Japan’s Massive Depato Food Courts

Japan is not only the capital of fashion – it’s the capital of food. There’s so much food in this town you can eat yourself silly.

By far the biggest food vendors are the huge Japanese depato stores and their huge food courts.

Usually in the basements of these stores, these food courts can take up and entire block and have every imaginable kind of food you can think of. Desserts are especially plentiful and good.

The kings of them all – IOHO – are the food court basements in SEIBU and TOBU departos in Ikebukuro. Come here to feast your eyes + pallete on every conceivable kind of food you can imagine.

Some of them are even in train stations (see below).

Seemingly endless food court in SEIBU Ikebukuro’s basement.

TOBU Ikebukuro also has a rooftop floor food court + huge shop.

PARCO @ the north end of Ikebukuro Station is a close 3rd.

LINKS

Tokyo Dome City – Part II: Enjoy Tokyo Dome City

Now that you’ve got your bike parked (or took the train and walked) it’s time to head to Tokyo Dome City. From the bike park mentioned in Part I, head south on foot, and at the next light hang a left. This puts you onto a sidewalk which has an entrance to the Tokyo Dome City courtyard.

Shops (the LaQua area) are on the right, including a great nana’s green tea on the 2nd floor on your left, and the ticket booth in a few yards ahead on the right. There’s also a Baskin Robbins nearby as well as a host of other shops. nana’s green tea is known for their huge matcha green tea sundaes.

You can buy an individual attraction ticket, or a pass for around $40. There’s a roller coaster, ferris wheel, and water ride. After purchasing your ticket(s), keep heading south for the stairs or elevator to the rides. Some are up on the 4th + 5th floors.

You can walk the shopping + food levels before or after the rides. Most of them are on the left.

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Shopping + food levels.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

nana’s green tea is on the 2nd floor.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

The Big O ferris wheel is on the 5th floor.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

After you’ve enjoyed the rides + shops, head further south on the 2nd flood and you’ll come to Tokyo Dome Stadium. There are more shops + food here, including a brand new Shake Shack burger place. There’s also a ballaprk store.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Tokyo Dome Hotel is right across the street.

Keep walking, and eventually you’ll come to an overpass walkway. There’s a Denny’s and even a First Cabin capsule hotel, shown on the right below.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Look to your left on the walkway and you’ll see the MeetsPort shopping mall.

This is where things get interesting. If you exit the walkway down to the street, you’ll see Suidobashi Station right in front of you. Walk past it, then hang a left onto Suidobashi Blvd.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

This gets more into the business district, but there are endless restaurants + shops on Suidobashi Blvd. as well.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

There’s also a small coin locker behind the station where you can stash your stuff – if you can find a empty one.

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The side streets and the alleyways.

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There are endless fascinating restaurants such as Cheese Meets Meat on Suidobashi Blvd.

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There’s also the ubiquitous MOS Burger a few blocks down.

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You can easily walk 5 miles down Suidobashi Blvd. and not get bored.

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Also – behind Suidobashi Station there is another massive hidden bike parking area.

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Circle back to Suidobashi Station and your journey is complete – well, almost.

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Climb up onto the pedestrian walkway next to Suidobashi Station for a bird’s eye view. Including another great restaurant: No Noodles, No Life.

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One last stop you may want to make on your way home: another mega Don Quijote discount store right across the street to the northeast of Tokyo Dome City.

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Tokyo Dome City from the southeast. The Hub British pub is shown on the corner.

LINKS

https://whereintokyo.com/venues/25352.html

VIDS

Tokyo Drew has a few nice vids on the Tokyo Dome area:

Tokyo Dome City – Part 1: Itabashi to Tokyo Dome: on Bike

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Tokyo Dome City is a big sports + entertainment complex right in the heart of Tokyo. There’s a huge stadium for baseball, but also a rollercoaster, ferris wheel, and multi-level food and shopping.

Right across the street is MeetsPort – another shopping area. The streets around the area are lined with great restaurants and shops.

Suidobashi Station is the closest Metro Subway stop right across the street.

But in this article, we’re going to cycle to Tokyo Dome City from north Tokyo in Itabashi.

It turns out this is fairly easy – given a few caveats.

The main avenue that runs from Itabashi to Tokyo Dome City is called Hakusan-Dori. You can cruise all the way from northwest Tokyo down to Tokyo Dome and beyond on this one street. In fact, if you pass Tokyo Dome City heading east, you can take Hakusan-Dori all the way to the Imeperial Palace and Maruonuchi.

So, in photos we’ll show you roughly how to get there.

From Itabashi Station, head north a few blocks onto Hakusan-Dori Ave. South. Use the sidewalks, or brave the traffic until you pass Sugamo, and Sugamo Station.

(As a side note, if you plan to come back this same way, note that as you pass Sugamo Station heading back north, you’ll come upon Jizo-Dori Shopping Street on the left. This is a must-see area, especially at dusk. Loads of great food and shops to explore. See our other post on Jizo-Dori Street).

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Hakusan-Dori Ave. heading south from Itabashi.

You’ll pass a covered shopping area on the sidewalk, then pass Sugamo Stations. There are both JR and Toei Subway stations here. There’s also a Beck’s Coffee just after the stations if you want to take a break. There’s also a great APA Hotel, shown below:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

JR Sugamo Station

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Toei Subway Station.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

JR Sugamo Station looking north at night. Beck’s Coffee is on the right.

Keep cruising for several miles. You’ll pass charming side streets, and a huge Mizuho Bank, which is, by chance, one block north of the world HQ of Pioneer Corporation, shown below.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

The large white bldg. to the southeast is the world HQ of Pioneer Corp.

As the Fig Newton Man used to say in the 1970’s: here’s the tricky part:

Hakusan-Dori splits shortly up ahead. The old street veers to the left and you don’t want to miss the split to the right, or you’ll be taken well out of your way. The split is shown below and when you come to it, cross at the light shown, then veer back left into a brand new bike lane:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Japan’s few bike lanes were designed to have a row of parking spaces to the right for deliveries to park in but lots of trucks just ignore them and park in the bike lane itself anyway – making it even more dangerous. Be extremely careful when passing vehicles parked in the bike lane. It’s easy for traffic not to see you since you’ll be where they don’t expect you to be – in the parking spaces to the right!

Keep cruising and shortly you’ll come to Bunkyo Civic Center. You can either turn right here, or go 1-2 more blocks + turn down the side alley next to the 1st Tokyo Dome City bldg (the big pink one on the right). In either case, your goal is to scope out the huge bike parking lot behind Bunkyo Civic Center. As a short side trip after parking your bike you might want to go check out the huge observation deck atop the city hall, shown below:

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Bunkyo Civic Center. Its spectacular observatory on top is free – and is one of the best views in Tokyo..

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Either turn right here, or 2 blocks up on the right before the first Tokyo Dome City bldg.

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This is what we’re after – the massive bike parking lot behind Bunkyo City Hall. Cruise to the right for the large parking area – just behind the civic center. To the left of the bike parking lot is Korakuen Station (M22) on the Metro Maronuchi Subway Line.

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On most days – unless you arrive before dawn – the bike lot will most likely be full. In that case, just park your bike in the lot and put a lock on it. As with most places in Japan, the bike parking isn’t strictly enforced in the short-term. Just don’t leave your bike there overnight or for a few days – or else it might get towed. A Gorin Lock + bike lock will keep it safe. You generally don’t need to worry about bike theft in Japan.

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Our $200 Chinese special parked in the lot – along with dozens of other bikes just sitting there, many without locks. Bike parking in the short-term isn’t strictly enforced in Japan.

Now on to Part II of our article.

Check out our Tokyo Dome timelapse vids on our YouTube channel:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

LINKS

https://www.scycle.jp/contents/tour01ridewalk.php?dtid=08001&pkid=09003

VIDS

The pub that Tokyo Drew frequents is just at the northwest corner of Tokyo Dome City on Hakusan-Dori Ave. A great restaurant + bar: