When I heard from two French guys I’d met at an Izakaya that there was a Shonen Jump (the manga publishing house home of the most popular anime of all time One Piece and other favourites Dragon Ball Z, Bleach and Naruto) theme park in Tokyo, it was only a matter of time before I dragged an ecstatic Gabby to have a look. It has recently opened (hence it’s absence in blogs and guidebooks) in Ikebukuro, north-west Tokyo. I lured Gabby with the promise of two depachika at Ikebukoro station. side note: the story of those two department stores reads a bit like a manga plot line – two rival train firms run into Ikebukoro station and both were determined to build the biggest and best department store on their side of the station – now we’re left with their twin leviathans sandwiching the Eki (station) and lots of basement food for Gabby to goggle at.
J-world itself is a short walk away out of the east exit to what used to be the tallest building in Tokyo: Sunshine City. As you enter Sunshine City you’ll see signs for J-world up the escalators on the 2nd floor (3rd Japanese; they count the ground as 1). Once you arrive you’re greeted to the childish pastel and fluo colours of anime. But you’d be wrong to think this place is just for kids. While it’s clear that is the target visitor, on the day we went it was full of adults, foreigners and coerced girlfriends. You have a choice of two types of tickets: a ride ticket or an entrance only ticket. The ‘ride’ ticket works out cheaper if you plan on doing two or more of the 6 experiences on offer. NB: the experiences are in Japanese and definitely for kids, although if you leave your shame at the entrance an adult can have fun too.
I want to say more about J-world but there isn’t much that can’t be said in pictures except: 1. don’t ever ever ever eat the themed food and 2. (because you’re not allowed to take photos on the ‘rides’) the Dragon Ball Z experiences consist of finding the Dragon Balls with Bulma’s radar and firing off a Kamehameha with Sangoku in a cool and quite realistic 3d xbox kinect extravaganza. Enjoy!
J-WORLD TOKYO （ジェイワールド東京）
Toshima, Tokyo 170-8630
Directions: Once you are in Sunshine City there are signs to J World as you go up the escalators.