Crawling across the northwest side of inner city Tokyo, Ikebukuro is one of the city’s biggest entertainment, transport and residential hubs. Some say it’s set to steal the ‘geek hub’ crown from Akihabara, while others argue it’s home to some of the best live music hangouts in Japan.
No matter what you hear, you can rest assured that it’s one of the most exciting places to stay if you’re in town for a few nights. Here are eight of the best hotels in the Ikebukuro area.
A self-described ‘oasis of luxury’ right in the centre of this bustling neighbourhood, Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro is a relaxed and welcoming hotel offering world-class service at a very affordable price. Sitting adjacent to Ikebukuro Station, one of the city’s biggest and most well-connected transport hubs, it’s an excellent option for those looking to make the most of their time in town exploring every corner of the city.
Most locals know that Ikebukuro is the unofficially home of the love hotel, so it’d be a bit of an oversight not to add one such option to the list. For the uninitiated, a love hotel is a specific accommodation option open to couples looking for a little private time to satisfy their romantic needs. This high-end version is a little more tasteful than most, offering the ultimate in privacy and coming fully equipped with everything you’ll need to make the most of your stay, from champagne services to hot tubs big enough for two.
Sitting an easy eight-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station, in the neon light-drenched corner of the non-stop Tokyo neighbourhood, Sunshine City Prince Hotel is a go-to for those wanting to get in on all the Ikebukuro action. In the heart of the area’s Sunshine City entertainment and commercial complex, the hotel boasts incredible city views, a convenience store, a 24-hour spa and four dining options within its walls – could you ask for anything more?
For something a little off the main strip, consider the Hotel Bellclassic Tokyo, a breezy, laid-back hotel positioned right next to Otsuka Train Station. The positioning of this hotel is ideal for those needing to pack a whole lot into a short time, as it’s one stop from Ikebukuro and only 20 minutes from Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ueno by train. A little more luxurious than most, the hotel also features French and Japanese restaurants and spacious rooms providing a little tranquil relief from the manic energy of the city.
For a no-fuss, low-cost option with all the comforts and hospitality you’ve come to expect from a hotel with a much lager price tag, Richmond Hotel Tokyo Mejiro is an understated gem just a short stroll from the centre of Ikebukuro. The comfortable, softly lit and spacious Western-style rooms offer a peaceful alternative from the wild lights of Ikebukuro, making it ideal for those wanting a laid-back retreat after a long day exploring the city.
An understated yet trendy hostel, Good Diner Inn Copain is the ideal option for the solo backpacker looking to make connections with fellow travellers and wanting to fully embrace the more laid-back side of this busy city. The community-centric hub has communal dorm-style rooms and a popular on-site bar and café, which are open to non-guests as well and which regularly host live music performances and other cultural events.
If you’re always dreamed of becoming a classic Japanese hero or are even just a little interested in the mysterious and regal world of the Japanese samurai, the quirky Samurais Hostel is worth a visit. As soon as you walk through the doors, you’ll be welcomed by brightly coloured walls crawling with modern and traditional Japanese art, a number of glow-in-the-dark style samurai murals and other quirky paraphernalia. Although it may be a little kitsch at times, it’s arguably an unforgettably fun experience.