Posted by: Jonathan
Shine on you crazy diamonds. This is Jonathan at?Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro.
One of the most popular attractions in all of Ikebukuro happens to be only minutes away from our hotel. I'm referring of course to the shopping and amusement wonderland known as Sunshine City. Regrettably, I myself have only been there to attend to business, and have not yet sampled the various fun things that there are to do there, but it looked fun when I was walking through it, and when the stars align I'm definitely planning on giving it a good thorough look. To a curious traveller I would simply offer that from everything I've heard, it is a great option on a rainy day, and at worst is a fun little window into Japanese consumer culture.
Sunshine City and Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro are separated only by Ikebukuro Station. However, Ikebukuro (as well as the Station) can be a rather confusing place to the uninitiated. How exactly do you get to Sunshine City? In today's blog, Kitty-chan and I will show you the way!
Our journey begins in Ikebukuro Station. One could start their search by heading towards the east exit.
Or if you want to save yourself a little time, you could also note that there are some slightly more specific signs.
The reason that they neglected to include City on the sign for Sunshine City eludes me, although to be fair it isn't written out all the way in Japanese either.
As you follow the arrows you find more signs to help you, with the next one I came across indicating the correct exit number.
The light at the end of the tunnel!
And finally, as you emerge on to the street, daylight!
As you emerge you'll see another landmark. This is Bic Camera, which among other things sells cameras. In Ikebukuro the Bic Camera is so big, it's broken up into buildings that specialize in different kinds of electronics. This is the Bic Camera building where they specialize in selling cameras.
I love Bic Camera myself (mostly for non-camera related reasons though). Almost every major electronics purchase I have made in Japan has happened at a Bic Camera, with my Bic Point Card charging points for future use. Bic Camera is awesome.
But, oh, right, Sunshine City.
As you walk away from the exit that let you out onto the street, you come across another sign.
It points you to in this direction.
To the left you see there is a Lotteria, a "you can only eat it in East Asia" burger joint that's pretty good. To the left you can see a Bic Camera. This Bic Camera sells...cameras. Okay, I'm actually not sure what it sells. It's an outlet store, so it probably sells camera, and other stuff too. You can go to this Bic Camera if you want, because it is probably pretty awesome, but it's not in the direction of Sunshine City.
Going back to the correct direction, on the opposite side of the street from the Lotteria is this Italian(?) restaurant.Cafe Spazio? Greek maybe? Cypriot? Whatever. (just Googled it. Italian it is. Stream of thought blogging! Believe it!!!!!)
Walk down the street between these two stores. As you continue walking, you will see stores such as...
Softbank! Keep walking straight!
A theater / arcade where I recently saw the awesome new Star Trek movie! You're still going in the right direction!
And now we come to an intersection. On the left you'll see a building under construction, which will reduce this blog to irrelevancy in a few short months! Keep going straight!
Across the street from the irrelevancy inducing building underconstruction you'll see a little clothing store that looks like it's been there for a while. As it appears like it has stood the test of time, and might yet endure, I believe this store helps the relevancy of this blog. Thanks Yukiya!
As you continue walking down the street you'll see another theater.
Across the street from it is a popular hedgehog store.
Along the way you'll also encounter a shoe store.
Here is a popular beef bowl chain called Matsuya.
And now! The biggest sign yet! (that is a video screen to the right, not a banner).
Here is the sign from closer, although some gentlemen neglected to take note that I was trying to take a picture, and stood at the base of the sign, resulting in this strange angle.
Tokyu Hands is another handy landmark. It's a trendy home improvement store, kind of like a Japanese pottery barn.
So there you have it! Sunshine City is a great place to spend a day, and I hope that if you do give it a look, that this short guide will prove useful!
Say hello to Kitty-chan if you go!
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