Saturday 22 April 2017

Namaja town Sunshine City - Ikebukuro

This post was supposed to go out a few weeks ago but I just noticed that it was still in the drafts folder! Oh well, better late than never.

It was over the long holiday weekend, unfortunately my husband was working away so Ebi-kun and I went on a bit of an adventure. We have been to Namaja town years ago, Ebi-kun was a toddler and we just went to the ice-cream city section really.

If you plan to go, it is worth noting that there are two ways to pay. You can get an all day pass which includes all the attractions or you pay ¥500 to enter then you have to pay extra for any attraction you want to go on. We went for the all day pass because it was the easiest mainly!

Also, it's all Japanese, Ebi-kun is fluent so we managed OK but if you don't have a great grasp on the language a lot of it will be lost on you and many of the attractions are too complicated if you don't have the language skills.

Our first game involved carry around a large egg! 

At various times the lights would flash on the top of the egg and you would have to take it to be fed, the toilet or the hospital. There were other stations and games to play with it too, I found it all a bit weird, but what I found weirder was middle aged blokes going around doing it by themselves!

It takes 40 minutes of egg care then you have to take it back to the start and you get a printout with all the eggy details.

There are lots of other games too, this is a fishing game, there is a massive screen inside with 12 fishing spots, you all get a rod and then you have to try and catch fish, you are ranked against everyone else playing. It all gets a bit crazy and it gives you arm ache, you have been warned!

What you may not know about Sunshine building is that is it supposedly one of the most haunted places in Japan because it is built on the site of a rather brutal prison, Ebi-kun has a bit of a thing about Japanese ghosts so the spooky attractions were a big hit! These lamps are great don't you think! Even spooky stuff is cute in Japan.

This one a memory game using rotating gravestones, who thinks of this stuff?

The whole place is a maze of little streets and alleys, I have no idea what this cat was for but there were many random features like this dotted around.

One drawback is that there is limited food selection. It is OK if you like gyoza because they have gyoza street with a variety of famous gyoza, they have a few other things available too but not a huge choice and if you have any dietry requirements you will be out of luck. I believe you can leave Namajatown and come back in if you get your ticket stamped, so that would be an option.

We tried a few gyoza and a small bowl of udon. The gyoza were good but to be honet, I'd rather just have a couple as a side dish, not a plateful as my main!

One thing that has changed since the last time I came was the ice-cream city, as it used to be know. When we visited before there was a huge selection of weird and wonderful ice-cream, including things like whale and roast beef!

We were somewhat disappointed that there are just a few ice-scream shops now and the selection was quite poor in comparison. Ebi-kun went for tiger ice-cream (not made with real tigers! I think it was black sesame and mango)

One thing I forgot to mention was the tokens that you get given when you first enter, you can then gamble with them. When you get on an attraction you are asked if you want to gamble, if you win you generally win double your token back.

I find this all a bit weird in a country where gambling is basically banned except for pachinko and horse racing and even then there are strict rule in place.

We ended up with a pile of tokens so before we left we got to play the wheel, where we both won a bag of random crap and nasty snacks! Joy!

All in all if was a fun few hours, a bit expensive really, I think we tried almost all the attractions. I wouldn't recommend going if you don't have Japanese skills, I was totally baffled with some of the things and even Ebi-kun found some of the things confusing.

For more info, here is the site: Namaja Town

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