Updated: March 07, 2018
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7 Of The Best Things To Do In Nakano, Tokyo

This is an essential guide to things to do in the popular Tokyo neighborhood. You'll find information on all the iconic attractions Nakano is known and loved for.

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Nakano is definitely an area you should consider exploring if you live or a traveling to Tokyo. It's a district located just a 10-min train ride from the urban jungle of Shinjuku, yet Nakano has its local vibe and a distinctive character from the rest of metropolitan Tokyo. Here are the things you should do when you visit.

Walk through Nakano Sun Mall

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When you leave the Nakano Station through the North Exit, you will notice in front of you an entrance to a shopping arcade called Nakano Sun Mall, which leads to the famous Nakano Broadway complex. The Sun Mall has all kinds of cheap eateries, boutiques, souvenir shops, game centers and much more. It's a really lively street that is iconic to the Nakano.

Explore Nakano Broadway

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Nakano Broadway is directly connected to the Sun Mall, so after walking approximately 200 meters from the entrance of the Sun Mall, you should see a sign indicating that you are entering Nakano Broadway. Nakano Broadway is a vast complex on four floors filled mainly with stores that sell anime or manga goods, idol goods, watches, clothing boutiques (some of which that specialize in cosplay outfits), and small art galleries. You'll love exploring this complex even if you are not into the otaku subculture of Japan! If you are into that culture, then you can easily spend half a day there. There are some excellent restaurants and cafes that are worth trying too. Here are some guides with some useful information about Nakano Broadway.

Eat At A Famous Thai Restaurant

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Thai restos are all the rage in Japan right now, and this restaurant called 999 (Kao Kao Kao) stands out because of its signature hot pot which has 1kg of cilantro topping. For people who can't resist the herbal citrusy taste of fresh cilantro, this is a must go place.

Visit An Edo Era Park

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At a 20 to 30 minutes walking distance of the Nakano Station is a charming park called Tetsugakudo Koen (哲学堂公園). It has many elements of traditional landscape aesthetics because it dates back to the Edo era. It has an area with pagodas and shrines and another interesting place with statues of well-known religious figures from around the world. The park has many cherry blossom trees so it would be a good idea to visit in the spring. You can even have a picnic there. It's a public park that is free but it closes at 5PM.

Hours: 8AM - 5PM
Location: 1-3-4 Matsugaoka, Nakano-ku, Tokyo

Enjoy The Nightlife Of The Back Alleys

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Nakano has a vibrant izakaya (Japanese traditional taverns) scene. It is located on the north side of the station, just adjacent to the Nakano Sun Mall shopping arcade. The area is really quaint with its rows of Japanese style eateries and bars. You'll find everything from yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers) to Korean cuisine to sushi to sake bars. This is a real gourmet spot that won't be too hard on your wallet.

Hang Out In Shiki No Mori Park

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Shiki No Mori Koen is a park adjacent to the campuses of Meiji University and Waseda University's Nakano campus. This is a new park pleasantly designed. You'll see plenty of students spending an evening chatting in it during the summer months. Also, there are plenty of restaurants in the facilities surrounding it so you can grab a bite their or get something to eat in the park.

Visit Araiyakushi Temple

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If you want to visit a small peaceful temple you might want to go to Araiyakushi temple, which is about a 15 minutes walk from the Nakano Station (nearer to the Araiyakushi Mae Station of the Seibu Shinjuku Line). It's a quiet oasis in the city and the place is particularly nice during the flowering season.

Location: 5-3-5 Arai, Nakano, Tokyo
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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