Along with Shinjuku and Shibuya, Ikebukuro is one of three major sub-centers of Tokyo. With 2.7 million passengers per day, Ikebukuro is the second busiest station in Japan after Shinjuku station. (Incidentally, Ikebukuro is also the second busiest station in the world.) Located north-west of Tokyo, Ikebukuro is a gateway to those living in the northern Kanto region. It is known as a bedroom-town for salarymen since it primarily serves commuters from neighboring Saitama prefecture.
Ikebukuro is a city that caters to a variety of needs from fashion, entertainment to dining. The station is surrounded by department stores (Tobu and Seibu), electronic retailers (Bic Camera and Yamada Denki), mass merchandisers and more. In recent years, Ikebukuro has enhanced its reputation as a sub-culture town, second only to Akihabara, with a surging number of shops specializing in anime and manga-related goods.
Being a gateway to Saitama prefecture, Ikebukuro is home to some dozen ramen restaurants that are highly regarded by the general public. As a result, the district is a fierce ramen battleground for sellers and a paradise for ramen connoisseurs.