Free Wifi: Yes
Location: 35°44’05.39″ N 139°42’27.83″ E
Worth it? A must-see.
Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Also see our Ikebukuro Superguide.
While the town of Ikebukuro in west Tokyo is interesting in its own right, many people don’t know there is a vast + interesting underground area below the city.
Most of it is shopping, of course, including the mixed-use Sunshine City at the east end.
But there are loads of other goodies to be discovered beneath the streets – including the ISP and Echika centers. On the west side of the station is a street entrance to TOBU Hope Center – an oddly named shopping area underneath the station which extends southwest into the basement of the TOBU department store (depato, in Japanese).
ISP does have an English website.
One can spend hours under here roaming around, so next time you’re in Ikebukuro, check it out.
At the very east end of the town is the oddly named Sunshine 60– the tallest building in Ikebukuro, but underneath, to the east of the actual building is an an underground shopping mall called Sunshine City. The place is vast and you can walk around for hours and not see it all. The entrance is just on the east end of Sunshine 60 Street, on the south side of the street.
As a historical footnote, at the end of World War 2, Imperial Japanese Army General Hideki Tojo was executed at the site where Sunshine 60 now stands. The building is said to be haunted by many Tokyoites, and several Japanese have committed suicide by jumping from its rooftop.
It turns out the ISP complex is especially vast. There are 3 entrances: 2 on the east side of the station just outside, and 1 inside before the east exits. The complex extends all over the east side of the station below street level. There’s a floor guide.
The ISP entrance inside JR Ikebukuro Station.
ISP entrance across from JR Ikebukuro Station. The large Bic Camera is straight ahead.
TOBU Hope Center
TOBU Hope Center extends below the west side and under the central part of the station. There are 2 entrances: one just outside the west exit (directly across from the JR Service Center), and one inside the station. While not as upscale or elegant as Sunshine City or ISP, it’s still worth a look.
There is also a separate food basement (depachika) in TOBU which is quite good.
There are also a lot of coin lockers near the underground entrances to Hope Center.
ECHIKA Ikebukuro + Esola
Perhaps the best + most upscale of the underground supermalls in Ikebukuro is ECHIKA Ikebukuro – another vast and upscale mall. There is a long food court tunnel which has endless smaller food shops as well as a larger mall area. Definitely check this one out.
Food seller under Ikebukuro Station.
West side of JR Ikebukuro Station. The TOBU Hope Center entrance is on the right.
East side of SEIBU Ikebukuro Station.
There is also a complete 3rd-party Ikebukuro Guide site.
Another quick tip is if you find Ikebukuro Station crowded, you can go downstairs below the normal station level and walk underground in nearly empty tunnels, all of which have signs for platforms + station exits. There’s almost never anyone in the tunnels.
If you’re ever in Ikebukuro, be sure to drop below street level and check out a whole hidden world full of delights.