It’s hard to believe it, but I’ve only been in Japan for 11 days. It hasn’t even been two weeks yet so it is still in the range of trips I’ve taken to Japan before. For my first weekend in Japan with free time, I decided that I was going to try and take the train to Ikebukuro by myself. So far I have not had many chances to meet other students through Japanese class or any Japanese students yet. For one, the semester has not started yet for the Japanese students. Also, I have not made friends in my Japanese class because there are only four of us and 2 of them came from the same university as me.
I already kind of explained the level system for the Japanese class in my last post, but on the second day of class when the 4 of us thought we would continue in D level, we were pulled out to have a separate class until regular classes start on the 23rd. This class has been named “Super D,” to the amusement of us 4 in the class and also anyone else who hears about that.
But I digress, this post is about my trip to Ikebukuro! So yes. I went to Ikebukuro by myself and when I first got there I was overwhelmed by how crowded the train station was. I think I read that this station might be one of the second busiest in Japan. So I got off the train and went back up to the surface. Where I popped up seemed like it was a such a small entrance that I wouldn’t be able to find it again. I mean I guess it was right by the train but if you’re walking the streets and there are tall buildings all around you then you can’t really see.
I didn’t really have any plans on places where I wanted to go so I just walked. I got to see the owls which I believe are a popular meeting spot outside the station nicknamed “ikefukuro” as a play on the Japanese word for owls (fukuro) with the name of the station.
I also walked around and looked at all the stores that were nearby the station. By the time I was actually ready to try and find a place I had mapped then I was super hungry and really needed to eat. I wasn’t sure where would be a good place to eat by myself. The first place I originally was going to try ended up looking like a sit down restaurant so I skipped that and went to KFC instead.
I am still having a hard time with Japanese in daily life, so I just quickly looked at the menu at the register, pointed to what I wanted, and then paid. I ended up getting the set pictured above, and then an iced mocha because I was hot and already lagging in energy just an hour or two into my adventure. The food was actually pretty good even though I am still not sure if what I ate was fish or chicken.
Anyways, after I refueled then I resumed my mission to try and find a Loft store, meanwhile getting sidetracked by a Parco. It was frustrating because I could see the sign for Loft through the windows but I couldn’t figure out how to get there because it was on the opposite side of the train tracks. I realized that it’s easy to see things from farther away but once you’re close up it is difficult to spot things.
Eventually I found the building that had what looked like a 3-floor Loft store on the 9th-11th floors of that building. But when I went to look at the Loft, instead I found myself at this really nice rooftop food court area. It even had a fish store where you could go fishing for goldfish.
It was super nice but unfortunately super hot. I feel like that is a place I would definitely want to return to later on when the weather cools down. Hopefully it is not a seasonal event.
Unfortunately, by the time I found the Loft it was time for me to turn around and head back home for the Takoyaki party and firework watching that I was going to do with my host family. It was a super fun today even if I was sweaty, hangry, and confused for most of the time. I don’t regret spending my first free weekend in Japan there 🙂
This past weekend was actually a weekend full of adventures since I went to Tokyo Disney Sea with my host family the next day. I’ll hopefully post about that soon!
Thanks for reading!