Nakano Broadway, the otaku shopping area of Nakano (a special ward in Tokyo).
A ward that epitomizes Showa era (1926-1989) and the bubble economy, back in 1960, the construction of Nakano Broadway building was created.
The goal was to create a 10-story shopping and apartment complex and in 1966, the building was a go to destination.
It was a location where many entertainers lived, the location had luxurious outdoor pools, a garden on the rooftop, golf facility and more.
In many ways, it still is a go to spot but the once upscale area has now become an old location but now becoming more otaku focused and restaurants and coffee shops and also other stores continue to exist in the building.
In fact, the building is broken down into six categories of storefronts: Food, Fashion, Daily Use, Hobby, Health Care and Other Businesses.
Some may call it a retro shopping area for otaku as opposed to Akihabara, but the main difference one will find is that the location is quite chill. A lot of families and because of that, there is not a lot of public display of perverseness.
Shops open from noon to 8 p.m.
And one can find the popular Mandarake (a second hand manga/comic book shop); old animation cells at Anime World Star; robots at Robot Robot; PEZ dispensers at A-Moju; miniature cars for sale at aiai; find western and antique dolls at AND TOY; look for fashionable bags at AOKI, get your dental work done at Aiiku Dental Clinic, find second-hand PC equipment at Junk World 2nd, look for electronics at Janpara; play arcade games at namco Nakano; print out your photos from your digital camera or smartphone at Photolab Koide camera; go Gundam happy at Plabbit; find your collectable anime/idol cards at Cardshop Treasure; for OTOME fans; find games at GEO Nakano Broadway; there is Habikoro Toy Nakano2 and even more toys at Mandarake Mon and this is just a few shops mentioned.
And if you are hungry, if you want a maid cafe, there is Kuroneko Maid Mahu Cafe; famous character named Peko chan has her own cake shop at Fujiya Nakano Broadway; coffee at Cafe Miyama; many varieties of snacks at Okashi no Machioka; for tofu enthusiasts, you can check out Shigezou tofu the 3rd Nakano Broadway; and for green tea enthusiasts, there is Surugaen Chaho.
And once again, this is only a few shops at this building area!
All this in Nakano plus the classic concert hall and hotel facilities at Nakano Sun Plaza, Nakano is no doubt a place to visit.
But because of its niche stores that focus on video games, manga, anime, idol and more, Nakano Broadway is a place worth checking out.
Photos by Antonio Airoso