Nakano Broadway for Geeks
Going to Broadway
This is about the third time for me here visiting in Nakano in Tokyo. For those of you who don't know, Nakano is one of the many hot spots in Tokyo to visit. I am staying in the Nakano-ku / Nogata area which is about 10 minutes away by bus heading towards Nakano station. Putting on my lens, I will give you a glimpse of what Nakano has to offer (both old and recent).
Here I will be featuring three areas near Nakano station you might find interesting. Here are a few hidden gems unknown to some that can make your visit to Nakano both fascinating and entertaining.
Whether you like nostalgic things, learning about Japan's sub-culture, shopping for things you might not find elsewhere, getting a massage, indoor and outdoor dining, exploring nooks and crannies (with corners and turns filled with elements of wonderment).
Here is something for everyone... A glimpse of both old and new Japan within walking distance of each other.
Going to Broadway
Nakano Broadway is a shopping complex in Tokyo made famous for its many stores.
There are four floors that are filled with little shops including those that sells various electronics and collectible items of all sorts including American and Japanese.
And who knows what other items you might find that tickles your fancy.
For me it was the Japanese superheroes and monsters toys or dolls I used to play with as a child. Kikaida, Kamen rider V3, Robocon, Godzilla, Gamera, etc...
Here you will also find current Sci-fi American items in demand anywhere. "ALIEN" items is what I like to look for.
If you love nostalgic things, this place is HEAVEN !
Car models of all sorts, barbie dolls, old Japanese street signs and toys... the list goes on.
You will also find Disney and American superheroes, Hot Wheels, antiques, figurines of all sorts... you name it !
Even the weird stuff, the weirder the better. And to those Japanese anime and manga fans out there? Yes, you can find what you want there as well too.
This is a place for you !
Sell some of your own items and get some cash too.
Oh... and watch out for those "Gacha" machines that can be addicting.
Those bubble gum look a like machines has items in small capsules that make you want to try to get your favorites. One more try... I gotta have this !
They usually cost about 400 yen or $ 4.00 a pop. So if you keep missing what you hope for, it can cost you a lot.
This place gives one the opportunity to find those hard to get items you always dreamed of having and finally make it happen. I want that !
Magazines, comics, CD's & DVD's, expensive watches, photography items, clothing stores, restaurants, massage parlor, even a small, affordable supermarket named "Seiyu" on the bottom floor with prices that will amaze you !
Am I really in Tokyo? Is the prices here that low?
Exploring Japanese sub-culture
In some countries you might find some things strange, or maybe even taboo.
Here in America there is a program series that features some of the taboos in this world we live in. Sometimes I find myself watching this program and find it intriquing to watch.
In fact there is an episode that covers some of the taboos within Japan's subculture. I am here not to judge.
In my lens, I will reveal what might seem as a culture shock to you that exists within the Japanese society.
In relation to all of this, Nakano Broadway caters to some of those subcultures and one might call them "Taboo". Here are some links.
Cosplay: More info on the subculture famous in Japan.
2) Maid Cafes and massage parlors:
Nakano Central Park
About 5 minutes walking distance away is Nakano Central Park. I was told this place wasn't here a year ago. It just mind boggles me how in Japan, they are so quick to build buildings. Just like at a friend's place, I came to visit a year later and I looked out the window to find what was once an empty view space was now the top of a building !
This is my very first time here. We walked pass office buildings along with stores and restaurants and a university area. We soon found ourselves in a park like area.
There you will find lunch wagon type vehicles that sell beverages including beer and different types of pupus (foods that go well with beer)...etc.
It was about 7:30 pm and the sun was disappearing within the night sky. It was really a sight to see.
Families with children spending some quality time together. Couples and groups enjoying themselves sitting and dining on outdoor areas under tents.
Joggers passed us by along with others taking their dog for a walk. The night lights created some magic and atmosphere. I wished I could've join in and have a beer or two along with some pupus but we had other plans.
A Hidden Gem
Every so often in Japan, you will find yourself entering through a shotengai (shopping arcade) . There are many shops and fast food restaurants in these straight and medium sized walkways with roof coverings above or arcade as they call it. It is quite lighted up and you will find them near train stations or along the way home making it convenient to shop for little things like necessities or food items to buy even with a discounted price.
In Nakano, after walking through a shotengai, we ended up somewhere as if in a new time zone or time warp. I did not know a place like this every existed. It was like walking through a modern city and then all of a sudden... these nook and crannies became filled with nostalgia.
These little walkway alley type roads seemed to be a place from the past. It was as if we had entered into Japan of old, mixed in with the new.
There were all sorts of bars, like an 80's bar where they play 80's music.
Many indoor and outdoor dining restaurants, ramen shops, convenience stores, massage and pachinko parlors, maid cafes, and even a capsule hotel. I really enjoyed walking through here.
It was like walking through a theme park adventure which gives you a feeling like sometimes you never know where the next turn will take you.
Thank you for reading !