Japan Train Stations: Tokyo Ikebukuro Station 池袋駅
Ikebukuro Station is located in the Ikebukuro commercial and entertainment district in Toshima ward, north-west of central Tokyo.
Ikebukuro is the second busiest station in Tokyo (and the world) after Shinjuku Station with over 2.7 million people passing through on an average weekday, many of whom are commuters to and from Saitama Prefecture.
Ikebukuro Station also connects with the JR Yamanote Line, the Saikyo Line with trains to Omiya Station in Saitama Prefecture and Osaki via Shibuya and Shinjuku stations, the Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Ofuna and the Marunouchi, Yurakucho and Fukutoshin lines of the Tokyo subway system.
The next station heading clockwise on the Yamanote Line to Ikebukuro Station is Otsuka; heading anti-clockwise is Mejiro.
Ikebukuro Station was first opened in 1903, making it one of the oldest stations in the Tokyo metropolis.
Ikebukuro Station is also an important bus terminus for buses to various destinations in the Kanto region as well as a local 王33甲 Toei bus to Nishiarai Station, Toei bus 草63 to Asakusa and Kaminarimon 1-chome and 池86 bus to Shibuya Station.
Chikuma in a joint operation with Seibu operates buses to Karuizawa from the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station. Presently the fare is 2,600 yen for an adult single; 1,300 yen for a child.
There are also buses from Ikebukuro Station West Exit to Haneda Airport at regular intervals beginning at 4.25am until the last bus at 10.15pm. Journey time from Ikebukuro Station to Haneda Airport is 50 minutes.
Other highway bus destinations from Ikebukuro in the Kanto, Shinshu and Koshin regions include Niigata, Nagaoka, Joetsu, Kawaguchiko for the Mount Fuji area, Komoro, Ueda and Bessho Onsen in Nagano Prefecture and Nagano city.
Seibu Group buses from Ikebukuro Station also go west to Toba in Mie Prefecture, Otsu in Shiga Prefecture and Kyoto (overnight), Osaka JR Station and Universal Studios Japan (USJ), Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture and Katsuura Onsen in the Kii Peninsula.
Regular bus also run to Hakone.
Ikebukuro is a major commercial area in Tokyo. Both Seibu (Tel: 03 3981 0111) and Tobu (Tel: 03 3981 2211) operate huge department stores at their respective exits at the station, Seibu near the East Exit and Tobu at the West Exit.
Both department stores have incredible basement food halls (depachika) and a wide range of restaurants to choose from. Seibu department store has an art and craft exhibition space on its 6th floor called Art Forum and, not to be outdone, the Tobu department store has the Bijutsu Garo art gallery on its 6th floor.
Other nearby shopping centers include Bic Camera, Metropolitan Plaza, Mitsukoshi, the 60-story Sunshine City, and Parco.
Sunshine City has a museum, the Ancient Orient Museum (Tel: 03 3989 3491) on its 7th floor, an observation deck on the 60th floor, the Sunshine Planetarium (Tel: 03 3989 3475) on the 10th floor and the Sunshine International Aquarium (Tel: 03 3989 3466) also on the 10th floor.
Read a full Ikebukuro guide.