Ikebukuro’s quiet backstreets offer a convenient respite accented with warm sake.
Otsuka station is near to Ikebukuro station, on Tokyo’s busy JR Yamanote line. Conveniently located a few minutes from the metropolis’ bustling business, shopping and entertainment hubs, Otsuka is its own relaxed version of Tokyo.
The station itself is not too big. However, the area is bustling with people every August when more than 1,000 dancers participate in the Awa Odori dance festival. Other than that, the station area is a respite to those who are hanging out in Ikebukuro.
A local Buddhist temple about a five-minute walk from the station fits right in with the nostalgic atmosphere. Built in the 1600s, Gokoku-ji is famous for being one of the only temples to survive American air raids during WWII.
After a bit of sightseeing, travelers may be ready for some food and drink. For food, there are numerous and cheap seafood, donburi (rice bowl) and yakitori restaurants. For those who want a drink, try some local joints like Speak Easy Bar, Bakushuan Otsuka for craft beer and Leandro wine bar.
Otsuka is your place for a reasonable bite to eat or a lively late-night rendezvous.