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Tokyo lifestyle and Ikebukuro: fashion, place to reside, and prime location

Tokyo lifestyle and Ikebukuro: fashion, place to reside, and prime location

Sarah Deschamps, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo lifestyle is extremely rich and choosing an ideal location to reside depends greatly on the demands of the individual. However, if you like the hustle and bustle of a very powerful area in Tokyo then Ikebukuro is a great choice. Also, the great thing about Ikebukuro is that the price mechanism varies accordingly and in the backstreets you will also find a more tranquil way of life.

The fashion angle of Ikebukuro is extremely powerful and this applies to department stores which include Lumine, Esola, Tobu Department Store, Seibu Department Store, Marui, Parco, and others. This means that Ikebukuro feels extremely young and vibrant in the main shopping areas of East Ikebukuro and West Ikebukuro. The central theme is the huge train station which links so many department stores.

Ikebukuro is blessed with several universities and you also have several other institutions which are nearby. This once more means that this vibrant part of Tokyo is blessed with an enormous pulling power. The same applies to Ikebukuro being the “gateway” which links Saitama with this powerful commercial area in Tokyo. Therefore, many individuals who reside in Saitama will pick Ikebukuro being their first major shopping destination in Tokyo. Similarly, many Tokyoites will also pick Ikebukuro because of the fashion angle and the vibrancy of the nightlife.

West Ikebukuro provides a different angle because it is more cosmopolitan and the abundance of fashion is amazing. This applies to utilizing the adorable Tobu Department Store which caters for amazing fashion brands, crafts, delicious food, and so much more. Also, for expats you have a fine selection of international cheese, wine, beer, and other products to make you feel like “home from home.”

Tobu Department Store also connects with Lumine Department Store in several places and both entities enrich each other. After all, both department stores have unique features and for young ladies who adore fashion then Lumine is one of the most popular department stores in Tokyo. Of course Tobu Department Store provides adorable boutiques for people of both sexes and different age groups. However, the price mechanism and nature of boutiques are different with Tobu Department Store having many exclusive boutiques and being more conservative. Meanwhile the trendy buzz and vibe of Lumine appeals greatly to younger ladies (also caters for male fashion) because this company understands the latest trends. Therefore, Lumine selects powerful shops-in-shop companies to be based in their department stores in order to meet the demands of the younger generation.

Esola is another lovely department store for ladies and Marui is also based in West Ikebukuro. Marui like Lumine is also in high demand for fashion lovers throughout Tokyo because both stores are extremely trendy. Meanwhile Esola provides a lovely elegant feel because despite have many exquisite boutiques, it isn’t too sizeable and this provides a lovely shopping experience. Also, within each department store they cater for other products and you have so many places to eat in the same buildings. This is an added bonus because people can unwind with friends and so forth by relaxing in stylish restaurants where the food is scrumptious.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space will re-open this autumn in 2012 and once the new design is on view then people will be able to relax in a stylish arena which caters to the cultural angle of Ikebukuro. Japan Traditional Craft Center in Ikebukuro is also a must place to visit for adorable Japanese crafts. This building is connected to Tobu Department Store and opposite Lumine. The Japan Traditional Craft Center provides a wealth of amazing products and this lovely shopping experience is richly rewarding.

In East Ikebukuro you have Parco Department Store and Seibu Department Store along with a host of other fashion companies in the streets of this side of Ikebukuro. Parco is another vibrant fashion zone for the younger generation meanwhile Seibu Department Store caters for a wealth of diverse products. Also, Seibu Department Store is blessed with stunning boutiques and clearly it is a great place to shop.

Also, on this side of Ikebukuro is Sunshine City which caters for shopping, entertainment, an aquarium, museums, observation deck, and hotel facilities. Sunshine City is an enormous attraction and the streets nearby provide a vibrant atmosphere. This applies to anime stores, entertainment, restaurants, nightlife, independent boutiques, and so much more.

Overall, the lifestyle of Ikebukuro is richly rewarding because this part of Tokyo provides so many options to enjoy. Not only this, the housing areas are relatively quiet and relaxing despite being very close to the buzzing central area. Ikebukuro is also very close to Shinjuku, Ueno, Shibuya, Harajuku, and other major parts of Tokyo. The price mechanism of the housing also means that this part of Tokyo is more affordable than most but of course you can also find places which are extremely expensive. Much depends on your purchasing power. Yet when it comes to being a desirable place to reside in Tokyo then Ikebukuro provides a wealth of options.


All photo images taken by Modern Tokyo Times  –  Smacky Glam  Spick and Span official blog    –  Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Japan


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Tokyo fashion: Esola in Ikebukuro is a trendy fashion store

Tokyo fashion: Esola in Ikebukuro is a trendy fashion store

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


Fashion in Ikebukuro continues to bloom and the store Esola is a very trendy place to visit.  Ikebukuro isn’t internationally famous like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya, and Shinjuku but this district in Tokyo is awash with fashion. Also, in the last few years the west side of Ikebukuro is becoming a fashion hub in its own right. Therefore, Ikebukuro is not only on “the fashion map of Tokyo” but it is increasingly becoming more assertive and fashion lovers are spoilt for choice in this vibrant district.

Of course Seibu Department Store and Tobu Department Store have been the backbone of Ikebukuro and part of the modernization process of this district. Marui and Parco also have fashion outlets in Ikebukuro and Lumine on the west side is a lovely place to visit for elegant fashion.  

At the same time you have a modern underground hub of fashion stores which were built when the Fukutoshin train line opened. Therefore, when you exit the Ikebukuro Fukutoshin train station you are directly entering into a delightful world of underground boutiques.

Immediately you will see many elegant stores catering for fashion, accessories, places to eat and you can feel the vibe of the area which is awash with shoppers. Esola is easily connected with this area and this shopping mall is within a short walk from five different train lines which have train stations in Ikebukuro.

Also, Esola is very close to Lumine and Tobu Department Store and this in itself is creating a lovely hub for fashion.  Marui is also near because it only takes a few minutes to walk between both trendy fashion stores.

In Esola you have many exquisite boutiques based in this lovely and stylish shopping mall.  This applies to Actuel, Amphi, Barbie Store, Beardsley Gallardagalante, Blue Bell Market, DouDou, Elleva, FRAMeWORK, Free’s Mart, Jolly Boutique, Muriel & Mercuria, Nuit et Jour Spick and Span, Opaque Clip, Royal Flash, and Turno Jeana.

All these fashion boutiques have created a quaint and sophisticated fashion store because the companies located in Esola have their own style and the mix is delightful. Therefore, Tokyo ladies are spoilt for choice and can enjoy the nice surroundings and layout. Also, with Esola being so close to Lumine, Tobu Department Store, and Marui, then this shopping mall mixes well because you can feel an independent spirit about Esola.

Not only this, in Esola you have quality stores catering for cosmetics, beauty care, food, furniture, and dog wear. On top of this, you can relax in café de Esola or if you want to wine and dine then you have many scrumptious restaurants to pick from. The restaurants cater for Japanese and international cuisine and the surroundings make it a very pleasurable place to eat.

Ikebukuro is fantastic for fashion and keeps on growing and with exquisite companies like Lumine, Marui, Parco, Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store, and many others, then Esola is maintaining and enhancing the quality of fashion in Ikebukuro.

Therefore, Tokyo ladies who adore fashion will certainly enjoy the elegant boutiques in Esola and this exquisite shopping mall is part of the “fashion buzz” which can be fealt in Ikebukuro. The atmosphere also suits the lovely layout because you can browse around lovely boutiques and take in the ambience of the shopping mall.

Boutiques in Esola are charming, elegant and sophisticated. Spick and Span official blog

Other Shops

All images of fashion clothes in Esola by Modern Tokyo Times

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Japan


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Tokyo fashion: Ikebukuro continues to bloom

Tokyo fashion: Ikebukuro continues to bloom

Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ikebukuro is one of the busiest stations in Tokyo and this prime location is also the gateway to this ultra-modern city for people travelling from Saitama. Ikebukuro in recent years is developing the fashion sector on the West side and this applies to near the train station and within the train station complex.  Also, the Fukutoshin train line created a fresh hub within the train station and you have lovely boutiques and places to relax.

The East side of Ikebukuro is where the majority of shops are located but the West side is continuing to bloom and clearly Ikebukuro is growing in stature. Therefore, more fashion companies desire to either open-up a new branch or to develop existing space in order to expand.

American Eagle Outfitters will open their first store in the environment of Harajuku and Omotesando next spring in 2012. This will shortly be followed by the opening up of their second store in Ikebukuro and this shows you the pulling power of this part of Tokyo. 

The new store will have three floors of fashion in order to attract the fashion conscious and the international aspect is an added dimension.  American Eagle Outfitters have clearly done their homework because Ikebukuro is a thriving fashion district in Tokyo and redevelopment projects are in the pipeline to further enhance the area.

Uniqlo also understands the reality of fashion in Ikebukuro and the future potential of this vibrant district is obvious.  Therefore, Uniqlo will expand their presence in Ikebukuro and this applies to occupying two floors in Tobu Department Store.

Also, the location of Tobu Department Store is ideal because it is next to Lumine which is a buzzing shopping complex. This applies to elegant and stylish boutiques in Lumine. Tobu Department Store is also famous and you have several places to sit down and enjoy a nice coffee or meal within Lumine and Tobu Department Store.

Marui and Parco are also based in Ikebukuro and these trendy stores enhance the fashion angle in Ikebukuro. Lumine, Tobu Department Store, Seibu Department Store, Esola, and Sunshine City attract vast numbers and you have many other fashion companies located in this buzzing district.

Lumine and Esola are certainly a must for fashion lovers because you have lovely boutiques on many floors in both stores.  Also, you have quaint boutiques where the Fukutoshin line is located on the West side and the area is growing from strength to strength.

In a past article about Ikebukuro I stated that “…the youthfulness of culture can be felt and you have many universities in and around Ikebukuro.  However, Tobu and Seibu attract people from all age groups and the beauty of Ikebukuro is its simplicity.”

“Fashion is certainly thriving in Ikebukuro and the Lumine store is one of my favourite fashion stores in Tokyo because it is energetic, vibrant, refreshing and the color schemes, fabrics, styles, and other aspects of so many companies within Lumine, means that it is a pleasure to visit.”

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space is still under renovation but it is scheduled to open in the later part of 2012 and this will boost the area once more because it is a nice place to relax.

Ikebukuro is also good for anime and cosplay and you also have butler cafes. This adds to the variety of fashion and culture within the environment of Ikebukuro and you also have many Chinese businesses.

Big Camera, Yamada Denki and Tokyu Hands add a different dimension.  Therefore, if you love shopping then you can “shop till you drop” in Ikebukuro because the choice is varied and growing.


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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Japan


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Smacky Glam in Ikebukuro: elegant fashion, creative and stunning colors

Smacky Glam in Ikebukuro: elegant fashion, creative and stunning colors

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times – image from Smacky Glam

Ikebukuro a few years ago appeared to be sleeping on the west side but in the last six months it is clear that fashion is springing up in abundance.  This applies to Lumine where you have so many high quality boutiques which compliment the stunning décor.

Also, in Ikebukuro on the west side you have an abundance of new shops near the Fukutoshin train station and with so many universities based in or around Ikebukuro then you have a strong youthful outlook.

At the same time traditional companies like Tobu Store and Seibu Department Store adds to the ambience and quality of Ikebukuro.

Turning back to Lumine it is abundantly clear that you will find an abundance of high quality fashion stores and alongside this you will have other types of companies which cater for the finer things in life.

One exceptional store which takes the eye immediately is Smacky Glam because the fashion is graceful, creative, ultra-modern, and the fabrics are high class. 

Smacky Glam – Modern Tokyo Times image

Added to this is the stunning and vibrant colors on offer and female fashion not only comes alive, it even appeals to lay people because Smacky Glam is based on a fabulous back drop.

The high quality fabric, adorable color collections, quality fashion, and exquisite décor all adds to an amazing shopping experience where space and fashion is fused to create an atmosphere of ambience amidst exquisite fashion.

Ikebukuro is a gateway for people who reside in Saitama and Lumine is a gateway for fashion. Also, within Lumine you have companies with panache, style, grace, and quality; and these words of high esteem certainly applies to Smacky Glam.

Tokyoites, tourists, business ladies passing through Tokyo and people from Saitama and further afield who pass through Ikebukuro; must visit Lumine and grasp the fashion on offer and the same applies to visiting companies like Smacky Glam.

Ikebukuro is waking up once more and companies like Smacky Glam are putting this city on the map for fashion in Tokyo.

If you have the opportunity to visit Ikebukuro then take time out and visit the bountiful boutiques on offer on the west side of Ikebukuro which are based within the train station.

For a special treat, then a visit to Smacky Glam is a must! –  Smacky Glam   –  Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd) (please   visit)

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Japan


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