I’m still a day late…but better late than never!
Today we decided to explore the east side of Ikebukuro. Monkey had want to go to Animate, a mega-complex dedicated to everything anime and I wanted to see what it was like ‘over there.’
We left the hotel after rush hour so as not to be caught in the sea of people rushing to work. Instead of taking the long way around the station, we went through. It was so much easier….and FASTER! It took maybe all of five minutes to walk from our hotel to the east side of Seibu! Once we were out on Meiji Dori, it didn’t take long at all to figure out which way to go. We found Sunshine City with no problem but didn’t know where to go to get to Namja Town…our first stop.
After asking directions and getting re-acquainted with the map we finally found Namja Town, had our tickets and were putting our coats into a locker!
Namja Town is the Asian version of Wizard’s Quest in the Wisconsin Dells. We didn’t get the passport so I think we missed out of a lot…but then again, everything is in Japanese so we wouldn’t have been able to understand it anyways LOL
The first stop inside Namja Town was the ice cream area. Monkey had a the Love Bear ice cream cone and I had the Diabolic Lovers ice cream cone. OMG….it was heaven! Monkey’s had green tea and chocolate ice cream with a cute little bear face made with whipped cream, formed chocolate pieces and a chocolate cookie. Mine had chocolate and sesame seed ice cream and raspberry sorbet with whipped cream and formed chocolate pieces….heaven!
Next we walked around for a bit, actually we sort of got lost as it’s really a maze in there. The maps don’t help at all but it was fun looking at all the crazy stuff and then stumbling into Dessert Town. Ah, Dessert Town! The cutest little cakes were found at a little stand…so Monkey and I shared one. (this was definitely not a diet day!)
As Monkey was eating the cake, I ventured into the restroom. There were three big mirrors in a row over the sinks. The middle mirror had a hidden movie screen built into it…which was definitely mesmerizing. Of course, I had not idea what it was saying, but it was definitely awesome.
Once the cake was fully consumed we were back on our way. Soon we stumbled onto the haunted area. It was extremely tame…but then again it was meant for kids. There was one area where you opened a door and watched this guy just sitting there ‘talking’. At one point his head flies off his body toward the viewers….that made me jump! It was awesome though. Monkey really wanted to go through the haunted house, so away we went. Nothing was overly scary and nothing made me jump but it was really cute for the kids. Monkey was a little freaked out but went through it like a trooper!
Eventually we found our way back to the main level but were too tired and full to go through the gyoza area LOL The gift shop wasn’t all that interesting. Oh…and large part of the dessert/ice cream area was devoted to One Piece (an anime/manga – with a full length movie that just came out.)
We finally had our fill of Namja Town and were on our way to the Aquarium on the 10th floor of Sunshine City. The aquarium was all that an aquarium should be. There were fish, otters, a shark, a HUGE sting ray, penguins, a lemur, two armadillos, peli….armadillos? Yes…armadillos…and they were adorable!!!. And there were pelicans too.
Finally done with Sunshine City, we ventured back out of the building and onto the street…not where we came in. Yes…we got lost. However, in the process we did find K Books and a few other book stores. Finally we found our way to Animate!
Monkey was in awe and Mom was exhausted. After buying a few little items on the first floor we decided to go to the 7th floor and work our way down. But Mom was tired and could walk around anymore so this really awesome employee led her to the staff only floor. He hung out with her while Monkey and I shopped. Mom had a blast talking to him – his English was impeccable and had traveled around the world. She learned a lot about him and I’m sure he learned a lot about us lol. While Mom was jabbering away with her new friend, Monkey and I were adventuring through Animate. We found some more presents before retrieving Mom.
Having enough of the east side, we headed back to our side of town. Dinner was bought from Tobu and Lawsons – our two new favorite food areas. Once dinner was done…we passed out again!