Last night was Pre-Opening night at the new IKEA which is set to open officially on Monday the 24th of April in Funabashi, slightly east of Tokyo. A select number of specially invited people (all IKEA employees were allowed to invite a few people each to this event) got the opportunity to browse through (and use) the store before the big crowds hit next week. I predict massive lines on opening day and it will probably continue to be crowded for at least two months. The store is located right next to Minami Funabashi station on the JR Keio/Musashino Line; so even for people going by train it’s very accessible (except that it’s a darn long walk at Tokyo station).
It was an interesting feeling to walk through IKEA last night; partly because it was near-empty, partly because it was in Japan! It felt like Sweden inside, but then there was just something different about it which is hard to put your finger on. All in all, the first IKEA here in Japan seems like a hit. It’s the world’s biggest IKEA as far as I’ve been told, with a huge restaurant with over 700 seats. Outside the main cash registers, they have a special Sweden store selling Swedish food and snacks!
We hit the restaurant first, to see if the quality of the food holds up against “Swedish” IKEA standards – which it did! The meatballs were excellent:
Finally, a couple more pics I shot with my phone: