I love food, so imagine my sheer joy when I found out about a food wonderland/theme park. Armed with this knowledge, I had been wanting to go there. The venue in question is Namja Town. It’s an indoor complex spread over two levels within the shopping mall at Sunshine City in Ikebukuro. There’s no rides, but there is a lot of food. It’s a venue dedicated to food – kinda like a food museum of sorts.
Entry to Namja Town is only 300yen, and once in, you have access to some great foods to sample. They only specialise in a few foods, one of them being gyoza. There is a land within Namja Town called “Gyoza Stadium”. It’s not even a stadium, but there is gyoza to be had. Basically it’s a gyoza alley. There are special gyoza stores from which to order all sorts of interesting gourmet gyoza types and then you eat in the big casual dining area. It’s low-lit with lanterns hung out, and the alley is quite narrow. There were lots of people there too.
All sorts of gyoza are available such as ebi gyoza, garlic gyoza, lemon and cracked pepper gyoza, sui gyoza (gyoza in soup), genghis khan/lamb gyoza, gyoza in miso butter. You can pick up a tray of gyoza for about 600-800yen for 6 gyozas. I was with a group of four – so we each ordered a different flavoured/style gyoza each and then shared the trays. We then shared another couple of trays after that. About 6 or 7 trays will fill a group of four. Be sure to leave room for dessert.
They gyoza here were delicious I might add. Some really interesting flavours. It is no-frills kind of venue, no fancy interior seating etc, but your tastebuds will be satisfied. How awesome is a gyoza land! These gyozas are created by Gyoza Masters from all over the country. Photographs of these chefs are hung up inside.
I think what I loved most about this place was the gyoza information posters that lined the corridor at the entrance to gyoza stadium. These were posters that had photos of the gyoza and the gyoza master. They then had gyoza specs or “Gyoza Data” as the poster said – (specifications that is, not spectacles). These gyozas had been analysed for their following properties:
gyoza skin thickness
size of the gyoza
weight of the gyoza
and it’s level of garlic quantity in the gyoza.
Talk about detailed. I thought it was awesome that such dedication went into these gyozas.
A very cool, fun place to have lunch with friends and sample a helluva lotta gyoza goodness.
Gyoza Stadium every now and then throughout the year also has special events/gyoza exhibits based on different themes, like the one currently on at the moment – a summer special – called “the cold gyoza festival”. You can go and eat all kinds of cold gyoza which is ideal for summer. Maybe I should get around to going to that…
But don’t fill up too much on gyoza! Remember you’re in Namja Town – a food wonderland.
In addition to Gyoza Stadium, upstairs you will find Sweets Paradise – a dessert land, and Ice-Cream City – an ice cream wonderland. But that my friends, is another blog post.
The entry free into Namja Town includes the whole complex so it’s really good value.
It’s a real popular place for teenagers and families. I reckon kids go ape in here – I mean gyozas, cakes and ice-creams – that’s got to be a kids dream. Only the brave parents would take their kids here – giving them such sugar highs. It was quite amusing to see the temper tantrums kids were having in Ice Cream City and those poor parents dealing with them.
NamjaTown Gyoza Stadium Website is here (Japanese only, however if you click on ‘English’ here) a downloadable PDF in English gives you at least a basic summary.)
Dessert Paradise and Ice-Cream City blog posts will follow soon.