Nakano Sun Mall/Nakano Broadway


 

Nakano is located just west of Shinjuku on the JR Chuo Line. It is an interesting mix of modern and traditional businesses, retail stores and homes.

 

 

The area around Nakano Station is a busy shopping district. The Nakano Sun Plaza shopping street begins right in front of the North Exit and offers a long, modern covered strip of foods, clothing, electronics, gaming, banks and cafes.

 

Things definately get more colorful when you decide to head west and walk along the side streets. The modern family oriented shoping street suddenly matures into a busy Showa-feel bar district with aisles and aisles of small mom and pop owned izakaya (bars), ramen shops, some shady retail stores and not so traditional bars for men.

 

Once you decide to continue back on the main shopping street a five-storied shoping complex marks the end of the Sun Mall. The Nakano Broadway is famous in Tokyo for its "otaku" culture and it's many stores dealing in anime and idol goods.

 

Although Nakano Broadway also has clothing, shoes, and foods, most of the customers visit the "otaku" related stores selling manga, magazines, animation character figurines, idol merchandise, games, and idol/anime related CDs. I must admit the stores, colors, merchandise and even the people create a very unique atmosphere that I could probably never comprehend.

 

If you like sashimi, I can recommend a 24-hour fresh fish restaurant/bar minutes away from Nakano Broadway.

 

"Mekiki no Ginji" is a very Japanese sashimi joint that offers reasonable breakfasts, lunches and dinner. The feel is that of a izakaya but the interior is bright, clean and child friendly. This day the family ordered the lunch special, sashimi bowls 680yen. I ordered turbin shell sashimi and whale meat. The food was fresh and delicious.

 

Nakano is a very interesting place to experience both modern and old. It is also a safe place to learn about some of Japan's "naughty" culture as long as you stay on the main strip. If you must explore the side streets at night, don't draw attention to yourself and refrain from using a flash. Remember, it is a bar district and most people are sadly not themselves.

 

Access: Nakano Station - JR Chuo Line (1 stop from Shinjuku by express) North exit

Open: Daily but nothing is open till 11:00~11:30

Child Friendly: During the day. At night, families with kids should stick to the main Sun Mall Shopping Street.

Time: 5~7 hours

#Shopping #Food #Tourism #Otaku

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