Nerima is a suburban neighborhood located only ten minutes by train from the popular Ikebukuro hub. The area’s claim to fame has to be that it’s the birthplace of the much-loved anime Nerima Daikon Brothers. Nerima is still home to many classic Japanese animation studios, with the likes of Toei Animation, Studio Gallop and AIC all being found here. Nerima is also the place where Japan’s favorite cat robot was born—Doraemon. What else needs to be said? This is must-see area for any anime fan.
What to eat and drink in Nerima
Sick of Japanese food? Head to Pizzeria Bar Napoli for a nice change to sushi and all that fish. You get all the classic pizza options here, ranging from margherita, fungi, prosciutto and quattro formaggio. The varieties on offer go for 500 yen at lunch time, so is a great and cheap pick-me-up after wandering around the area. The pizzeria does presentation very well and is not overly cheesy, like you may expect from some pizzas in Tokyo. A perfect little spot for something alternative.
Ever wondered if you could buy groceries from a vending machine in Japan? Well you can, and Nerima is famous for it. Melons and eggplant can go for 100 yen, so if you miss the supermarket opening times, you know those trusty little vending machines will save the day.
What to do in Nerima
We all need calm in the storm that is Tokyo sometimes. So head to the Shakujii Park for chill time. A fairly large park, it’s perfect for any pit stop or picnic. There are cute little trails throughout the park and is full of temples. You can also rent a paddle boat and there are fishing facilities too. Immensely relaxing, this is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon and to take your children too. There are also snack areas with all prices listed in Japanese. If you’re feeling adventurous, just point and nod.
Toshimaen Amusement Park is another place to be for anyone with youngsters. A great family day out, it is a great combination of both an amusement park and also a water park. So you can ride on a roller coaster and then cool yourself off in the pool. There is a castle there that your kids will enjoy and of course, there are arcades too. This is Japan after all.
Chihiro Art Museum is a highlight for the Nerima area too. This museum is built on the spot where the beloved painter and illustrator Chihiro Iwasaka once lived. It boasts one of the world’s largest collections of picture books and illustrations for children. There are exhibitions of Iwasaka’s works and themed shows too. It’s not just families who enjoy this spot though, you’ll surely notice architecture admirers here. There is also a very cute cafe so you can sit down and soak in all of the art over a hot bevvie. The Chihiro Art Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays if the Monday is a bank holiday. It is open from 10am-5pm. Admission costs 800 yen and high school students and anyone younger can enter for free.
Where to stay in Nerima
Hotel Cadenza Hikarigaoka is a cute little place offering tatami rooms. It’s an elegant and quiet hotel which offers three restaurants and a bar. It is close to Nerima Station and so is one the more convenient accommodation choices for the area.