North of Nakano station you can find the famous shopping street: Nakano Sun Mall. It is a long covered street with a glass roof and a large variety of shops, restaurants and cafes on both sides. Nakano Sun Mall has a unique traditional look and feel which is in contrast to most other modern shopping areas of Tokyo.
Try some delicious oyaki…
If you're in for something sweet you should definitely try the "Oyaki" at the entrance of the Nakano Sun Mall. They are a sort of pancake and you can order several fillings ranging from azuki (sweet bean), custard and flavor of the season. The smell of Oyaki being baked, is enough for people to get in a queue and it's totally worth waiting for. Good value for money!
Splurge some money in Nakano Broadway.
At the far end of Sun Mall is the Nakano Broadway, a five-storied shopping area renowned for its otaku culture of anime, comics, and toys. The most famous store here is Mandarake.
Mandarake: manga and anime paradise!
Buying manga and anime is very easy in Japan. It is available pretty much anywhere, but Mandarake in Nakano Broadway has it all. Each store specializes in a specific categorie from manga, video games, idol goods to cosplay. Manga lovers will find a paradise when entering the second hand book shop, with prices starting from ¥105. With manga lining the walls from floor to ceiling you’re sure to find whatever you were looking for and probably much more. If you have some money to spend you can find many unique collectors items.
Which character should you cosplay as?
Although most shops at Broadway are otaku-related, there are also some shops selling handbags, sneakers, watches, cameras, and pet supplies among other things. There are also some restaurants and coffee shops scattered throughout the five floors. If you want to know what the future holds for you, you can even go to one of the many fortune tellers.
Have a coffee at this sunny flower cafe.
Browsing the shops in Nakano's Sun Mall and Nakano Broadway is bound to work up your appetite.
On the side streets branching off from the shopping street and on the south exit from the station there are food alleys with various restaurants, including many izakaya (Japanese style eatery), that serve all different kinds of food. If you want some good and affordable sushi, head to Little Paris which is situated in the basement of Nakano Broadway. You can buy good quality fish, sushi and vegetables.
Have some bento box sushi…
To get to know the city is to enjoy it as locals do: by splurging on Japanese food (and/or Manga, toys,…) or just wandering the atmospheric quarters of Nakano. You will love Nakano!
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