{Japan: Eat} Gyoza Stadium @ Namco Namja Town ’08

namco namjatown stalls 3

In a Nutshell:

  • Where: Namco Namja Town, Sunshine City, Ikebukuro, Tokyo
  • When: May, 2008
  • *Notes: Website, Map and short description at Bento.com, Namco Namja Town has been renovated since my visit and while Gyoza Stadium is still there, Ice Cream City has been replaced with Dessert Yokocho, 500 JPY entry fee

Full Report:

It recently came to my attention that Namco Namja Town had undergone a complete overhaul and unveiled a new and improved version of itself this last summer.  I don’t know the specifics of their renovations, but I’ve heard that Gyoza Stadium has been cleaned up a bit and Dessert Yokocho stands in place of Ice Cream City.  While I doubt I’ll be going back there on my upcoming Japan trip, I do have good memories of our visit there in 2008.

M, my brother, and I went to Namco Namja Town for the sole purpose of checking out Gyoza Stadium, a food theme park dedicated to the popular Japanese dumpling.  Entry to Namco Namjatown was pretty cheap (300 JPY) but all attractions/rides inside required an additional fee.

Namco Namjatown entrance

Namco Namjatown prices

Gyoza Stadium was not exactly what we expected.  The whole set-up was somewhat messy and unorganized, with a bunch of booths all crammed together.  Still, we had heard that 11 of the best gyoza restaurants in the country were represented there so we were excited to sample the food.

As we weren’t given any kind of guide explaining which booth was selling what, we were initially unsure of which booth to buy from.  Then my brother noticed that all the booths featured a large framed picture of a person who we assumed was the chef/creator of that booth’s gyozas.  In a method that’s similar to choosing a book by its cover, we began buying gyozas from booths whose pictures we took a liking to!

We bought gyozas from a total of 4 booths and took our food over to the eating area.  Everything turned out to be pretty good, although M and my brother probably enjoyed the gyozas more than I did.  (If I’m going to be eating dumplings, I prefer dim sum.)  After finishing our lunch, we headed over to Ice Cream City for dessert.  I was immediately drawn to a stall where a man was using a long stick to stir the ice cream.  I’m not sure if this was all a gimmick to get customers because the ice cream tasted pretty ordinary.  But I did appreciate the show and the man was extremely friendly.   I hope he has been re-employed at Dessert Yokocho since Ice Cream City is no more!

Namco Namjatown Stalls1

namco namjatown stalls 2

namco namjatown stalls 4

namco namjatown stalls 5

namco namjatown stalls 6

namco namjatown stalls 7

namco namjatown gyozas

ice cream city 1

ice cream city 2