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18 Aug 2002: Ikspiari

Ikspiari is Tokyo Disneyland's strange neighbour. Ikspiari could be described simply as a shopping complex with a cinema. Although this description would be a little off, it begs a question. Why would it expect to get any attention? After all, if you travel out of central Tokyo to Maihama, or from farther afield, you're probably here to see Disneyland. Why would anyone visit Ikspiari?

I suspect, although I've never checked this out, that Ikspiari is a Disney facility. It is connected to the Disney monorail and also has a Disney feel about it. I think it's main purpose is to service the variety of Disney hotels located either next to Ikspiari or near enough. Some visitors stay at these hotels as a staging point for their adventures into Disneyland, or perhaps Tokyo itself. My guess is that Ikspiari is there as an alternative way to soak up tourist cash.

I've only talked about the peculiar location of Ikspiari. I haven't explained why Ikspiari is somewhere different to visit. It's difficult to put into words, and fairly difficult to explain in pictures too. Have a glance through the pictures and see if you can understand it. I find myself going back there every now and then. I'm one tourist who is happy to miss out on Disneyland in exchange for the surreal walkways of Ikspiari.