In a place appreciated for its friendly bars, many establishments have had to become adventurous with non-alcoholic cocktails and appetizing lunch deals since the latest state of emergency. We can see the fabric of Nakano changing with large-scale constructions underway and high-rises getting higher. This somewhat small town is looking more and more like a city but that doesn’t mean it has lost its heart.

Help name upcoming development

New large-scale developments in Nakano show the increasing growth of the neighborhood. An example of this revitalization comes with the announcement of a public plaza on the west side of Nakano Station. Currently under construction, it won’t be completed until 2026 but the naming of the site is in the hands of Nakano residents. There are whispers of sun-related titles to accompany the Sun Plaza and Sun Mall but the final decision won’t be made until early July. There is a limit of three names per person so don’t go overboard. See how you can participate here.

When: Until June 21

Museums & Exhibitions

Under the train tracks


Between April and July 2021, Asagaya and Koenji locals will gather in an empty warehouse under the railroad to create events for the community. There will be something for everyone with theatre, e-sports competitions, exhibitions, crafts and more. Take a look at the listings for June and be a part of it.

When: Until July 18
Where: 2-36 Asagayaminami, Suginami-ku

Experience traditional crafts online


This is a terrific opportunity to see beautiful traditional crafts by craftspeople who have spent decades honing their skills. Preparing for its 30th edition, the Nakano Ward Traditional Crafts Exhibition has a host of interesting and fascinating crafts to display including horsehair weaving, stencil carving, Edo wood sculpture, dyeing, kimono making and more. You can catch an introduction of the inspiring works online with extra spotlights on their Instagram and Twitter.

When: Jun 4–6
Where: Online

A look back at the 1964 Olympics

With the 2020 Olympics coming up fast, the Yamazaki Memorial Nakano Historical Museum is presenting an exhibition that looks back at the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo. Take a look at the nostalgic memorabilia and photographs before this summer’s festivities kick off. If you prefer the presence of a tanuki (raccoon dogs) then you can pop in next door as many statues are being exhibited.

When: Until July 4
Where: 4-2-4 Egota, Nakano-ku

Restaurants & Dining

Cat café opens in Sun Mall

Though having opened in April, we still have to mention this huge cat café. Situated in Nakano Sun Mall, this café-pet shop hybrid has two floors. The first is a place to have a look at the animals while the second is for stroking and relaxing with our favorite feline friends. The streamlined wooden design utilizes the space perfectly with cats lounging on climbing trees and giant cat-shaped benches. Science says that petting an animal is therapeutic, so let’s put that to the test. See their website for more information.

Where: 5-67-10 Nakano, Nakano-ku

A new bakery that keeps the good stuff

If you are a fan of sweet cakes but worry about artificial sweeteners then Take Coffee & Bake is for you. Just a one-minute walk from Higashi Nakano station, this bakery sells delicious confectionary fresh from the oven using a traditional method that creates cakes that are irresistible. Choose from blueberry cheesecakes, green tea tarts or banana cakes.

Where: 4-5-24 Higashi-Nakano, Nakano-ku

See what else is new in and around Tokyo: