Lalaport Fujimi

Lalaport Fujimi opened in 2015. Insaitama was the very first website to break the news of its opening in Saitama Prefecture, years before that. And it was the very first website to write a guide to the mall after it opened in spring of 2015. At that time, there was a TeamLab Islands in the mall. It was the very first permanent (the irony) teamLab play area to open in the whole world. But unfortunately it closed “permanently” on January 17th 2021. However, in its place a very popular Crayon Shinchan play area opened in February 2022. This guide also includes a summary of some of the other cool stuff you can find at Lalaport Fujimi! For events in Lalaport, see here.

If you are wondering whether Lalaport Fujimi is worth visiting and / or what you can do and see there, especially with kids, this guide will hopefully answer some of your questions.

Lalaport Fujimi

Lalaport Fujimi is a large shopping center / mall with 293 shops including eateries, clothes shops, department stores, household stores, supermarket, niche &/or specialty shops and entertainment facilities. Entertainment facilities at Lalaport include such things as play areas and the Toho cinema. There are also two small playgrounds, a water play area, “Lalaport Garden” and another “garden” plus a roof top rest area with dome tents that can be used for free by all visitors to Lalaport.

Japan’s first Lego School

Japan’s 1st lego school, an after school education programmeopened in Lalaport Fujimi, in April 2015. The “school” runs a number of different programmes, by age group. A lesson costs 3,000 yen, at the time of opening. Next door is the lego store.  The lego store sells lego sets as well as individual pieces by a pick and mix option. There are two small play tables and a wall area that kids can use and play with lego for free. At the front of the store they have a model lego town. They run several events during the year.

The school and store are located on the 2nd floor of Lalaport Fujimi, but close to the 3rd floor parking of car park lots number 6 and 7. More information is available on their website.


Shoe Fitting at Genki Kids

Shoe Fitting Lalaport Fujimi Moonstar

I remember the joy of finding a Clarks shoe shop in Tokyo, only to find out that they don’t do the children’s range in Japan. Like so many Irish I grew up, figuratively and literally, in Clarks shoes! I wanted to be able to give my children the same start in life with fitted shoes, but lo and behold in Japan proper shoe fitting is something that is severely lacking. Yes, you can measure your child’s foot in some stores with a measuring board, but it’s not the same as having a Clarks’ clerk measuring both the length AND breadth of your child’s feet. But at Genki Kids in Lalaport is bringing us a step closer (pun intended!) to good fitting shoes for children. They have a contraption (pictured) that electronically measures the length, breadth and circumference of feet.  They even print out the results with the recommended shoe size for your child and information on the back about feet and shoes sizes. 

The store is located on the 1st (ground) floor of Lalaport Fujimi on the West side. It is normally open from 10 am to 9 pm. Official website.


Libro Books – a fun and colorful space for young kids

I love the kids space in the Libro Books in Lalaport, Fujimi. It is bright and colourful, with a high ceiling made from mirrors. There is a little archway entrance on one side, only big enough for small kids. They have comfy stools for parents to use, while the kids play with the decent selection of toys they have out. They stock Bornelund and other educational toys of which there is a generous amount of samples out for the kids to play with freely. Libro Bookstore has many sample books including interactive books for the kids to play with and try out. They have a great selection of children’s books, even translated foreign authors. Much to my surprise, they even Chris Haughton’s children’s books, but in Japanese. Unfortunately, all of their children’s books and activity books, even the ones by foreign authors, are in Japanese only.

Libro books is located on the first floor, near the Toysrus. It is open from 10 am to 9 pm. Official website

Popondetta – formerly a steam locomotive cafe

This was originally included in the guide because the shop, which still exists, also had a cool steam locomotive cafe. Unfortunately that cafe closed during the pandemic. They may bring it back in the future, but as of April 2024 it is still closed. However, the shop is still worth a visit for train lovers. Because you can operate miniature trains by remote control. They also have a nice model railway town on display.

Popondetta is located on the top floor. The official website.

TeamLab Islands

Teamlab

Updated in 2021: Team Lab has made quite a name for itself in the last couple of years. However, when they opened their first permanent shop in Lalaport Fujimi in 2015 it was virtually unheard of (pun intended). Team Lab Islands is a unique indoor play area that combines technology, projection mapping and art to engage children in creativity. Several of the interactive exhibition projection mapping play areas are based on the natural world and landscape. Unfortunately, this branch, which was the first ever permanent teamLabs play area, closed during the pandemic.

Studio Cafe Zoo Adventure

This was my go-to cafe for a bit of break from the kids, when the kids were small. I was so sorry to hear it closed down on January 8th 2024. It was one of the few places I knew that allowed children play unsupervised, unless they are 3 years old or under. The play area is sectioned off from the cafe area, but it is clearly visible. You can sit facing the area and watch your kids while you enjoy a coffee and cake. You have to pay per child to use the play centre.

It was located on the second floor. The nearest parking is car parks number six and seven. Both are indoors. Official Instagram.


Another popular attraction in the first years that Lalaport was open was the Sonic the Hedgehog train ride. Unfortunately, that also closed down.

Lalaport Information

Mitsui Shopping Lalaport Fujimi, 1 Chome-1313 Yamamuro, Fujimi, Saitama 354-8560. View on Google Maps.

Base hours: 10 am to 9 pm. However, Yaoko supermarket opens from 9.30 am. The restaurants and food court don’t open until 11 am. However, Mister Donuts and McDonalds open from 10 am until 8 pm. In addition, Toho cinema is run independent and separate to the mall and has its own operating hours.

How to get to Lalaport Fujimi? Buses go from several stations including Omiya Station, Kawagoe Station, Fujimino Station and Shiki Station. However, the closest is Tsuruse station on the Tobu Tojo Line. It takes six minutes on the bus from Tsuruse station to Lalaport. You can also walk from that station – it takes about 20 minutes on foot. If you come by car, there is free parking.

Official website

5 Comments

  1. I love Japan for making children learn in really cool ways. Many indoor play areas, the aquarium, and the zoo here in Osaka demonstrate really creative ideas in teaching children difficult concepts. The technology, props, and other things they use make these places interesting for children of all ages (and even their parents!) 🙂

    1. Author

      Very true. Another great example is the railway museum here in Saitama. It has so many interesting and educational activities and displays that really engage and challenge the children. I hear great things about the aquarium in Osaka, I hope to visit it someday. 🙂

  2. Where has this post been hiding! I missed this to date. You really do know all the best spots in Saitama m(_ _)m

    1. Unfortunately the downside of having over 700 posts on the blog (400 and odd in blog side, 300 in events)… it’s hard to make a large percentage of the content visible.

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