People call Nakano in Tokyo as “the town of subculture” in Japan. In recent years, more and more foreign tourists visit Nakano hunting for items related manga, anime, and games. The town is compact and has a laid-back atmosphere compared to a large geek town like Akihabara. Nevertheless, the selection of items you can find in Nakano is as great and geeky as Akihabara. Nakano is only 5 min away from Shinjuku via the JR Sobu line.
Nakano Broadway Shopping Complex
The biggest attraction of Nakano that draws the hordes of otaku is this shopping complex. This one and only five-story complex (including the basement floor) has over 300 small shops. You can shop for daily necessities like groceries and clothes while checking out the ultimate geeky items such as toys, records, books, games, collectibles and more. There’s a retro game arcade as well. Their website is now available in English!
Nakano Broadway Shopping Complex Website
Nakano Sun Mall
The long arcade that leads to Nakano Broadway is the Nakano Sun Mall with over 100 shops on both sides. Covered by the glass roof, this shopping street is always lively with locals and visitors even on the rainy days.
Nakano is one of the towns in Tokyo where different kinds of ramen shops are concentrated in a small area. Many of the shops are specialized in tsukemen (dipping ramen). If you don’t know where to go, just look for a line of people waiting in a queue. Most likely, the line will lead you to a ramen shop.
Nakano Central Park
If you need some fresh air away from the crowd, Nakano Central Park is the place to go. Located in a walking distance from the north exit of the station, it’s just about 5 min walk from Nakano Broadway. Restaurants, cafes, McDonald’s, and a convenience store are located around the park. The seats in the terrace are nice place to relax.
Occasionally on weekends, anime/manga related events are held around the Nakano station. If you thought Akihabara is too busy and too popular, Nakano might satisfy your geeky needs.