Located in the west of Shinjuku, Nakano is a densely populated region of Tokyo that brims with interesting things to see, do, and eat. It is a district that has its own traditional vibe, vibrant subcultures, distinctive importance, and unique bars and cafes from the rest of metropolitan Tokyo. Explore our post to learn the 10 best things to do in Nakano for which this popular Tokyo neighborhood is known and loved.
1. Explore the otaku heaven, Nakano Broadway
Nakano Broadway is a paradise for all those who love manga, comics, books, miniatures, gadgets, games, anime, and electronics. This is an amazing shopping complex that offers four floors that house over 250 shops with much-demanded manga series, trinkets, plastic figurines, and more. In its basement, there is even a huge marketplace where people come for groceries. Even if you don’t have any liking for manga or anime, you can still enjoy just strolling around.
Address: 5-52-15, Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
2. Find rare second-hand manga books at Mandarake
One of the famous and biggest stores in Nakano Broadway, Mandarake Nakano is the main Mandarake store that sells Japanese pop culture merchandise of all types. It is one of the busiest and largest manga and anime stores all over the globe that welcomes visitors from across the world. The Mandarake Honten on the third floor offers an extensive collection of manga: Shonen, Shojo, Boys love, etc. Almost 30 other Mandarake stores are located inside of Nakano Broadway, each specialized in different interests such as cosplay costumes, animation scripts, trading cards, dojinshi, toys, vintage robots, etc.
Address: 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
3. Try the 8-flavors tower soft serve at Daily Chiko
Located in the basement of Nakano Broadway, Daily Chiko is a great ice-cream parlor that is known for offering the Instagram-worthy eight-layer ice cream. It is a huge 20 cm tower ice cream containing eight whopping layers of strawberry, matcha, coffee, soda, lemon, grape, chocolate, and vanilla. This place also offers other kinds of ice creams and dishes such as Udon noodles. And if you are not willing to take this eight-layer ice cream challenge, you can still get the smaller sizes of this photogenic soft serve ice cream.
Address: Nakano Broadway B1F, 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Dailychiko (Japanese Only)
4. Take a walk at Momijiyama Park
To get an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Momijiyama Park, and enjoy a relaxing stroll. It is a peaceful and gorgeous green space, which is about a five-minute walk from Nakano Station. This place is an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic for people looking for interesting things to do in Nakano. People come here to stroll around the green patches, trees, ponds, and stunning flower beds. The park gets especially beautiful during the autumn foliage season with bright red maple trees.
Address: 2-5 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.visit.city-tokyo-nakano.jp/attractions/park/335/ (Japanese Only)
5. Shop at Nakano Sun Mall Shopping Street
Nakano Sun Mall Shopping Street is a long shopping arcade among many shopping streets in Nakano. It is a 225-meters-covered pedestrian street with shops and restaurants present on both sides. The street always remains busy with both tourists and locals. Nakano Sun Mall has everything to offer from cheap eateries and arcades to boutiques and souvenir shops. Also, there is a great range of restaurants selling tasty sushi, ramen, and Takoyaki.
Address: 5-63-3 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
6. Learn fruit cutting at Fruit Academy
Those looking for different experiences and unique things to do in Nakano should visit Fruit Academy and learn some fancy fruit cutting and carving skills. During the one-hour lesson conducted in this academy, the fruit artist Taizo Hirano teaches the visitors different techniques for cutting and carving fruits into wonderful shapes. Also, the visitors can take away and enjoy the fruit that they have carved beautifully.
Address: 3-1-16 Saginomiya, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
7. Izakaya and bar hopping around Nakano Nomiyagai
Many bars and izakayas fill the old area of Nakano station like other major stations on Chuo Line. Mostly have become more tourist-friendly in the past few years and they also remain full of locals to give visitors a great company. Nakano Nomiyagai, the area where many izakayas bars are located, is on the north side of the station. One amazing point to start bar-hopping from is the Juke 80s, which is a music request bar serving drinks from 500 JPY. After enjoying a drink here, you can move to other izakayas and bars located around Nakano Nomiyagai to enjoy delicious Japanese snacks.
Address: B1, 5-56-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
8. Taste freshly-brewed beer at Nakano Beer Kobo
Tucked away in the street behind the famous Nakano Broadway, Beer Kobo is a peaceful, small bar. There are three counters that serve freshly-brewed beers. There are five taps with five different beers having a bit fruity and quite a solid flavor. The food menu here is also quite nice so, there is no need to fill your stomach with food before visiting here. All beers and food items are served here for 500 JPY, and visitors can keep the same tankard throughout the evening.
Address: 5-53-4 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://nakanobeer.blogspot.com/ (Japanese Only)
9. Indulge in the art of Takashi Murakami at Bar Zingaro
One of the best things to do in Nakano for all art buffs is to visit the Bar Zingaro dedicated to a famous Japanese pop artist named Takashi Murakami. People can relax on the elegant sofas while looking at the amazing paintings on the walls and admiring the artworks of Murakami. Coffee lovers can sip Flower Café Latte with the iconic flower printed on the steamed milk and try different things from the ever-changing menu. Those visiting this artist’s bar-café also get the chance to purchase merchandise. Also, there is a colorful exhibition space that opens only for special events.
Address: Nakano Broadway 2F, 5−52−15 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
10. Shop and dine at Rengazaka Street
The stylish Rengazaka Street, located a minute walk from the south exit of Nakano Station, has it’s both sides filled with famous shops and restaurants. Nakano Rengazaka Street holds a collection of around 40 restaurants and shops that serves different kinds of Japanese dishes and alcohol. Many of the shops remain open till late at night, so it is recommended to stop by different spots such as Dining Kitchen root and a Japanese sake bar Nakano Aonisai.
Address: 3-36 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
All information in this article is as of the published or updated date
Thumbnail image is from Flickr