‘Lalaport’ is the name of a chain of shopping malls in and around Tokyo. There is an absolutely massive one in Chiba, however, its slightly more manageable cousin in Toyosu is easier to get to and still gives you the best Tokyo shopping experience.
If, like me, you love shopping then you will find heaven at Lalaport Toyosu. It is a bright, modern shopping mall with 190 beautiful stores, cafes and restaurants set in a pleasant waterfront location in the Odaiba area. The layout is designed to be like boats in a harbour with the shopping zones having names like Central Port, four Ships and Islands in the middle. It’s difficult to see on the ground but it all adds to the atmosphere.
It has to be admitted that most of the shops are for ladies fashions but also of note are a lovely craft shop, Mano Creare, the Francfrancfranc furniture and homewares shop on the second floor and Okichihiroba for more traditional Japanese lifestyle goods. Of course, there are many many more and you will find lots of little gems in amongst the big ‘departos’ like Tokyu Hands, Muji and Uniqlo. The only thing missing is a ToysRUs which is a shame but, on the top floor, there is a huge role-playing theme park called Kidzania. To be honest, that looked like it was only for the very brave as it was packed to the rafters with screaming children and harassed-looking adults.
The mall also houses several useful and intriguing services such as the ABC Cooking Studio which holds cookery courses for women and children, the Tokyo Jaja web broadcasting studio, a dental clinic and an aromatherapy salon.
Throughout the mall, there are benches and places to stop and have a sit down and on the upper floors there are cafes, such as Saint Marc Choco Cro, and many informal restaurants and bars. There are more restaurants, however, on the ground floor facing out onto the waterfront. Many of them have outside seating which is very relaxing when the weather is good.
We had a delicious western-style lunch at Oceans Burger Inn which, being handily close to the dog walking area, has a separate menu for canines! Even if you just want a rest or a drink, you’ll still be able to find a step or concrete block to sit on while you watch the futuristic-looking waterbus arrive and depart at the Toyosu pier (there is grass around but most of it seems to be for the dogs so you might not want to risk it!).
To get to Lalaport Toyosu you can:-
- Take the Yurikamome monorail line to Toyosu. Lalaport is visible from the train and only a short walk from the station
- Take the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line to Toyosu Station. Again, just a short walk.
- Take the waterbus to LaLaport Toyosu pier from Asakusa or Odaiba