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Mejiro Ikebukuro Otsuka Sugamo Komagome Zoshigaya Nagasaki
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Gurutto Toshima Here
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There were many ponds long ago around what is now the west exit of Ikebukuro station. It was a well-known location for moon-viewing in autumn, and fireflies flitted about in the summer. Yamanote Line service began in 1903. The Toshima Normal School opened. The Tobu Tojo and Seibu Ikebukuro Lines began operating, and a school town grew up as schools such as Rikkyo Gakuin and Jiyu Gakuen Girls' School opened one after another. This is the cradle of modern Japanese children's literature—the children's magazine Akai Tori (Red Bird) began here in 1918.

Today the lively, energetic west exit area is lined with retailers such as Tobu Department Store, Lumine Ikebukuro, Tobu Hope Center, Echika, and Esola. Just a short distance from the shopping district is the spacious Rikkyo Gakuin campus and the former residences of cultural figures such as the late Edogawa Rampo, a detective novelist. The atmosphere of Taisho to Showa era culture still lingers here.

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Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space is a mecca for concerts and stage productions. Among the various events held here are the Tokyo Hula Festival, held in Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park in the summer, and the traditional fall Fukuro Matsuri (Owl Festival). Out of the station's north exit is Ikebukuro Theater, a traditional rakugo storytelling hall.
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