35 Things to See & Do in Nakano, Shinjuku’s Stylish Neighbor, in 2020!

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  • Nakano is a special ward near Shinjuku and is home to various places such as Nakano Sun Plaza and Nakano Broadway. Tokyoites know it well and often visit it. Its convenient location in Tokyo makes it a easy to visit. Here are 39 things to do in Nakano to make the most of your trip to Tokyo!

    For more things to do in other areas, check this list out!
    Would you like to stay in Nakano? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    1. Experience Japanese Food Culture on a Restaurant Tour

    Japanese food is one of the biggest reason people visit Japan, and there are endless places to try it in. This tour offers a walk around the Nakano area where you will visit recommended establishments to try sushi, okonomiyaki, sake, yakitori and more! This is a must-try for foodies who want to eat real Japanese street dishes!

    Booking details: Explore Tokyo’s Nakano area on a local food tour!

    2. Get Real Samurai and Ninja Training

    In a dojo in Nakano thereis a professional who will teach you real samurai and ninja techniques such as discovering your “inner body sense”. There is also a tryout with shurikens (ninja stars) and a katana, a Japanese sword. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, book your tickets below!

    Booking details: Train your inner spirit in a samurai & ninja training, Tokyo

    3. Stroll Around Momijiyama Park

    #紅葉山公園 #nakano #紅葉🍁 #散歩 #iphone7

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    For a relaxing stroll and to get away from the busy streets of the city, you should go to the pretty Momijiyama Park. This peaceful and open space is about a five-minute walk from Nakano Station and has lovely trees, grass patches, flower beds, and ponds. This would be the ideal spot for a picnic or a walk.

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    4. Visit Zenjoji Temple

    Zenjoji Temple is a very urban-style Buddhist temple located just a three-minute walk from Nakano Station. It is a nice place to reflect, pray, and take in the sights and sounds of an authentic Buddhist temple in Japan. People often come to pray here when passing and it is known as a temple popular among the locals.

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    5. Shop in the Famous Nakano Broadway

    Nakano Broadway is a paradise for people who love manga, anime, retro comics, miniatures, books, video games, board games, electronics, and gadgets, among other items. This fascinating shopping complex is famous in Japan as the second, more nostalgic Akihabara and it is just a short walk from Nakano Station.

    Aside from shops, they also have cafes and restaurants. In the basement, they even have a huge marketplace selling groceries. This fantastic place is well worth a visit, and even if you don’t have a passion for manga and anime, you will surely enjoy just walking through it!

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    6. Buy Souvenirs at Gaotchi

    Located in the ever-popular and ever-busy Nakano Broadway, this funky shop attracts both locals and visitors to Tokyo for its huge selection of manga and anime, collectibles, toys, stickers, stamps, and all other cute and useless things you could imagine. If you want cheap souvenirs with so much bright color that you need sunglasses, come here!

    Nakano Broadway Access

    7. Sample Amazing Ice-Cream at Daily Chico

    Located on the basement level of Nakano Broadway (mentioned above), Daily Chico is a great ice-cream parlor. Perhaps its most famous offering is its eight-flavor tower ice-cream! Flavors include chocolate, mocha, and strawberry, and this place attracts many customers! This place also serves other treats and types of ice-cream, and even savoury dishes such as udon noodles.

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    8. Eat Takeout Sushi from Nakamura Suisan

    If you are looking for quality sushi at a very decent price, head to Nakamura Suisan. This is essentially a fish seller, but also sells amazing sushi bento boxes using only the freshest fish. You could grab one and take it away with you, and be able to enjoy amazing quality. This place is popular among locals, so if you are looking for food which is guaranteed to impress, take a trip here!

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    9. Try Delicious Takoyaki at Gindaco Nakano Sunmall

    Takoyaki is a wonderful and well-loved snack in Japan, originating from Osaka. You can find Takoyaki shops and sellers in numerous places around the city, but for some of the best and most recommended try out Gindaco. One of their stores is at the Nakano Sunmall shopping arcade. These fried balls with octopus chunks with delcious sauces and other ingredients are the perfect snack and will warm you up on a cold day!

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    10. Explore Nakano Central Park

    Nakano Central Park is a green space which is home to fun events, marathon runs, charity events, festivals, and lots of visitors! You can always find something to do in this centrally located park area, and can also find some good restaurants and cafes, modern bars, shops, and more!

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    11. Relax at Nakano Shiki No Mori Park

    Nakano Shiki No Mori Park is a fun area right in front of Nakano Central Park (mentioned above), and is a great place for a picnic or to socialise with friends in the warmer months. You may also find food stalls here on occasions, selling Japanese snacks to try!

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    12. Drink with the Locals at Beer Kobo

    Beer Kobo is a cosy pub with a friendly atmosphere and great selection of ales! If you are looking for a relaxed place with locals and a social feel, pay a visit to this place!

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    13. Try Wall Climbing at Climbing Gym J&S

    If you fancy something a lttle different or are a lover of wall climbing (often known in Japan as bouldering), you can try it for a reasonable price at Climbing Gym J&S. Located just a few minutes walk from Nakano Station (North Exit), this gym has a great climbing wall and you can rent or buy all of the required clothing and equipment here.

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    14. Enjoy a Taste of Italy at Pizzeria Ciro

    If, for any reason, you want a taste of authentic Italian pizza, look no further than Pizzeria Ciro, located in the middle of the shopping center of Higashi-Nakano. This amazing pizzeria is run by chefs trained in Naples, and you will often see groups of Italian expats coming here for a meal and a taste of home. You know pizza here is going to be delicious if it gets the stamp of approval from Italians! It also has a range of pasta dishes as well as homemade desserts! Boun Appetito!

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    15. Visit Gallery Freakout, a Trendy Art Space and Bar

    Gallery Freakout is an art space which has a very trendy vibe and holds many exhibitions throughout the year to showcase new and exciting art pieces. It also holds various fashion and clothing shows and music events. It is a small space but definitely worth checking out if you are into contemporary art and fashion.

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    16. Have a Relaxing Stroll at Tetsugaku-Do Park

    Nakano Brodaway and Tetsugakudo Park

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    This park is not touristy, but that makes it very relaxing and a great spot for getting away from the busy city. The closest station is Araiyakushi-Mae Station which is a ten-minute walk away. In the springtime, you can see beautiful cherry blossoms here in a less-crowded environment. It has a walkway over the river and baseball and tennis courts.

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    17. Explore Space at Nakano ZERO Planetarium

    This planetarium holds lectures and exhibitions on space exploration. It is only open on weekends, and can be very popular depending on the particular event showing. You can learn about space here and enjoy the architecture of the building! Although most of the talks are in Japanese, they do occasionally hold talks in English.

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    18. Discover Japanese History at Rengeji Temple

    Rengeji Temple is an old temple which dates back hundreds of years. It has a bell tower and many trees in its surrounding grounds. This historic temple is located in the Egota area of Nakano and is popular among locals. This temple is very active and still regarded as a center of spiritual healing and training, so you may well spot Buddhist monks here.

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    19. Explore Araiyakushi Temple

    This historic temple has been around since the 16th century and is a place of spiritual significance for Shingon Buddhists. It is known as a temple for healing eye illnesses and is located just a five-minute walk from Araiyakushi-mae station. You can easily spend an afternoon here strolling aorund the temple grounds and enjoying the serenity and calm atmosphere.

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    20. Visit Numabukuro Hikawa Shrine

    This popular shinto shrine was built in 1477 (estimated), and is a calm and beautiful place to relax and reflect. It is known for offering good luck in relationships and attracts many locals during the new year holidays. It is conveniently located just a two-minute walk from Numabukuro Station and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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    21. Shop until you Drop on Yakushi Ai Road Shopping Street

    If you are looking for bargains, souvenirs, and discount fashion, take a stroll down Yakushi Ai Road Shopping Street. This street near Nakano Station has many shops selling unique souvenirs, antiques, boutique fashion items, and cheap home ware. You are sure to find some amazing bargains here!

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    22. Discover Japan’s Architectural History at Nogata Standpipe

    Nogata Standpipe is an old water tower which was in operation until 1966. It has a huge dome roof and dominates the view of the area. Now registered as a cultural property of Japan, it has fascinating architecture and is a great place for anyone interested in Japanese architectural history.

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    23. Relax at Kotobuki Yu Onsen

    This lovely hot spring (onsen) dates back to the Showa era, and is conveniently just a few minutes on foot from Nakano Station. It is a family friendly environment and is known for its popularity among young people and students and its decent price. If you are looking for an onsen experience in Tokyo, this is very recommended.

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    24. Enjoy Noodles at the Popular Asahian

    This noodle restaurant is hugely popular among locals and serves soba noodles which have been made from scratch that morning. Located in Numabukuro which is within the Nakano area, expect a line of people waiting. However, the wait is worth it for the amazing noodles! Established in 1924, the layout is typically Japanese with tatami mats and amazing hospitality.

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    25. Slurp Ramen at Aoba Nakano Honten

    This popular and satisfying ramen shop specialises in a warming fish-based broth along with fresh noodles and traditional toppings such as eggs, vegetables, and pork. People line up to come here as it has a warm atmosphere, guaranteed great hearty ramen, and a clean open kitchen where you can see talented chefs cooking up a storm!

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    26. Join the Ramen Girls Festival

    #ラーメン女子博 で #ラーメン女子会 なぅ❣️❣️❣️✨

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    This annual festival celebrates ramen whilst at the same time celebrating its growing popularity among women in Japan, who are finally beginning to enjoy the same pleasures as men. Originally, many people in Japan used to think that only men enjoy ramen as it always is a big bowl with a lot of calories!

    Usually held at Shiki-no-mori Park end of April beginning of May. Whether you are a man, woman, or anything in between, come along and slurp tasty ramen. A bowl costs 900 yen, but entry is free.

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    Shiki-no-mori Park Access

    27. Learn about Fruit Cutting and Carving at the Fruit Academy

    For something a little different, you can learn how to carve fruit at the Fruit Academy in Nakano. Foreign visitors are welcomed, and you can have a one-hour lesson on how to cut and carve fruit and make lovely shapes and designs. You can also take away and enjoy the fruit you have carved!

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    28. Have a Fun Night at Kuroneco Maid Cafe

    Located on the first floor of Nakano Broadway, this fun and welcoming maid cafe is one of the less shady ones around, and worth a visit if you fancy a fun night and friendly company. The deal is that you pay to drink with the girls who work there, who drink with you, perform songs and sometimes dance, and of course dress in cute maid costumes.

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    29. Visit the Nakano-Ku History and Folklore Museum

    色々な絵馬にはそれぞれ意味が。。面白い ema

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    This traditional and interesting museum has many exhibits showing the history of Nakano and the surrounding area. You can learn about the history of clothing, architecture, and culture here. It is home to many old artifacts and has many special exhibitions and events throughout the year. It is located just a short walk from Nakano Station.

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    30. Have a Game of Billiards or Darts at Kobby’s

    If you are a billiards or darts player, or want to try them, head down to Kobby’s, a billiards and darts hall located a few minutes walk from Nogata Station. Established in 1989, this is a relaxing place to enjoy a game with friends. There are no-smoking areas, and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming to all!

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    31. Spend an Evening at C-Bic Sun Plaza Bowling

    Situated just a one-minute walk from Nakano Station, this basement late-night bowling alley is a great place to practice your bowling technique whilst having fun with friends. It has 28 lanes, and is often busy and buzzing. You can rent your shoes here, buy snacks and drinks, and even buy your own bowling balls if you want!

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    32. Play Ping-Pong at Kataoka Sports

    Ping-pong lovers will adore this ping-pong center located in Numabukuro. You can come here to play some ping-pong or watch some amazing players! Kataoka also has a selection of good table tennis equipment to buy, and offers lessons and training sessions, too!

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    33. All-you-can-Eat shabu-shabu at Dontei!

    Dontei is a popular a lively Japanese chain restaurant which specialises in Shabu Shabu (hot pot). This is served buffet style so you can eat as much as your stomach can manage! You can choose from a tasty range of meats, vegetables, and sauces to cook the pot by yourself and to your liking. Great for a night out with friends, and the price is cheap too!

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    Nakano Tours Combined with Other Areas

    Because of Nakano’s location, it’s a great idea to see other parts of Tokyo as well during your trip. Here are some things to do that include Nakano and other places!

    34. Go on the Perfect “Otaku” Shopping Tour

    If you love anime, manga, video games, cosplay, and all things “otaku”, you don’t want to miss this full shopping tour! In the morning you will visit Nakano to check out stores selling the old and new items, and then head to the famous electric city of Akihabara in the afternoon to check out all things anime and games! If you’re up for a full day of geeky shopping, take a look at this!

    Booking details: Join an Otaku Shopping Tour!

    35. See the West Side of Tokyo in One Day

    Tokyo tour

    You can mix up Nakano with historical sites on a special walking tour that takes you to various popular locations on the west side of Tokyo. You can also adjust the schedule to fit your needs and interests. Check out this tour to see west Tokyo all in one day!

    Booking details: One Day Walking Tour of West Side of Tokyo!

    Book your Haneda to Tokyo airport transfer if you’d like to get from the airport to your hotel without having to navigate buses and trains on your own. There is also the essential Suica card for riding Japanese trains, or an unlimited subway travel pass if you’d prefer. If you’re going to have a spare day in Tokyo at your disposal, try out these 39 things on this list! Visiting a new place means you should try and experience as many things as possible!

    For more things to do in other areas, check this list out!
    Would you like to stay in Nakano? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    Related article
    98 Things to Do in Shinjuku, the Party District of Tokyo, in 2018!

    *Featured Image from AC photo
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