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10 BEST THINGS TO DO AT SUNSHINE CITY TOKYO IKEBUKURO

INSIDE: 10 Epic Reasons to Visit Sunshine City Tokyo Shopping Mall with kids. 

Where in Tokyo can you find:

  • A Rooftop Aquarium AND
  • TWO Indoor Theme Parks AND
  • A Planetarium AND
  • An Observatory AND
  • A Pokemon shop AND
  • The chance to try EEL flavoured ice-cream at the best ice-cream shop in Tokyo with 51+ Japanese ice cream flavours?

You can find this AND SO MUCH MORE at our favourite family friendly shopping mall in Tokyo:

Sunshine City Tokyo Ikebukuro! 

Take a look. 

 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

PIN 1 -sunshine city tokyo 10 awesome things

What to do in Sunshine City Tokyo Shopping Mall?

Firstly, where is Sunshine City Tokyo?

Ikebukuro is just 4 stops from Shinjuku on the Yamanote line JR Tokyo Metropolitan, in the opposite direction to Shibuya and Harajuku.

Sunshine City in Ikebukuro is located just 3 minutes walk from Higashi Ikebukuro Station on the Yurakucho Metro Line.


HOT TIP: Prebook tickets to the TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum. Don’t miss out!

sunshine city tokyo ikebukuro JR train ride to town pic by hans-johnson

Image credit: Hans-Johnson via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

It takes about 27 minutes in total by train and foot from Shinjuku station to the Sunshine City building entrance.  


Hot tip: Getting around Tokyo is easiest when you have access to Wifi for Google Maps. We recommend using Wilh-ma pocket wifi for Japan. 

image - sunshine city building by boris joka

Image credit: Boris Joka

The Best Things To Do at Sunshine City, Tokyo with Kids

Sunshine City Ikebukuro shopping mall is a giant complex of five buildings.

Most of the family friendly stuff is in:

  • the World Import Mart building (the main shopping mall)
  • the Sunshine City Alpa Shopping mall building, and
  • the Sunshine 60 building.

They are all adjoined, so don’t worry if you don’t realise you’ve entered a new building!

Find a map and get oriented. 


READ MORE: Get your hands on the best way to get your bearings in Tokyo with a 24 hour hop-on hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket. 

image - snoopy town shop ikebukuro

Sunshine City Kids Shops 

Tokyo Sunshine City has SHOPS galore of course.

But also a whole bunch of kid-friendly activities!

If you are looking for the best things to to in Sunshine City Tokyo, here’s a list of the best stuff for kids in the Sunshine City complex – building by building.

This list is our pick of:

  • what’s on offer for families at Sunshine City Tokyo Japan, and also,
  • a list of the best things to do in Ikebukuro itself.

WORLD IMPORT MART BUILDING

image - sunshine city aquarium from blogger

Image credit: Katie

No.1: Ikebukuro Sunshine City Aquarium

Rumoured to be the world’s highest aquarium, the aquarium at Sunshine City is located on the 10th floor of the World Import Mart Building.

More than 20,000 fish and animals are housed here including:

  • dolphins
  • octopuses
  • eels
  • piranhas
  • sea horses
  • sea otters
  • seals
  • giant crabs, and
  • other rare and weird species of fish 

The Sunshine aquarium in Ikebukuro features popular attractions such as:

  • the “Sunshine Aqua Ring” with its view of sea lions swimming overhead, and
  • the dreamlike “Jellyfish Tunnel.”

You can also enjoy performances by sea lions and underwater divers, as well as sea otter and penguin feeding shows on Sundays and holidays.

The aquarium in Sunshine City has entry from 10am to 8pm during summer and spring.

It’s open 10am to 6pm during autumn and winter months.


BOOK NOW: Prebook your STUDIO GHIBLI MUSEUM tickets here before they sell out. 

namco namja town entrance pic

No.2: Namco Namja Town at Sunshine City Ikebukuro

Namco Namja Town Tokyo is an indoor theme park located on the 2nd  floor of the World Import Mart Building in the Sunshine City Mall Ikebukuro. 

Wander through recreations of old Japanese towns, and themed areas with parlour games and a couple of cute kids rides at Namja Town Japan.

Nam ja Town has a GIANT “gyoza” food court, Sunshine City arcade games, claw machines, a haunted house alleyway, AND a DESSERT street!

Don’t miss the Best Ice Cream Shop in Tokyo at Namja Town Ikebukuro.

There’s over 50 flavours to taste including EEL icecream. It’s as quirky as Japan gets.


READ MORE:  Namco Namja Town

pac-man game at mazaria

Image credit: Mazaria

No.3: Mazaria VR Amusement Center

Mazaria is an amusement center and Tokyo’s newest VR (Virtual Reality) hotspot in Ikebukuro Sunshine City on the 3rd Floor of World Import Mart Building.

There are four zones:

  • Festival Zone
  • Adventure Zone
  • Panic Zone
  • SF Zone

Festival Zone

Festival Zone is the place to experience the world of anime and games using your whole body.

It includes:

  • an Athletic Pacman VR challenge
  • Huge balloon explosion room panic cube
  • Drum Master VR
  • Pacman Go Round activity
  • Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix VR

Adventure Zone

Adventure Zone is home to a whole bunch of nature experiences and challenge activities set out in the world.

It includes:

  • Downhill skiing rodeo
  • Extreme courage to try the Hanachari 
  • Fishing VR challenge
  • Armoured trouper VR simulator
  • Adventure river rapids VR game

Panic Zone

Panic Zone is where you are allowed, and encouraged, to scream, and PANIC! 

Try the Dinosaur survival experience, or the extreme heights test.

Survive the Zombie apocalypse and run from the Horror Room. 

These games are not for the timid!

SF Zone

SF Zone allows you to inhabit these famous anime characters as you move about. 

  • Godzilla
  • Gundam Robot
  • Galaga Fever
  • Evangelion VR 

The VR games are designed for players to transcend the normal boundaries between the 2D and 3D world.

There’s car racing, sports games, and more. 

ghost rice at mazaria

Image credit: Mazaria Cafe 

Special Flag Cafe 

Try all the fun foods at the Special Flag Cafe including:

  • Drum Master pancakes
  • Donchan meat bun 
  • Pacman Ghost omurice dish (as pictured)
  • 14 different styles of soda cream floats
  • Godzilla sample (Smoked chicken) 
  • Slime drinks 
  • Pacman curry
  • Pacman Ghost ice cream, or Ghost drinks

Or one of these items from the limited time menu. 

  • Avocado burger
  • Cheeseburgers and Teriyaki burgers
  • Hot spicy chicken
  • Chilli beans potato fries

pacman ghost glass pic

Image credit: Mazaria Store 

Shop at the Mazaria store 

Check out the Mazaria souvenir store selling all the anime characters including:

  • Super Mario
  • Pacman – including Ghost glasses, Pacman charms, and Pacman souvenir food
  • Drum Master
  • Godzilla
  • Dragon Quest

Entry to Mazaria is 4,500 yen for adults over 13. and 2,900 yen for children 7 to 13.

Mazaria admission without games is 800 yen for adults, and 500 yen for kids 4 to 13. Children under 3 enter free.

You can buy individual tickets for single games for 1,000 each once you have the admission ticket.  

Click here for details of all pass combinations. 

Open from 10am to 10pm daily.

pokemon tokyo shop ikebukuro pic

No.5: Sunshine City Pokemon Center

The Pokemon Center Sunshine City is one of the only shops dedicated to Pokemon characters in Tokyo.

Located on 2nd floor near the entrance to Namco Namja Town, the Pokemon Center MEGA TOKYO shop is dedicated to the phenomena that is Pokemon.

Ikebukuro Pokemon center has:

  • Pokemon soft toys galore
  • Pokemon trading cards
  • Pokemon model toys, and
  • Pokemon games.

Pokemon Sunshine City is not just for die-hard fans though. 

It’s for all kids, big and small.


RELATED: A sneak peek into the Pokemon Center Sunshine City 

image - konica minolta planetarium sunshine city

No.6: The Sunshine Starlight Dome Planetarium

The Sunshine City Planetarium is located on the 10th floor of the World Import Mart Building.

The Konica Minolta Planetarium“ Manten is equipped with the digital image system SKYMAX, which gives the feeling of being right in the middle of stars.

More than 400,000 fixed stars are projected onto the dome, while special programs, like a footage on the Aurora Borealis, are shown on a rotating basis.

Movie Screenings last approximately 40 minutes. 

Book your seats early to have your pick of where you’ll watch. 

The Turf sheet is the place to lie down on a full-flat ‘grassy’ mat to watch the stars above.

The Cloud sheet is a special luxurious cloud-shaped seat that seats five, as though you are in a dream, like one of the Little Twin Stars! 

General seating is what’s left. 

NOTE: For primary school aged children and above only.

jworld sunshine city tokyo pic

No.7: J World Ikebukuro City – NOW CLOSED

J World Tokyo was a super-fun anime/manga-inspired amusement park.

The attractions here at J World Sunshine City Anime theme park were based on the most famous and popular Shonen Jump manga characters including Dragonball Z, One Piece and Naruto. 

Unfortunately, after 10 years in Ikebukuro, J World Japan has now closed. 

sunshine city tokyo alpa building with school kids by dick thomas johnson
Image credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr CC BY-2.0

SUNSHINE CITY ALPA IKEBUKURO SHOPPING MALL BUILDING

No.1: Best Shops in Ikebukuro for Kids

Head to the Alpa Shopping Mall building to find the best kids shops in Tokyo. 

These are our go-to’s. 

  • Disney Store – B1, Shop 52
  • Toys R Us – B1, Shop 57
  • Sanrio Vivitix – Alpa B1, shop 49  – For lovers of Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, and all the Sanrio gang.
  • Loft – 2nd Floor, Shop 6 – For bento and bento accessories (Take a sneak peek here)
  • Gapkids – 2nd Floor, Shop 10
  • Kakao Friends – Alpa B1
  • Kiddyland, Snoopy Town & Rilakkuma store – Alpa 2F
  • Nippon Animation Official Shop “Ani-cute” – 2nd Floor, Shop 15 near entrance to Namco Namja Town.  

(Take a sneak peek at Ani-Cute shop in Ikebukuro here.)

moomin scarves by chinnian
Image credit: Chinnian via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.2: Best Household Goods stores

  • Daiso
  • 3 Coins
  • Funlife Store
  • Loft
  • Nipopo

Download a map of the Sunshine City Japan shops guide here.

Ikebukuro tokyo city by kimon berlin

Image credit: Kimon Berlin via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

SUNSHINE 60 BUILDING

The Sunshine 60 Building is a 60-story building at one end of Sunshine City.  

Offices and shops are located on all the floors of this 240-meter-high building, topping with the Observation Deck on the 60th floor.

image - sky circus observatory sunshine city tokyo

Image credit: Sky Circus

No.1: The Sky Circus Sunshine 60 Observatory

The observatory at Sunshine 60 Tokyo reopened after a big renovation on April 21, 2016.

There’s now a 360 degree panorama of the city from the Deck, which also boasts of an open air “sky deck”.

On the days when the weather is clear, you might even spot Mt. Fuji.

The elevator that goes up to the Observation Deck is the fastest in the world and takes only thirty five seconds to complete the journey from ground level to the top. 

In addition, it is packed with playful content such as:

  • the latest VR technology, and
  • a 4D simulation so you get a whole new experience with views that stimulate the senses of sight and touch and bring surprises.

The revamped space consists of seven zones that offer countless “experiences,” like:

  • Tokyo Cannonball Flight, where a virtual video takes you zooming through Tokyo’s future sights
  • Sky Trampoline, which makes you feel like you’re floating, and
  • Infinitescape, where you take a fun stroll through a giant kaleidoscope.

Put the “panoramic experience” on your Tokyo bucket list of things to do in Tokyo with kids.

sunshine city tokyo pancake pies

WHERE TO EAT IN IKEBUKURO SUNSHINE CITY MALL TOKYO?

If you want to know where to eat in Sunshine City Tokyo, here’s a few tips.

No.1: Bakers Diner

Bakers Diner has ‘Omelet’ desserts like the ones pictured above.

Kids will LOVE these!  

Alpa building, B1- Shop 2 at Sunshine City Ikebukuro

moomin stand restaurant ikebukuro

No.2: Moomin Restaurant

The Moomin Stand can be found in the Alpa building, B1 at Stand 55.

Lunch from 500 yen, Dinner from 1000 yen. 

Open 10 to 8pm. 

Eat in or takeaway. 

 Photo Sunshine City Tokyo Ikebukuro - sunshine city pokemon center menu

No.3: Pokemon Cafe

Pikachu and Pokemon Music Cafe, Alpa Building, 1st Floor, Shop 26 (Limited time shop)

No.4: Curry House CoCo Ichibanya

You can’t go wrong at this cheap and cheerful fast food stop. 

No.5: Sunshine City Food Court

The 3rd Floor is a foodie’s delight.

Visit the 3rd Floor of the Alpa building for an entire floor of Cafe’s and Restaurants.

Try your luck!

sunshine city building kids play area pic

SUNSHINE CITY PLAY AREA FOR KIDS at ALPA

Sunshine City Ikebukuro has a new Pokemon-themed children’s play area located near the family toilets facility.

It’s for children up to 4 years old, a place of respite for weary travelling mums and dads. 

Be sure to take your shoes off before you enter this soft-play area.

There’s:

  • interactive walls
  • puzzles to play
  • screen games 
  • padded blocks, and
  • cushioning for a bit of tumble play to wear them out.

 Photo Sunshine City Tokyo Ikebukuro - sunshine city kids play area shoe hole

Shoe rack for kids

There’s even the cutest shoe rack, similar to this one. 

The Japanese’s attachment to the philosophy of ‘Everything has a Place, A Place for Everything’ makes life so much easier.

Find the play area on the second floor of Alpa (near the family toilets.) 

Open from 10am to 8pm daily. 

japanese toilet with toddler seat pic

Sunshine City Facilities for Babies & Toddlers

Sunshine City Tokyo Japan has the BEST toddler seat thingamabob we’ve ever seen in a toilet.

It’s a ‘baby rest’, a chair for the baby or toddler from 5 months to 2.5 years old.

Finally, a chance to go to the toilet in peace without the toddler opening the door on you (yep, has happened to me!), or trying to scramble under the door while you wee.

We need these mother and child toilets in every toilet around the world!

Baby Rooms

Find a baby room with diaper change table and a nursing room on:

  • Alpa B1 near Kokumin,
  • Alpa 2F in front of the Kimura coffee shop, and
  • Alpa 3F north of Hirokoji. 

There’s access to hot water to heat the milk bottles too.

stroller rental at sunshine city building tokyo

Free Stroller Rental

You can also rent a stroller for free from rental stations 

  • Behind Alpa B1 (Kua Aina) General Information Center
  • Behind Alpa B1 Hirokoji Information Center
  • Behind Alpa 1F Hirokoji Information Center 

tokyo hands sign by leon brocard
Image Credit: Leon Brocard via Flickr CC BY 2.0

NEAR SUNSHINE CITY TOKYO JAPAN

Step outside of Sunshine City Tokyo Japan onto the streets outside, and you’ll find HEAPS MORE fun things to do in Ikebukuro.

Here’s our picks of the best things to do in Ikebukuro town.

tokyu hands random products - plant straws

No.1: Tokyu Hands Sunshine City

Our favourite shop in Japan is Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro.

Tokyu Hands on the fringes of Sunshine City Ikebukuro shopping mall holds a special place in my heart as I first visited as a 15 year old.

I bought super cute salt and pepper shakers for my mum and dad that spoke the words ‘salt’ and ‘pepper’ in Japanese when you shook them upside down!

28 years later, and nothing has changed except the goods on display.

Tokyu Hands is equally as good, if not better.

what to buy at tokyu hands- stamps pic

What to buy at Tokyu Hands

There’s something for everyone at Tokyu Hands, including a giant range of stamps and stamping equipment. 

Plus: 

  • Funky and fabulous ornaments
  • The cutest Japanese Stationery supplies including watercolour pens, bullet journals, diaries, paper, and cards
  • Design Tools
  • Health & Beauty supplies
  • Kitchenware
  • Bathing & Toiletry products
  • Cleaning & Laundry gadgets
  • Home Décor items
  • Bags, Wallets, and Travel Goods
  • Rain Gear
  • Bikes and Cycling equipment
  • Variety Goods
  • Mobile Phone Accessories
  • Tools & Materials
  • Handmade Crafts
  • AND best of all, a whole floor or two of Craft Supplies! (PLUS, beautiful examples of completed crafts on display for inspiration too!)

You may even see an artistic exhibition as you walk in.

The Nekobukuro Cat Cafe House is located on the top floor!

There’s WIFI throughout the store and a passport discount too.


RELATED: Visit this Japanese souvenirs shop & buy all your traditional Japanese souvenirs in one spot! 
tokyo earthquake museum entrance pic

No.2: Tokyo Earthquake Museum (Ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Center)

Prepare for an earthquake with life safety training at the Ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Center.

Riding the Ikebukuro Earthquake Museum simulator is one of the most unique experiences you can have in Tokyo, and it’s great fun too.

While it can’t really be classed as a tourist activity, (it’s a working training facility for schools and workplaces), there are more than a handful of activities for the kids to enjoy too.


READ MORE:  Everything you need to know about the Tokyo EARTHQUAKE MUSEUM in Ikebukuro, including how to get there!

image - otome road shops 800 by muza chan

Image credit: Muza Chan – Otome Road

No.3: Otome Road, Anime Strip for Cos Players

Visit the streets around Sunshine City on a weekend to spy all the young (and not-so-young) CosPlayers who turn up in their favourite dress-up outfits.

If you want to dig a little deeper into this world of manga and anime, walk to Otome Street (translation Maiden road) for a female approach to Manga comics.

Otome road (a nickname) is home to:

  • Animate (an eight story giant of cosplay and related goods)
  • K-Books with it’s the Swallowtail butler café
  • Lashinban, and
  • a Mandarake store.

sunshine city prince hotel ikebukuro by Kata U flickr

Image credit: View from the window of Sunshine City Prince Hotel by Kata U via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

WHERE TO STAY IN IKEBUKURO WITH KIDS

Ikebukuro is an alternative place to stay in Tokyo with kids. It’s WAY less touristy and overcrowded in comparison to Shibuya or Shinjuku, but in a great central location. The Sunshine Prince Hotel Tokyo is the popular hotel in Ikebukuro for most visitors.

We’ve stayed in both the Super Hotel and the Centurion Hotel chains, and both are good, clean and central for families.

Moderate: Sunshine City Prince Hotel Tokyo

Value: Centurion Hotel Ikebukuro Station (Cabin room or deluxe twin)

Budget: Super Hotel Lohas Ikebukuro-Eki Kitaguchi (Adjoining rooms)

Sunshine city tokyo ikebukuro by luca mascaro

Image credit: Luca Mascaro via Flickr CC BY- 2.0

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Sunshine City Things to Do

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in AUD dollars, unless otherwise stated

Opened in 1978, the Sunshine City Ikebukuro complex is the oldest of Tokyo’s “city within a city”.

The Sunshine City complex consists of 5 buildings:

  • Sunshine 60
  • Bunka Kaikan
  • World Import Mart (ALTA)
  • Shopping Center “Alpa”, and
  • the Prince hotel. 

Put this shopping mall on your Japan Travel list if you want to shop where the locals shop, and find wonderful Tokyo souvenir ideas.

Address for Sunshine City Ikebukuro:  3−1−3 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku Tokyo 170-0013
Phone: 03 3989 3331
Website: Click here for english version
Opening Hours:

  • Shopping 10am to 8pm
  • Restaurants 11am to 10pm

Shopping at Sunshine City Map: 

Download the Shopping and Attractions map of Sunshine City Tokyo Japan here.

ikebukuro by dick thomas johnson via flickr
Image credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr CC BY-2.0

How to get to Sunshine City Tokyo Shopping Mall in Ikebukuro

By train:

  • 3 minutes walk from Higashi-Ikebukuro Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line). 
  • Walk toward exit 6.7, and a sign should direct you to the “Underground Passage” to Sunshine City.

By train:

  • 8 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station (JR, Tokyo Metro, Seibu Line, Tobu Line). 
  • Go to exit 35 of Ikebukuro Station. 
  • Walk down Sunshine 60 Dori
  • The underground entrance (escalator) to Sunshine City will be visible on the right-hand side next to Tokyu Hands.

By metro: 4 minutes walk from Higashi-Ikebukuro 4-Chome Station (Toden Arakawa Line)

Tokyo Ikebukuro Sunshine City Map

Save your Sunshine City Ikebukuro Map onto your phone and you can access it without wifi.

Toadstool Rating for Sunshine City Shopping Mall in Tokyo

sunshine city ikebukuro reviews

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