Akihabara and Ikebukuro are locations in Tokyo pretty synonymous with otaku culture. But a new place has slowly but surely started to pop up, that is, Nakano Broadway. I gotta say, looking at Youtube videos and blog posts about the place, I was hyped to check it out. The ‘broadway’/ shopping complex is only a 5 minute walk from Nakano station, which is only 4 minutes from Shinjuku! The walk goes through an undercover shopping area filed with food and souvenir shops.
A lot of the restaurants run via ticket machine system. The food is also incredibly cheap, for example my ramen above was only 400 yen!
Now into the anime stuff! I arrived at about 1pm and I was surprised to find so many of the stores locked up! I quickly explored the first and basement floor and honestly there was barely any anime things. I was getting really disappointed but then headed to the third floor and there were a lot more stores. Generally, I found the stores really catered towards collectors with some super obscure items. Particularly there were many ‘Mandarake’ shops, around 8 shops focusing on collector’s items from Gundam to super old toys!
There were also heaps of gachapon (toy capsule machines)! Unfortunately many of them were the same and there weren’t many anime themed ones. Many stores had entire sets of gacha items, so if you wanted to collect the entire set you could buy them all there. I found some to be very overpriced, for example the Pokemon centre has a gacha of eevee hearing a hoodie of one of its evolutions. I recently did the gacha and for only 400 yen. I had a look in one store and they were selling the Glaceon version for 2000 yen!
I particularly have been looking for Disney Q-poskets and the Disney crytalux series. I found it was really important to shop around for prices, for example my Snow White figurine below I paid 1800 yen for it. When I first saw it, it was 2500, then 2300 and finally 2000. I only saw it for 1800 in one store where it was right at the back of the store. I found Q-poskets to be way overpriced from 3000 yen to 5000 yen!!
My little random anime boy is from Mandrake, I just thought he looked gorgeous. Have no idea where he’s from. He was only 100 yen!
Nakano Broadway was definitely an interesting experience. Unfortunately it definitely does not measure up to places like Ikebukuro and Akihabara. You pretty much walk in and out of crowded and overpriced shops, hoping to find at least one item that you firstly, like and secondly, can afford. If you’re a hardcore collector you’ll love this place, but for fans who just want some cute and fun items, it’s not worth the 4 minute train trip there.