By Elena Lisina
For those touring Japan or just looking for somewhere fun to go, there’s a one stop shop that you shouldn’t miss. And it’s not really so much as just a shop, but a whole building filled with about 300 shops and restaurants, a hotel, an aquarium, an observation deck on the 60th floor, an indoor theme park, a planetarium, an Ancient Orient Museum, a convention center, a theater, and many more offices above! One could easily loose time here, either as an adult or a kid.
Located in East Ikebukuro, Sunshine City is a great place to visit. Shop for clothes, toys, shoes, hats, jewelry, souvenirs, eat pizza, Mexican food, Korean food, ramen, Japanese dishes, or even hit up Subway. Afterwards go get your coffee on with Starbucks or grab an ice cream from Cold Stone. You can’t go wrong with so many options!
For the kid in you, or with you, enjoy browsing through a whole store packed with Hello Kitty goods, the Disney Store, or even some of Japan’s famous Totoro goods. And if that’s not enough for you, a Toys R Us is also located on the B1 level. And if you have a Toys R Us from where ever you are from, why would you want to go to the same store in Japan? Because there are some interesting toys in there that definitely are not in my Toys R Us back home.
Besides all of the shopping, restaurants, and fun places to visit, another reason why Sunshine City is the perfect place to visit is that regardless of the weather, you can do and see all of these things completely protected from the elements! Stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and dry from the rain. What more could you want?
Luckily it’s only about a 5 minute walk once you leave from Ikebukuro station (Sunshine City exit, exit 35). There are many train lines going through Ikebukuro but no matter which one you came by, find the signs that will point you in the direction of the east exit. Once you are over on the east side, the exits will split up into which east exit you’d like to take. Find the signs for “Sunshine City exit”, head up the escalators, and continue going straight until you hit the stop light. Ahead of you, you will see a Lotteria restaurant on the left and a Café Spazio on the right. Walk down that street and right before you hit the end, on the right side you will see a sign for Sunshine City with an escalator heading down. From there you can begin your Sunshine experience.
Starting off from the B1 level you can travel the long hall either by foot or by the “people mover” escalator. At the end you will see an information desk where you can ask for printed directions mapped out for you. The floor will also have some markings per floor level that will guide you to your desired destination. The first three levels are mainly shops and restaurants; however, the indoor theme park Namja Town is conveniently located on the second floor. Namja Town is an all “in Japanese” amusement park but don’t let that scare you away. You can still buy a ticket to get access to its awesome Gyoza Stadium and Ice cream City.
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