Akihabara will always be the Mecca for converts to otaku-ism, but if you’re really serious, I mean really serious about picking up those collectibles during your stay in Japan, Nakano Broadway is the place to do it. Akihabara is crowded and touristy, once you do find the collectible you’re interested in there’s a chance it could actually be fake.
Nakano Broadway’s shop owners generally know what’s what. Which brings us to the most prolific pop culture goods shop housed there.
Nakano has a mix of everything, which is great for many people. Otakus are chilling there, but next to Nakano Broadway, there is a Showa-style izakaya district. Normally, it is crowded with many different kind of people who like to enjoy a pint in small restaurants, bars and cafes.
Close to South exit of Nakano station, there is a romantic street Renaga Zaka. Little lights along the streets, which remind me of Christmas lights. Stroll up the lit-up brick road and go for some wine at one of the Spanish eateries, or just a good old fashion nama beer at one of the fancy bars.
It has a totally different night life vibe than the Showa Izakaya area of Nakano. Are you searching for cocktail bars and more fancy French food, then this is your place.
Nakano station is in 13 minutes reachable from Shinjuku station by train:
- Chuo line
- Chuo Sobu line
- Tozai line
Some historical facts about Nakano:
- Nakano was an agricultural place, but after the Kanto earthquake (1923) in the metropolitan area in Tokyo, a lot of people had moved to Nakano and Nakano has become a popular residential area.
- Between 1915 and 1983 Nakano had a big prison, called Former Nakano Prison. As visitors it would be interesting to see the remaining gate of the former prison.
- In front of Nakano ward office there are 5 dogs statues. They represent the day the 5th ruler of Tokugawa family instituted animal protection laws, specifically for dogs.
The memorial statues called Dog Shogun.
Interesting points about Nakano:
- Day-time-people are able to join the food trucks, picnic, barbeque and restaurant terraces along the open green field.
- The official Manga source for the die-hard anime and manga fans. But you are also able to find more than just manga and anime. Items of the 20th century American popular music and movies, movie figures, Barbie’s, trains and Gatcha Gatcha veding machines.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital in Nakano is one of the largest hospitals in Tokyo. If you have a problem that can’t be assessed in a small clinic, a hospital like this is where most go to get an in-depth check-up.
- There are so many restaurants and bars to choose from.
For knowing the area a bit better, a map with images:
To know more local places to visit in Nakano, our reviews are interesting to read too. Bozhana tells her story of the neighborhood:
Resident Interview Happy House Orange with Bozhana