibu

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Seibu has an equal number of options under one roof, as well as its own food court on the ninth floor. It can be reached directly from the East Exit. 

Access: 300 meters on foot from the station center 

Address: 〒171-0022 Tokyo, Minamiikebukuro, 1−28−1

Website: Seibu Ikebukuro 

Hotels

Hotels, like shops, proliferate around Ikebukuro Station. Whether you’re after some luxury or just a roof over your head, you’re covered. 

Hotel My Stays Higashi-Ikebukuro

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Greene via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Greene via Flickr cc

A great base from which to explore the vibrancy of Ikebukuro, this hotel is also only a stone’s throw away from the Ancient Orient Museum. Complimentary WiFi is included. 

Access: 8 minutes by bus from the station 

Address: 4-39-13 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan

Website: Hotel Mystays

Price: Starting from around 5,000 yen per night

 

Hotel New Star Ikebukuro

Photo Credit: Cory Doctorow via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Cory Doctorow via Flickr cc

Plenty of shopping centers, bars and restaurants are well within reach of New Star Ikebukuro, as well as excellent transport links. A professional and clean hotel. 

Access: 10 minutes on foot

Address: Japan, 〒171-0014 2-61-6 

Website: Hotel New Star

Price: Starting at around 6,000 yen per night

 

Tokyu Stay Ikebukuro

Photo Credit: Keiichi Yasu via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Keiichi Yasu via Flickr cc

Tokyu Stay is consistently remarked on for its cleanliness, proximity to Ikebukuro Station and its grand views and kitchenettes in nearly every room. There is also a laundry service and a delicious breakfast for only 500 yen. 

Access: 3 minutes away by car, 8 minutes by foot

Address: 2 Chome-12-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-0014, Japan 

Website: Tokyu Stay

Price: Starting at around 10,000 yen per night 

Attractions Nearby 

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo_Disneyland_Entrance_(9407118539)

Provided by en.wikipedia.org

From Ikebukuro Station, the Magic Kingdom is just 48 minutes away. Take the Marunouchi Line (Red) to Tokyo Station and transfer to the Keiyo Line (Maroon) and alight at Maihama Station, from which the park is just six minutes away on foot.  

Access: 48 min by train from Ikebukuro (see above)

Adress: Yubinbango, 279-0031, Maihama, Urayasu, Chibi Prefecture  

Website: Tokyo Disneyland

 

Rikkyo University

Photo Credit: Mason Allen Buskirk

Rikkyo is one of the oldest universities still teaching in the country. Founded in 1874 by a Virginian Evangelical named Channing Moore Williams, the school grew nearer to its present size in 1918. Head to the university for a wander around its charming campus. It’s almost as if Oxford has been transplanted into Tokyo!

Access: 5 minutes on foot from exit C3 of Ikebukuro Station

Address: 3 Chome-34-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 171-8501, Japan

Website: Rikkyo University

 

SL

Photo Credit: photozou via Wikimedia Commons cc

Provided by en.wikipedia.org

This summer, the Tobu Railway Company will be running nostalgic, old-fashioned trains for those who want to see, hear and smell an SL, as steam locomotives are known in Japan.  The Tobu Group plans to operate steam-hauled trains on the Kinugawa Line,  brought all the way from Hokkaido. It’s a railway journey unlike any other! 

Access: By train from Ikebukuro to Shimo-Imaichi Station via the Nikko-Kinugawa Line (1 hr 43 min)

Address: Shimo-Imaichi Station

Website: SL C11 207 (Japanese)

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# Ikebukuro Travel Tips # Tokyo Travel Tips # Japan Travel Tips

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