Make your way to Namco Namja Town for Cute Food, Fun Icecream Flavours, Strange ‘Rides’ and Carnival Attractions!
Japanese kid’s amusement parks are SUPER FUN! There’s something endearing about their quirky take on children’s entertainment and fun character-themed food, and this place, Namco Namja Town, at Sunshine City Plaza in Ikebukuro is the perfect family and budget friendly place to take a closer look. Come for the food, a sticky beak, a quick wander around, but mostly to try the Ice Cream Shop! (Read our review here.)
There are two choices when it comes to entry to Namco Namja Town. Buy an entry pass only, or a passport style pass where all the attractions/rides are included. We’d suggest buying just the entry pass as this place is mostly about the food for english speaking visitors. The attractions and rides are all in Japanese, so although they look fun, the gist of what you’re supposed to be doing is lost. In any case, if you or the kids wish to ride, you can buy individual tickets to attractions at coin vending machines throughout Namco Namja Town.
Namja Town, owned by Namco, the creator of Pacman and many other arcade games and leisure products, is Japan’s largest indoor theme park. Namco Namja Town is divided into ‘lands’ you can stroll through, with attractions dispersed throughout, including two based on food, and recreations of Tokyo alleys and streets of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Even when you can’t read the instructions, you can watch what the Japanese kids (and adults) are doing and simply copy them! The kids will find joy and laughter in the (free) devices and objects that react by touching, tapping or pushing them. (There’s more than 50 of these kinds of things throughout so keep your eyes open.)
Arcade Games and Rides at Namco Namja Town
There are LOTS of games and arcade attractions, but as they are in Japanese, we couldn’t play most of them as we couldn’t understand the instructions. But your kids will hound you to play the claw games! Oh, and big drums. Those things are easily decipherable in any language! There’s even a Magical College where Japanese kids (and their parents) can learn the art of wizarding, complete with cloaks and wands, just like Harry Potter. (Very like Harry Potter actually.)
There’s a ride where you can ride in a pig-shaped “Mosquito Coil” carriage and accompany “Bakuretsu Joe” on his mission to shoot down the Amazon mosquitos that have evolved into giant ferocious creatures. At 800 yen per person to ride, we’d suggest watching! If any of the rides capture your attention and the kids want to have a go, just find a coin-operated ticket machine and buy one attraction ticket.
Be warned that Namco Namja Town has a Haunted House area that is dark and mysterious and this pocket can feel a little spooky to little kids. In keeping with this Haunted House part of ‘town’, there were plenty of creepy Navaju lanterns around the place.
Honestly, this place is better when it’s filled with families and lots of children to help create atmosphere so we’d suggest a weekend visit. We wouldn’t come for Namco Namja Town alone but combining it within a visit to Ikebukuro and Sunshine City Shopping Mall (and all the things you can also do there with kids) is perfect!
The best thing about Namco Namja Town is the Fukubukuro Dessert Street, and the Gyoza Stadium. But as sweet lovers, we ate exclusively in the Fukubukuro Dessert Yokocho Area! There’s so many cute options to try, including pancakes, crepes, cakes, ice-cream and gelati, so we did.
Rainbow Gelati anyone? If not that, make sure to eat the Green Tea one. (There’s a reason the tub is the only one that is half-empty.) Or a rabbit-topped gelati cone! How will we ever eat a normal cone again?
If you are a cake fan, then this is your stop of choice. There’s fruit filled parfaits, cat-shaped chocolate mousse, fruit flans, sponge cakes, and chocolate tarts, all made extra yummy with cute presentation. The kids will think this place is a hoot! (An expensive one at that, but hey, you only eat Namco Namja Town mascot cat-themed cake once!)
Fancy a crepe? Then you’ve two choices. A more traditional crepe place in Santa Chubo, or character-topped crepes at Crepe Paw offering cat, bear and panda-inspired sweet crepes, plus all your favourites.
The Most Fun Ice Cream Shop in Tokyo? It’s here!
DO NOT MISS this fun shop. It’s tucked away in the corner of Namco Namja Town (position 5 in the blue love heart on the English map) and is only small so doesn’t call much attention. When Ice Cream City was scaled back (sad day), this little ice cream shop was all that was left. Saying that, it’s still heaps of fun to try out a whole plateful of strange-sounding ice cream if you dare, and for about 300 yen, it’s a totally affordable SUPER FUN experience and a BIG winner with the kids in Tokyo.
It’s really just a food court that specialises in delicious Japanese-style dumplings. If you’ve never had Gyoza before, this is as good a place as any, although slightly more expensive than what you’ll find elsewhere. Most gyoza have pork or chicken mince, chinese cabbage, cabbage, onion, and chives fillings with a dipping sauce accompaniment. The kids will LOVE them!
The Inside Scoop
Opening Hours & Entry Fees
- Open 10am to 10pm daily
- Entry to Namco Namja Town is 500 yen for adults (13+) and 300 yen for kids 4 -12 years. Entry fee includes access to the Fukubukuro Dessert Yokocho AND Namja Gyoza station.
- There is a passport you can buy for 3300 yen adults and 2600 yen kids 4-12. As we said, all the attractions inside are in Japanese, it’s probably better to buy the cheap entry ticket and purchase single entry/ride tickets for anything the kids might like. You can buy individual tickets at coin-operated vending machines throughout.
Guest relations & Facilities
- Here’s an English Guide to Namco Namja Town.
- The Best Ice Cream Shop in Tokyo is at position 5 on the map on page 2.
- Phone: 03 5950 0765
- Website (in Japanese)
- 3 minutes on foot from Higashi-Ikebukuro Station (Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line)
- 8 minutes on foot from Ikebukuro Station (JR, Tokyo Metro, Seibu Line, Tobu Line)
- 4 minutes on foot from Higashi-Ikebukuro 4-Chome Station (Toden Arakawa Line)
From Ikebukuro Station
- Go to exit 35 of Ikebukuro Station. Walk down Sunshine 60 Dori, and the underground entrance (escalator) to Sunshine City will be visible on the right-hand side next to Tokyu Hands.
From Higashi-Ikebukuro Station
- Walk toward exit 6.7, and a sign should direct you to the “Underground Passage” to Sunshine City.
Location and Map
- Address: 3−1−3 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku Tokyo 170-0013
- Sunshine City World Import Mart Building on 2nd Floor.
- We’ve heard that if you show your passport at the entrance and you’ll get a discount. (This might be a good tip at all the theme parks where tourists and english-speaking visitors are not so common- worth a try!)
- There’s a gift shop featuring Namja Town mascots, the main one being a cat named Najavu. You might also find limited edition goodies such as themed boxed sweets including Sailor Moon ‘Sweet Moon’ macarons and candies.
- Namco Namja Town is completely indoors so if you want to take any kind of decent photos, you’ll need a flash. Note: no photos allowed in the games area evidently. (Oops!)
Our Top Tips
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
Go for the kids to try the fun food in the Sweet Dessert Street, especially the ice-cream shop. THEY will love the place!
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
We love to share the SUPER FUN kid-friendly stuff we find around the world, so you can go there too!