Day out in Nakano & Koenji

OK so it’s been a while since I posted about my Tokyo adventures…and there’s still heaps to share, so here is one favourite day I spent with friends Akie and U-Tarou (from Baal), who you see below.

I was still getting used to my extensions, and finding that they got incredibly knotty incredibly quickly, took to putting my hair back in ponytails. I wouldn’t normally, feeling I’m perhaps a tad old now for the look, but hey! It’s Tokyo; I can look kawaii if I want. I wore violet circle lenses, and some co-ordinating eyeshadow.  Naturally, there was leopard print involved in my outfit.

First stop was Nakano, which is to the west of Shinjuku, otherwise known as the other Akihabara. There were toy and figure shops and maid cafes there before anywhere else in Tokyo, and otaku used to head here before Akihabara developed and blossomed to the geek paradise it is today. (See this blog: Tokyobling, for a really good rundown on the area).

Destination: Nakano Broadway. Just opposite the train station, there is a covered street you can stroll down, with lovely sunshine streaming in through the glass ceiling, making it very bright.

When you get to the end of this walkway, you come to a mall or arcade, which is a rabbit warren of curio. Take the escalators up and you’ll see lots of interesting little shops filled with toys, figurines, cosplay gear, doll accessories, clothes etc.


These look like just a cute assortment of shoes and boots, right? Until you see the scale – put a finger next to them and you see they are tiny dolls’ shoes and boots. Aww…

Again I’ll quote from Tokyobling, as it’ s a good read and very descriptive:

One of the most famous Manga and anime chain stores in Japan, Mandarake, are established in force at Nakano Broadway, with numerous speciality store covering everything from plastic model kits, cell phone straps, anime cells to cosplay uniforms and antique books and magazines. It is also the place to pick up cheap second hand computers, anime figures, second hand manga and some extremely rare pop culture antiques (shop signs, old posters, enamel novely good from the pre-war era). In short, Nakano Broadway is everything that Akihabara used to be.


Not being otaku myself, I was more interested in fashion than figurines, so no pics from me on that score. After some shopping there, we headed back to the train station to check ut Koenji – a very cool suburb with a lot of secondhand stores and punk flavour. Meeting up with Emery, we checked out a variety store…whereupon he promptly choked a chicken!

There was one place or person I visited last year that I had to revisit – my old punk dummy mate. As usual, I had to pull a similar face:
They’d changed his outfit and hat since last year, as had I : iv>
We headed to the fantastic store Nude n’ Rude, which I’ve written about previously. Then it was time to explore Koenji more and beer up at an izakaya….but that can wait for another post…