Talking about Japanese pop culture, one of the things that come up to people’s minds are “anime and manga”. And when talking about sacred sites for anime and manga lovers in Tokyo, people would mention Akihabara. However, if you are still not satisfied with anime and manga merchandises there, you should also visit “Nakano”.
Only 4 minutes by train from the centre of Tokyo
From Shinjuku, the centre of Tokyo, to Nakano, it is only a 4-minute train ride.
At Nakano, you can find a wide variety of unique shops plus anime and manga related merchandise at “Nakano Broadway”.
Although at one time the shopping complex was temporary closed down, a shop called “Mandarake” succeeded in capturing the Japanese pop culture and reformed the shopping complex into a hub for otakus.
To another sacred site for otakus
From Shinjuku station (A 40-minute bus ride from Haneda Airport) to Nakano station is a 4-minute train ride.
Go through the north exit, walk straight ahead and you will see the sign “Nakano Broadway”.
If Akihabara is the latest “otaku shopping district”, Nakano is the treasure trove for the hardcore fans.
A doubtful atmosphere as you step inside
However, there is more than anime and manga-related shops at Nakano Broadway.
“Nakano Meikyokudo” is a shop that sells Japanese Enka and records from Showa period (20th century). Recently, J-Pop is becoming worldwide but once you listen to these old masterpieces, you will be struck by the “real” Japanese music.
Some shops are still closed… but more fun awaits!
Since Nakano Broadway was once temporarily closed, even today there are some shops with their shop shutters down. Some people think it is uneasy to walk through this dark aisle.
Don’t you worry, here are more things for you to explore at Nakano Broadway!
An Otaku's favourite
Here we are at “Mandarake”! Mandarake store is the biggest contributor to the comeback of Nakano Broadway. There are 27 stores separated by different genres and categories located on all 4 floors at Nakano Broadway.
You will surely be surprised with what you find
One of the Mandarake shops at Nakano Broadway has a “torii” (Japanese gate) at its entrance. The shop is called “Mandarake Hen Ya”, which literally translates to Mandarake’s peculiar store. The name says it all, here you will find toys and collectibles that are not available elsewhere. These include items from the pre-war era and even… fossils!
An Otaku's Heaven!
You will find assortments of mangas here, including the rare and the ones that have stopped their publishing. If you collect Japanese mangas, this place is a dream come true for you. Time to add more mangas to your collection!
Not sure where to use the rest of your coins? Spend it on "Gashapon"
There are lots of capsule-vending machines or “Gashapon” at Nakano Broadway. Insert the amount of coins written on the machine, turn the lever and you’ll receive a capsule with collectibles inside. The palm-sized figures contained in capsules are a kind of popular collectible for otakus, but there are other items you can get, such as keychains or stickers. Gashapons are favourable to children as well, so if you’re not sure where to spend your coins with, try using it with Gashapons!
Grab a soft serve ice-cream
You won’t feel like going back after spending your time at Nakano Broadway. How about taking a break and get some ice-cream?
“Daily Chico” sounds like the name of a cute ice-cream stall. Behind its “kawaii” name, the ice-cream they serve has an extra large portion with 8 different flavours stacked on one cone! This shop is now opened for half a century and continues to develop their offers. Who knows, one day you might find a tower of 16 different flavoured ice-creams in the future!
If you don’t think you can finish the extra large potion alone, you can order a smaller portion there too.
A place where Otakus shall not miss out
In this article, we mostly focused on Mandarake but there are 100 other shops that sells anime and manga-related products at Nakano Broadway.
There is no time to wait. How about finding tickets to Tokyo with us so you can experience an otaku’s heaven with your own eyes!