Japan Trip - Around Nakano

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

Yes, more toys! No, I didn't go back to Akihabara. (Not alone, at least. I've since taken Wendi and Jo back to go toy store diving with me.) This time I went to a stop on the Chuo line called Nakano.

Nakano has a covered pedestrian shopping mall, as do many other boroughs in Tokyo. The one in Nakano has been described as cathedral-like, with good reason.

Small, interesting streets abound without, but one of the big draws is Nakano Broadway.

Nakano Broadway is the pedestrian shopping street turned mall, with multiple stories of shops.

The view from a walkway on the second floor.

I knew I was in business when I found a shop called Robot Robot. Score! That meant...


Lots and lots of toys.

I liked this case: Black Ship toys, and collectible busts!

I liked the video game name of this toy store.

But Nakano Broadway's otaku claim to fame is the flagship Mandarake store, which has since grown to encompass multiple stores and multiple levels, all within the same shopping mall. Here's Mandarake #3.

More otaku shops soon moved in, like this one devoted entirely to dolls. (The real kind of dolls--not collectible action figures. Ahem.)

This store sells cosplay (costume play) outfits from manga and anime.

As does this one. And yes, they do have men's XL sizes in those. Not that I walked away with any.

One thing I don't think I've documented yet are the stores devoted to idoru-- Japanese pop idols. Usually female, idoru are young, beautiful, and ephemeral, most becoming objects of popular obsession for only a short time. Harajuku was filled with places catering to the, um, needs of idoru otaku, but they all had big signs up saying NO PHOTOGRAPHS, so I didn't take any pictures.

An all yo-yo shop!

With yo-yo hobos practicing their art outside.

Nakano Broadway had its share of video arcades as well. This one had a guy with a microphone giving the play-by-play while people watched.

A home-brew steampunk R2-D2.

Back out on the streets of Nakano, which had a very cool, Shimokitazawa-like feel.

A couple of fellows outside a restaurant.

A tanuki, a Japanese raccoon dog, which legends say brings good fortune.

A cool sign.

See you later! In the meantime, don't get your hands pinched by crabs in an elevator.


tanita davis April 26, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

Cosplay costume shops = dangerous.
Cracks me up to think of someone doing a play-by-play of a video game! So many of the places you go have things that are just downright quirky. Japan seems to have a good sense of whimsy and fun, at least on the surface.

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