Ikebukuro is located in Toshima Ward about 4km north of Shinjuku. For high-school and university students living in the neighboring prefecture of Saitama, it is also the first major commercial center before Shinjuku and Shibuya. Because of this chain restaurants and cheap eateries are aplenty.
Ikebukuro is also a good area for shopping and discount-hunting, and many of the major department chains (Seibu, Tobu, Marui) have a store near the station. While it may not be able to compete with its bigger siblings Shinjuku and Shibuya for neon lights and cachet, it does nevertheless offer visitors several attractions, including one of the best observation decks in the capital.
Things to Do
A small private museum in Ikebukuro specializing in artifacts of the ancient Near East and Central Asia. Opened in 1978 it was the first such museum in Japan. Check the website for the latest exhibition details.
An indoor amusement park that is a good choice for those with children. There are 13 attractions in total, a Showa era street replicating 1950s Tokyo, Namja Gyoza Stadium which serves the different types of gyoza found throughout Japan, and Ice Cream City which sells just about any variety of the stuff you can imagine.