The Owls of Ikebukuro

A few years ago I was living in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district while teaching English a few miles away in Shinjuku. Ikebukuro is written 池袋, and the second character bukuro happens to sound very close in pronunciation to the Japanese word for owl fukurō. The entire district has taken this little linguistic coincidence to heart and adopted the owl as its symbol – funnily enough, my home town of Leeds in northern England also has the owl as one of its symbols as seen in the official coat of arms and the various owl statues around the city.

I have to say though, Ikebukuro outdoes Leeds in the owl department – they’re all over the place! I photographed a whole bunch of them, but didn’t get them all. Anyway, here’s a selection of the owls of Ikebukuro:
Owl statues in IkebukuroOwl sign in Ikebukuro, TokyoOwl statue in Ikebukuro, TokyoOwls in front of Ikebukuro StationOwl statue near Ikebukuro StationOwl statues in IkebukuroOwl statue in Ikebukuro, TokyoOwl sign in Ikebukuro, TokyoOwls on a clock in IkebukuroOwl statues in Ikebukuro StationOwl mural in Ikebukuro StationOwl mural in Ikebukuro StationOwl statues in IkebukuroOwl statues in IkebukuroOwl sign in IkebukuroOwl statue in IkebukuroOwl statue in IkebukuroPolice box in Ikebukuro designed to look like an owl
This last one is actually the police box opposite the east exit of the station, designed to look like an owl. Here are a few more random non-owl shots around Ikebukuro.

Typical Tokyo side street:
A side street in Ikebukuro
The north exit of Ikebukuro is a slightly seedy area:
Sign near Ikebukuro StationAdult shops in Ikebukuro
Shinjuku’s towers seen from Ikebukuro:
View of Shinjuku's skyscrapers from Ikebukuro
And a random mural:
Large mural on a building in Ikebukuro

More Tokyo posts here, and check out my quick guide to Tokyo

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