\As an advocate of all things ice cream and gyoza, it would be a disservice for me to not tell people about Namco Namja Town. It’s not just one of Japan’s largest indoor amusement parks, it’s a shrine to fried dumplings and frozen treats. Located at Ikebukuro and inside Sunshine City; an awesome shopping mall, aquarium, museum and planetarium all rolled into one massive complex, Namja Town has become somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. When you first walk in, you’re going to be greeted by a giant cat person. Depending on how you react to this will determine your level of enjoyment at Namja Town. Guess how I reacted.

The joint cost a measly 300 yen to enter. After that you’re free to pick and choose what qualifies as cheap. It’s built like an old carnival with fun house mirrors, shooting galleries, and a haunted house that will make you really appreciate the effort your Sunday school put into Halloween. There is also some kind of hidden clue game you can play, but that cost more money than I’m willing to spend, so screw all that noise. I came here for gyoza and ice cream.

melon soda
And the melon soda big gulp | Photo by Aaron Bagget

Gyoza Stadium is built to look like an old timey Japan with dark alleys and rooms playing black and white television. There are about a dozen shops to choose from and over 100 different styles of gyoza to try. Gyoza isn’t exactly a rarity in Japan, but each shop boasts unique varieties and besides, it’s all about the experience. The whole place is just too goofy to pass up.

On the 3rd floor you can find Ice Cream City. I think “Ice Cream City” explains enough, but the gist of it is that it’s a large freezer with every flavor imaginable. Saki, whale, squid, horse, whatever your poison, they’ve got it.

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If you go into Ice Cream City and drop cash on rocky road or chocolate explosion then you seriously have a problem. You are automatically the anti-most interesting man on earth. You don’t always drink beer, but when you do, it’s Zima, and only in a controlled environment. Do you want to be that guy? I didn’t think so. Pick snake flavor.

Photo by Aaron Bagget

Price:Adult: 300yen to enter.
Location:Japan, Tokyo, Toshima, Higashiikebukuro, 3−1−3 サンシャインシティ
Closest Station:Higashi-Ikebukukuro, but about an 8 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station(East Exit).
Business hours:10:00-22:00
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