My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: February 20, 2023
A little west of Shinjuku, this popular residential area is sometimes known as "Otaku Heaven." The eccentric Nakano Broadway shopping center is located on the Nakano Sun Mall shotengai shopping street in front of Nakano Station, and attracts fans and hobbyists from all over Japan, in search of rare collectibles, comics, costumes and toys. Around Nakano Broadway is a maze of small streets, packed with restaurants and bars. Away from the bustle, relax at Tetsugakudo Park, with beautiful gardens and traditional buildings, themed around philosophy.
Access the area from Nakano Station on the JR Chuo and Sobu Lines and Tokyo Metro Tozai Line.
From Haneda Airport: around one hour twenty minutes by limousine bus, or 55 minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: two hours by train.
From Shinjuku Station: 10 minutes by the JR Chuo Line for Nakano Station
From Tokyo Station: 25 minutes by the JR Chuo Line to Nakano Station
The retro Nakano Broadway shopping center is a maze of tiny specialist shops, selling everything to do with pop culture, from vintage baseball cards and 1960s pop idol records to rare Godzilla toys and anime costumes.
The narrow streets around Nakano Broadway are home to a huge variety of bars and cafés, often with specific themes. North of the station you’ll find Nakano Sun Mall Shopping Street, a long shopping arcade with high glass ceiling and over 100 shops and restaurants. This is the perfect spot to spend some time, whatever the weather. Don’t forget to also explore the side streets and alleyways.
Not far from Nakano Station lies the sprawling Tetsugakudo Park (also known as the Tetsugakudo Temple Garden of Philosophy), founded in 1904 by Inoue Enryo, an expert in metaphysics, who also founded a philosophy academy nearby. In the park, there are 77 small buildings and sculptures inspired by philosophical teachings, to encourage deeper thinking as you explore.
Araiyakushi Baishoin is a Buddhist temple dedicated to healing eye diseases and illnesses, worth visiting for its beautiful grounds and the colorful carved figures of the fearsome Twelve Divine Generals which guard the 12 directions around the rare statues of Yakushi Nyorai and Nyoirin Kannon. Several times a month, the priests perform a fire ceremony to ward off bad luck and stress. The fires and chanting might bring you peace and comfort.