Long time the punchline of jokes of Tokyoites as the destination for Saitama hicks, poor Ikebukuro has suffered many injustices over the years. But its underdog reputation has kept it flying under the radar and given it a chance to develop subcultures that are unique to Tokyo. Ikebukuro boasts the largest Chinese immigrant population in Tokyo, making its north side a grittier version of Chinatown than the sterile Chukagai of neighboring Yokohama. Meanwhile, the east side boasts a lively shopping area popular with young people and those on a budget (i.e. your average Tokyoite). Ikebukuro has outgrown its bad reputation and is a genuine destination these days.

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