Nakano Broadway, one of those places i’ve read about and always found fascinating but somehow, have never ventured into, even after repeated trips to Tokyo. Mostly because Nakano is situated slightly away from the main stretch of my usual haunts and because i always shuffle my shopping trips towards the tail end of my holidays, just the thought of travelling up and down was enough to discourage me from heading over and i would visit the more accessible Akiba instead.
This year though, things were going to be different, i was determined and no one was going to stop me! Okay, if i’m to be really honest with you guys, i almost skipped Nakano again, it was my last day in town and i had to lug my big ass suitcase all the way from Ebisu to Nakano. (And then to the airport in the evening!)
Though the journey on the public train with my suitcase was almost painful, i made it to Nakano station fully intact. One thoughtful bit about being in Tokyo is the availability of lockers to store your bulky items while you shop around which of course, was a welcome relief. Don’t worry if the lockers right outside the station are taken, there are a couple more scattered around the area. I found one that was big enough for my suitcase right around the corner of a KFC joint.
With my suitcase stored, it was time to head into the shopping arcade, you won’t miss it. Pretty much everyone getting out of the station is heading there, make it through the numerous restaurants and walk all the way in. Nakano Broadway is right at the end of the shopping arcade.
Skip the lower levels (boring!) and head up!
I know it’s been said many times before by many people, but this really is Otaku paradise. Not just a paradise for the anime Otaku but really, a haven for pretty much all sorts of geek culture. It was just a wonderful randomness for all the Otakus in us. It was totally more than worth the journey.
Excuse me while i spam your browsers with geeky images. For some reason, that green monster up there makes me think Futurama.
I think it’s safe to say, that whatever sub-culture you are geeking into, you would probably find something to fancy in this building.
Like little trains? Sure, have a look!
Prefer real life densha memorabilia? There’s a shop dedicated to that too!
Enka fan? Knock yourself out!
Where does one start right?
There was also a shop for old movie posters. Sadly, like most shops here, they don’t take credit card. Cash only!
I found a shop selling old literature and picked up an old copy of Car Graphic with the Alfa GTV on the cover. It was extremely cheap, i wish i grabbed more but having already bought numerous other magazines at T-site earlier, my luggage was getting really heavy.
Toys on the other hand are rather lightweight, so i picked up a couple of Mikus! I found the prices somewhat reasonable and Mandarake, the anchor tenant of this building, accepts plastic. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.
For all the Auto-Otakus, yes, there are a few shops catering to your needs but if you are looking for a very specific car model, i think Tam Tam at Akihabara might have a better selection.
If you happen to be just looking around or are happy to browse the randomness here, then yes, it’s great fun!
I like this.
Unlike the shops in Akiba, there are bargains to be had here. Check out the prices of those old Nostalgic Hero magazines. Don’t say i didn’t warn you.
Crazy, just crazy.
This shop is dedicated to vintage model kits.
Like a kid in a candy store.
Retro Circuit Wolf kits. Check out the artwork!
Speaking of artwork.
There was also an automotive-themed cafe.
Another Auto-Otaku store but sadly it was closed.
More random geekiness for your viewing pleasure.
Of course, not everything here has a bargain basement price tag. There are some collectibles here that are worth big money.
How i look when i see big price tags.
If you prefer playing dress-up instead of collecting. The sign says “Men’s sizes available”.
Nakano Broadway also plays host to a number of art exhibitions, on the day i visited, there was a Snow Miku exhibit!
Yes, photos are allowed!!! (Unlike most places in Akihabara)
Signed by the contributors/artists.
There is also a beautiful cafe opened by the same person who runs the exhibition space. Would you like to make a guess who that person is?
I’m sure the artwork on the walls are a dead giveaway, yes, it’s by Takashi Murakami. Yes, THAT Takashi Murakami.
For fans of anime, there are also shops selling original Cels. Prices of course correspond to how popular the source material is.
Overly attached girlfriend.
Anime sure has come a long way.
For fans of all anime sub-cultures i guess.
Hey look, it’s THAT indoor swimming pool!
Some interesting items inside. VR!
Dodgy crane machine.
There’s also a mini arcade playing some older games.
Finishing off, here’s some old school J-rock memorabilia. I think by now you would probably have a rough idea of what to expect in Nakano Broadway so i’ll leave you with just some tips.
Bring lots of cash, give yourself plenty of time to shop around and as always, have fun!