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.