Nakano is a special ward near Shinjuku and is home to various places such as Nakano Sun Plaza and Nakano Broadway. Its convenient location in Tokyo makes it a great place to visit. Here are 39 things to do in Nakano to make the most of your trip to Tokyo!
While in Tokyo, you just have to try the local food! 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!
In a dojo in Nakano is 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 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
If you are a book lover, you can head to Nakano City Central Library and relax with a book! This big library is known for having a fairly good selection of English books, so you could easily spend a few hours here just reading and unwinding!
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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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.
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 and just a short walk from Nakano Station.
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!
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!
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!
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 to be very recommended.
Takoyaki is a wonderful and well-loved snack in Japan, with origins in 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, of which one of their stores is at the Nakano Sunmall shopping arcade. These fried balls of octopus with delcious sauces and other ingredients are the perfect snack and will warm you up on a cold day!
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 stawberry, and this place attracts many customers! This place also serves other treats and types of ice-cream, and dishes such as Udon.
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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!
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!
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 Clinbing 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.
If 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!
— GALLERY FREAK OUT (@g_freakout) October 14, 2017
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.
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.
This planetarium holds lectures and exhibitions on space exploration and information. 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 old but traditional architecture of the building! Although most of the talks are in Japanese, they do occasionally hold talks in English.
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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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.
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!
— Taka M. (@ponnn) November 7, 2017
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.
能舞台。東京・沼袋氷川神社。Noh stage of Numabukuro Hikawa Shrine, Tokyo, Japan pic.twitter.com/nmfPmuF
— quinrosa (@quinrosa) August 24, 2011
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 at the new year. It is conveniently located just a two-minute walk from Numabukuro Station and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.
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!
This noodle restaurant is hugely popular among locals and serves soba noodles which have been made 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.
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!
For something a little different and very unique, 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!
This traditional and interesting museum has many exhibits showing the history of Nakano and its surrounding area. You can learn about the history of clothing, architecture, and culture here. It is home to many old arifacts and has many special exhibitions and events throughout the year. It is located just a short walk from Nakano Station.
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!
Aoba, Nakano honten pic.twitter.com/86OV6aXQQ8
— Michael Vito (@mjvito) February 2, 2016
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 ramen, and a clean open kitchen where you can see talented chefs cooking up a storm!
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 in a country which has not been very progressive on the gender rights front.
In 2018, it will be held at Shiki-no-mori Park from April 26th to May 6th. 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.
— Cyndi@3/28(水)エデン (@cyndi_ebr) March 27, 2016
Pizzeria Bar Napoli is a popular pizza joint with a branch in Nakano. It has 500 yen pizzas at lunchtine, and happy hour is from 3-7pm where you can enjoy 300 yen alcoholic drinks! It has tasty toppings such as tonnata, diavola, quattro formaggi, and marherita. DELIZIOSO!
The Yadoya Guesthouse is popular, fun, and friendly, and usefully provides cheap and cheerful accommodation to travelers. You can select a dorm room or a private Japanese-style room, and the guesthouse also has a common area, TV, and free-to-use kitchen along with free wifi.
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 dancing, and of course dress in cute maid costumes.
Pocataco’s is one of the few Mexican restaurants in the area, and is definitely worth a visit if you fancy some taco’s and are in the area! You can enjoy the calm ambience and sample their nacho’s, taco’s, tortilla’s, and a great selection of coffee’s and cocktails. The restaurant is fairly cheap compared to other Mexican places in Tokyo.
— 100Tokyo (@100_Tokyo) May 30, 2014
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!
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 pulses to cook yourself and enjoy with friends, and the price is cheap. Beer is cheap, too!
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!
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 shopping, take a look at this!
Booking details: Join an Otaku Shopping 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!
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