If you want to tour a hidden side of Tokyo away from the crowds of tourists in Shibuya; take the Chuo line from Shinkuju to Nakano. A short walk from the station takes you to Nakano Broadway, a shopping mall full of wacky shops. For fans of Japanese pop culture and Manga, Broadway is a must. Browse hundreds of vintage toys, from several decades worth of Anime and movie culture.
There is a welcome guide printed in Japanese, Korean and English, catering well for foreign visitors. Whatever your hobby there are specialized stores stocking everything from vintage film posters, figures, watches and games.
The really interesting thing about Broadway is seeing just how many types of collectables there are, from classics like Godzilla masks and Dragonball figures, to more up to the minute products like this Where the Wild Things Are limited edition Bearbrick (Below).
If you are looking for Omiyage (The Japanese tradition of giving gifts) for friends back at home, the choice of quirky products are much more memorable than the usual stereotypical gifts from Japan.
Nakano Broadway also stocks T-shirts and collectables, this G-Shock (Above) is a collaboration piece from Casio with the popular anime Evangelion, priced at ¥15,750 it is pretty good value.
Just browsing around the shops can take a few hours, so if you are looking for an unusual day out surrounded by Otaku subculture Broadway is a treat. For internet auction enthusiasts there is a gold mine of products, most not available in the US or Europe.
All of the toys are in good condition and well looked after, vintage toys in original boxes can cost a premium, but bargains can still be found.
Comics, Books and DVD’s are also available, so shoppers are spoiled for choice. It was a surprise to see storyboards and film cells from anime films, I particularly liked the Studio Ghibli collectables I found. If you are lucky you could buy something worth a fortune in a few years.
Tours around Broadway are available for ¥ 6,000 (1 person), including a trip to the nearby Suginami Anime museum.
Click here: www.sam.or.jp/
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JR Nakano (Chuo Line)