Nakano Broadway, Tokyo 中野ブロードウェイ
Nakano, or Nakano Broadway, in Tokyo is a temple for otaku, Japanese pop-culture superfans, where you will find manga, anime, figurines and robots. However there is much more to explore as well.
Nakano Broadway is a large shopping emporium just north of Nakano Station in western Tokyo. Throughout its five floors, Nakano Broadway offers a dizzying mix of goods and services, the best known being pop culture collectibles (manga, anime, models, kawaii goods, idol goods, etc.) in an upbeat, downtown atmosphere that's quirky, fun to explore, and retains the feel of the Tokyo of a few decades ago.
Nakano Broadway's huge range of pop goods, hobby and collectibles stores - well over a hundred of them - are mainly on the 2F and 3F. The biggest presence in this category is Mandarake, a pre-owned manga, anime, game hardware, CDs, figurines and pop collectibles store with branches throughout Japan (the biggest branch is in Akihabara). Mandarake began life here in Nakano Broadway, in 1987, and Nakano Broadway now contains over 25 Mandarake stores, including the chain's headquarters, each catering to a specific pop culture interest.
Nakano Broadway offers something - both new and used - for everyone: audio, watch, jewelry, and camera stores, restaurants, cafes (maid cafes, too!), drug stores, florists, fortune tellers, health clinics (orthodox and alternative), real estate agents, and more - a random mix of stores that makes strolling the passages of Nakano Broadway such a fun experience.
The huge "Petit Paris" clothing section shares the B1 floor with a sprawling array of supermarkets, groceries and delicatessens as found on the underground floor of all Japanese department stores.
For the visitor with an interest in Japanese pop culture, Nakano Broadway offers not only expensive rare toys, figurines and other collectibles, but cheaper Japan-only goods and trinkets, too, that make great souvenirs.
One of Japan's most prominent pop-artists, Takashi Murakami, has a considerable presence in Nakano Broadway in the form of several "Zingaro" cafes, galleries and stores, and some others under different names. The most famous is Bar Zingaro on the 2F, which is a bar/cafe featuring Murakami's distinctive nouveau-hippy art.
Nakano Broadway is accessed from Nakano Station by way of the covered Nakano Sunmall shopping street, which offers lots of regular shopping, with over 100 stores including drug stores, fashion, game centers, cafes, watches and jewelry, books and magazines, beauty salons and fast food. Nearby is a branch of the super-store, Don Quijote as well as the low priced fashion store, Uniqlo.
Exploring the alleys around Nakano Broadway is at least as interesting as exploring the insides of Nakano Broadway. They are chock-a-block with traditional pubs and eateries (izakaya), nighttime bars and live houses, and lots more. Just one block north of Nakano Station is Fujiya Camera, well-known for its used cameras, both imported and Japanese.
Nakano Broadway Hours
Differs by store. "Hobby"-related stores typically open from about 11am to 1pm and close around 7pm or 8pm. Other stores typically open from around 10 am and close around 8 pm or 9 pm.
Access to Nakano
Broadway Nakano Broadway is accessed from the North Exit of Nakano Station (JR Chuo-Sobu Line, Tozai Subway Line) via the covered Nakano Sunmall shopping arcade - a 5 minute walk.
After the frenzy of Nakano Broadway, treat yourself to a rest at Tetsugakudo Park, a half hour walk away. Created by the Buddhist monk Inoue Enryo, this park of philosophy is dedicated to the great thinkers of the East and the West offers a quiet walk lined with statues and wooden buildings.