Mori Construction is planning a new tower in Toranomon which will become Japan’s tallest.
Name: Q Plaza
Location 35°43’52.29″ N 139°43’01.10″ E
Just 3 blocks from JR Ikebukuro Station‘s east exit is a new and popular shopping mall called Q Plaza.
This is the new trendy spot in Ikebukuro.
To get here, exit the station’s east exit, cross the street, and at the end of the crosswalk, take the street entrance on the left straight ahead.
Walk about 3 blocks, and Q Plaza will be on your left on a corner.
There’s an entire CAPCOM-themed floor here, as well as lots of cafés, restaurants, stores, and other stuff to see.
Side street next to Q Plaza.
There’s also an IMAX theater, a Tully’s Coffee with charge outlets, and a 7-11. There’s another café called Lamb + Peace (hey, it’s Japan), shown above.
Definitely worth a look.
As a footnote, Tokyu Hands Depato is just 1 block to the south, and the Sunshine City complex is just a few blocks to the southwest across the street.
Be patient – the photos may take a while to load.
Location: 35°44’45.85″ N 139°43’03.77″ E
The West Side, Foot Paths, and Don Quijote
The west side of Itabashi is a long 2-lane highway running north to east. Head south from here and you’ll end up in Ikebukuro.
If you head out to the west side of Itabashi you can get a nice neighborhood walk through residential backstreets, and along a nice brick footpath which will lead you out to a major 2-lane highway which leads south to Ikebukuro.
To get here from the west side square, follow the way we describe in Part 2 to the Yorkmart grocery, head south, cross the train tracks, and make an immediate right down the first street on your right:
On the right side of this street is a long footpath which winds for several blocks, and then turns left:
As you come to the end of this first part, be on the lookout for a turn to the left in the path shown here:
You’ll pass this apartment complex, and the now-abandoned Ruhe Coffee Shop:
On the way, you’ll also cross many side streets such as this:
And more small houses such as this:
As you pass this chomé sign, you’ll know you’re getting close:
As you come to this part of the path, with lots of trees, you’re getting near the end. At the end of the path, there will be a big red Eneos gas station sign on the right. At this point, turn left.
Along the way you’ll see many stop signs, which in Japan are red triangles:
As you turn left, Don Quijote discount store will be on your left. There is also a nice bicycle shop and golf shop right next to it:
Don Quijote discount store in Itabashi – look for the crazed penguin.
The madness that is Don Quijote.
In Don Quijote, you can even get a Press Sand Maker for a mere $15 USD.
Past Don Quijote, if you follow this highway and head south, you will arrive in Ikebukuro. But be careful – it’s very easy to get lost on backstreets and wind up on the other side of town in no time.
Well, that’s it for this 3-part guide to Itabashi. We hope you’ve found this guide useful – and we hope you will enjoy your trip to Itabashi.
The Edo-Tokyo museum is a huge historical museum located just outside the JR Ryogoku Station. This museum is a must-see in Tokyo. It’s scale is staggering. This massive museum contains an entire Edo-period village, exhibits, and even real personal effects of the late Emperor Meiji from the 1860’s. It’s easy to get to by JR train – get off at the Ryogoku Station and head north. It’s just a block or two.
Entrance fee is $6, but well worth it. If you’re on bike, there is also a nice, free bike parking lot towards the back:
Head up the stairs near the read of the bldg, and left to the ticket counter.
After you buy a ticket in the massive concrete courtyard, head up the massive escalator on the right.
Inside the museum, there is a full-scale bridge, and an entire Edo-period village.
This isn’t a model – this is full scale and those are real people.
There are also dioramas……
A 15th century samurai armor.
19th Century Typewriter
Emperor Meiji’s personal ship artifacts.
Meiji Era paintings, created around the time of his death.
There’s also an old auto museum.
1960’s Japanese apartment.
Early Toshiba applicances, which are considered national treasures.
There is also a World War 2 museum – including the original Instrument of Surrender.
This museum is well worth its $6 admission fee, and is a must-see. Be sure not to miss it.
On your way out, be sure to check out Garden + Pizza on the backstreets behind the museum:
A very cool site with lots of maps of Tokyo.
A great little site about the 7 best parks in E Tokyo.
Japan is crazy about vending machines.
Many models are shown below.
These contain mostly drinks, but in some areas hot + cold meals, and even T-shirts or electronics.
Drinks range from 100¥ – 200¥ and many of them are quite good, such as BOSS Coffee, shown below, CC Lemon, and lots of teas. Some also feature the usual western soft drinks – although most western soft drinks are not as popular in Japan as they are in the west.
You will find these machines on virtually every corner or shopping complex. Some take only coins, some take bills also, and newer ones also aceept the Japaneese train system’s IC card – Suica. The light green machine in the photo in the lower right corner below is one such Suica machine at a train station. To pay for a drink using Suica, just slap your Suica card on the IC card reader and you’re good to go.
If you have an NFC-F enabled smart phone, and have loaded a Suica app onto it, you can also trigger the machine’s Suica reader simply by holding your phone up to it. Note that some western phones won’t work with Suica readers since they use NFC and not the Japanese-specific NFC-J standard. If you use an iPhone you’ll need an iPhone 8 or later and the Suica app to use Suica on the readers. You can also use an Apple Watch Series 3 or later on the readers if your phone has Suica added to Apple Wallet, and Bluetooth is enabled on your Apple Watch.
In some stations there are new electronic models which don’t show the bottles themselves, but only an LCD image of them.
To use them, put your money in the top, select the small black button under the drink you want, and the drink will come out the slot at the bottom.
On a hot summer day, these are life-savers: if you’re walking a lot, you’ll also be sweating profusely and will dehydrate very quickly.
Sometimes you’ll find mega-banks of them in a row – 4-10 machines all lined up.
Suica-enabled vending machine in green, lower right. The IC card reader is the small oval in the center.
Suica-enabled vending machine at the Narita International Aiport waiting lobby.
A Good Vending/Happy Price machine, also in Itabashi. Note all drinks are 100¥ (approx. $1 USD).
Vending machine bank on a corner in Toranomon.
Modern all-electronic “acure” model at Ueno Station. Also note the small recycling slots on the right.