By JJ Walsh
Do you like shopping? And are you planning a day or two at the Disney Resort? And do you wonder how you can combine these two things? The answer is Ikspiari! A huge shopping mall at Maihama Station, just next door to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, with lots of shops, restaurants, cafés and even a cinema.
If you leave Maihama Station through the south exit to hop on the Disney Resort Line, you’re already standing in front of Ikspiari. In contrast to other shopping malls, Ikspiari is not an indoor mall. Instead it’s built like a small town with most of the shops being outside in their own small houses. In between the stores you have benches and cafès with lots of opportunities to sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere.
The area around the cinema has a darkened roof and lots of lit-up signs, so it provides a nice atmosphere while you’re strolling around looking for something to eat. Speaking of which, Ikspiari has quite a few themed restaurants, like the Rainforest Café with its crocodile display outside and fruity cocktails and exotic meals inside. Other food options are traditional Hakata ramen at Ippudo, the Monsoon Café with East Asian cuisine or burgers at T.G.I. Friday’s.
Of course a Disney Store is not missing and you can pick up your Disney souvenir here if you forgot to buy one at Disneyland or can’t get enough! On the first floor you will also find a supermarket, which is pretty convenient if you’re staying at a nearby hotel and want to get some basic supplies such as water or a snack for the evening.
Apropos hotels, if you wish to stay in this area for an easy access to the Disney Resort, I can recommend HOTEL MYSTAYS Maihama. It’s a 15-minute walk from Maihama Station, but it offers free shuttle busses to the mall as well as to the Disney Resort in the morning and in the evening. The staff is really friendly and helpful and on your day off from Disneyland you will still be able to watch the fireworks from the hotel after your shopping tour!
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Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, I realized that my hometown is a village when I first came to Tokyo over 10 years ago. I love to experience the world and show people what I discover, so I never travel without my camera. One of my favorite hobbies is getting lost, as I have no sense of direction. But that is how you'll find the best places - and it's a source for your best stories. Other things I like include rollercoasters, thunderstorms, good food and onsen.