Fragglepuss Visits Japan: Nakano Broadway
By: John Fragglepuss Evans
I finally made it to Japan! It was even better than I could have imagined. To provide recommendations for those traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun, I present this series of places to visit while in Japan.
A geek emporium, Nakano Broadway provides an endless supply of nerd collectibles with an even wider variety than Akihabara. While Akiba provides items related to manga, anime, and tech, Nakano provides goods for any type of fandom imaginable. There’s a store that sells cels and storyboards, vintage toys, cosplay, baseball memorabilia, dolls, American toys, and even an art gallery.
There are a lot of stores with clear cases for buying and selling collectibles. What happens is someone rents a case and places their stuff in it for sale. They choose the price and everything. There are hundreds of these cases in a store. Then anyone can walk through and purchase from any of the cases. Imagine a physical location of EBay. It makes it so the game is on if you are searching for a particular item. You’ll find it in a case but the price is too high, meaning you must continue the hunt. You keep finding the collectible that will be yours, but the price is still too high. Finally, you find it for the right price in the tenth shop you’ve visited in a corner case, a case looked over by others because of its poor location. You buy your figurine and could not be happier! Satisfaction as the search is complete! Either that, or after visiting 20 shops you realize it was the most inexpensive in the first store you checked so you go back and buy it there… Still satisfying.
Nakano Broadway is a giant mall with hundreds of small shops to browse. Some of the stores even specialize in reselling gatchapon prizes, so if you’re looking to complete a set and can’t get the last prize, check out those stores to complete your collection. Mandarake is a large chain of stores in Nakano, but check out each one since they all contain different goods. The used book Mandarake is amazing. Even if you don’t buy anything, at least go in. You might as well buy a manga or two while you’re there though, considering a manga volume is usually $4 or less!
When you’re hungry there is a great restaurant line as you enter, including some of the freshest rotator sushi you’ll find, and at a good price!
Nakano is a great stop because it provides a geek mecca in addition to Akihabara. If Akiba is a treasure hunt for geek goods, Nakano Broadway is the search for the Holy Grail. Who knows, that might be in there somewhere. There is seriously so much stuff.