The Olympics has finished and the state of emergency is still with us, yet this hasn’t dampened Ikebukuro’s spirit. There are some great dining options and places to see in the region despite the pandemic. Here’s a round-up of all of the latest from Ikebukuro and its surroundings.
Food & Drink
The recent rise in the number of cases across the Greater Tokyo area has meant a reinforcement of the state of emergency rules. This means that restaurants can’t serve alcohol and must close at 8pm. However, this hasn’t stopped new dining options from opening and even thriving despite the current conditions.
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Tomiyama Curry — A New and Refreshing Take on an Old Classic
The neighborhoods adjacent to the glittering lights of Ikebukuro are often overlooked by diners. But overlooking them means missing out on some great cuisine. Tomiyama Curry is the newest addition to the Otsuka neighborhood’s growing dining scene. This hip spot is a superb take on Japanese curry using a delicious base of different vegetables. They offer in-store counter seating, with takeaway and delivery options available.
Check out their website for more information.
Where: 1-55-1 Minami Otsuka, Toshima-ku
Pho Ga 48 Ha Noi — A Newcomer to the Vietnamese Food Scene
Just a short stroll around the corner from Tomiyama Curry, you’ll find one of the area’s newest and most authentic Vietnamese restaurants. The neighborhood of Otsuka is home to a sizable Vietnamese community and Pho Ga 48 Ha Noi finds itself amongst good company with the other Vietnamese restaurants. The interior has been decorated with hand-painted murals depicting street life in Hanoi and, with the restaurant being run by a family hailing from the same region, the food certainly has the authenticity to match. All of the dishes are delicious but the pho with marinated pork is extremely popular.
Check out their Facebook page for more information.
Where: 3-53-3 Minami Otsuka, Toshima-ku
— 【公式】スーパー戦隊レストラン (@S_Sentai_Rest) July 22, 2021
A Power Rangers-themed Restaurant
As a child of the 90s, the idea of one day being able to eat in a restaurant surrounded by all things Power Rangers would have been an absolute dream come true. Now, as a man in his 30s, the dream may not have quite the same appeal, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. But I have found Power Rangers still has some sway over me.
The Super Sentai (the Japanese name for Power Rangers) restaurant has opened in Ikebukuro and somehow answered my childhood dreams. It offers diners the chance to sample a variety of different Japanese staples while gazing at the Power Rangers memorabilia. After admiring everything from little figurines to full Power Rangers outfits, all fans will go home with at least one free magnet.
Where: 1-21-9 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Cacao Kobo Café
Almost hidden in a residential street in Kami-Ikebukuro, Cacao Kobo Café is a true passion project. It’s an artisanal cafe and chocolatier whose mission is to provide exquisite chocolate products whilst also considering sustainability by creating their products naturally from single-source cacao farmers. I considered myself pretty experienced when it came to chocolate tasting but the treats on offer at Cacao Kobo are on a different level.
Check them out on Instagram.
Where: 1-35-6 Kami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Art & Culture
Get in Touch with the Cultural World at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater
From August 25 to September 5, the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater will showcase a variety of performances in the atrium space, from traditional performing arts to classical music. The “Gekigeki Sound Oasis” is envisioned as an oasis of art and culture, just as a real oasis provides water in the desert. And just like water, these events are free.
Check the events at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater website.
When: Aug 25—Sep 5
Where: 1-8-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Want to know what else is new in town? Read our latest What’s New roundups.