One stop shop for fun: Ikebukuro Sunshine City
You’ve made it to Tokyo and you have an endless list of things you want to do. It’s never ending and that’s the beauty of it, there’s just so much to do just in Tokyo, you can never quite complete all of it even if you stay here for months!
We all also know that sometimes things never go quite as you had planned. Sometimes the train system has something go tragically wrong and you can’t make it to your destination. Other times the weather just won’t cooperate and if your activity is outdoors there’s no way you want to get drenched. So for the day that the weather doesn’t want to cooperate why not go to Sunshine City in Ikebukuro?
Getting to Sunshine City
Sunshine City is a huge complex in the middle of Ikebukuro. If you’re just walking around you would just think it’s another huge business skyscraper, but it’s a lot more than that.
Sunshine City is made up of Sunshine City Prince Hotel, two huge shopping malls alpha and ALTA, the World Import Mart, Namjatown a theme park, and Sunshine 60 a business tower and an observation deck. To get there from Shinjuku, all you have to do is get on the Yamanote towards Ikebukuro and Ueno and not Shibuya.
You’ll get off on the 4th stop and you’ll be at Ikebukuro! The Ikebukuro station can be really overwhelming but don’t worry. Follow the signs that lead you out to Sunshine City and if you don’t see that, go out the west exit and then out exit 35 to head towards Sunshine City. After you make it out if you walk straight and make your first left onto Sunshine Dori you’ll see Sunshine City next to Tokyu Hands.
First stop, shopping!
If you thought that the train station was a lot to take in, you’re in for a treat, Sunshine City is even more so!
When you first walk in you’ll have no idea where to go, so just keep walking until you find something that’ll interest you. There are several information booths throughout the building so if you get lost, confused, or have a specific place you’re looking for you could ask them.
You could also ask them for a guide for the whole place so you can navigate on your own Don’t worry, they have an English version. The basement and the first few floors are flooded with shops. So if you’re in for new clothes, shoes, accessories, cooking supplies, art supplies, anything you want really, you’ll be able to find some good deals here!
History and nature
If you’re in search for something other than shopping, don’t worry there’s still plenty to do. On the seventh floor is the Ancient Orient Museum. Here the admission fee is ¥600 ($4.97), ¥500 ($4.15) for students, and ¥200 ($1.66) for children. They also have a special exhibit that change every few months.
If you aren’t into museums and would rather see some sea creatures instead try going to the rooftop of the World Import Market and check out the Sunshine Aquarium. Filled with an otter pool, a beautiful garden that includes with a sandy beach for the seals, a penguin beach, a nice cafe, and a lot more to see you won’t run out of things to see at the aquarium. Admission fees are ¥2,000 ($16.56) for adults, ¥1,000 ($8.28) for students, and ¥700 ($5.80) for children and ¥1,700 ($14.08) for seniors.
Gyoza and Ice cream
Don’t like museums or aquariums? There are still plenty of things to do!
There is a theater in the same building but on the fourth floor of the museum. This theater features a variety of local and international shows so look up what might be going on when you go. If you’re in more of a playful mood go to Namjatown on the second floor of the building with the aquarium. Just for the admissions fee into the theme park is ¥500 ($4.15) for adults and ¥300 ($2.48) for children. There are also other packages you can pay for to be able to visit the attractions inside.
Other than the attractions there is a section with several (potstickers) shops and another section with a variety of ice cream shops. Here you’ll be able to try interesting potsticker and ice cream flavors. My boyfriend and I tried potato, coal, indian curry, and wasabi ice cream last time we went. I can’t say that they were all delicious but I’m glad we tried them!
Sunshine 60 observatory
Before you leave make sure you head to the top of Sunshine 60 and check the observatory out! You’ll get a full view of Tokyo!
This view is beautiful in any season and at any time, but it’s currently under remodeling so it won’t reopen until Spring 2016. If you’re there before Spring 2016 and won’t get the chance to check out the observatory, don’t worry there are still the Sky restaurants on the 58th and 59th floors. Here you’ll be able to get a great view of Tokyo and enjoy a variety of delicious foods!
Whatever you’re interested in, Sunshine City is bound to have something that you like! So whatever the occasion is, come check out Sunshine City on a rainy day, or not!