- -- Nakano Broadway and the surrounding shopping arcade provide tons of options for shopping
-- Wide variety of restaurants and bars for those who enjoy city nightlife.
-- Under 5 minutes to Shinjuku Station on the Chuo Line for super convenient access to the rest of Tokyo.
-- Home to Tokyo subculture, abundance of anime/manga goods stores.
- Nakano Station is located on the Tozai subway line and two JR lines:
-- Chuo Line (Rapid)
-- Chuo-Sobu Line (Local)
- From Nakano Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid) and JR Chuo-Sobu Line (Local):
-- 4-min direct to Shinjuku Station
-- 18-min direct to Tokyo Station
-- 15-min to Shibuya Station (1 transfer)
From Nakano Station on the Tozai subway line:
-- 9-min direct to Waseda Station
Nakano City is located just west of Shinjuku, which means it’s just a stone’s throw away from the excitement of downtown Tokyo. Living in this area offers a ton of convenience without the price of living directly in the middle of the city. It’s easy to catch a train to Shinjuku, from where you can get around the rest of the city quickly. Those who enjoy dining out can take advantage of the wide variety of restaurants and bars that Nakano is famous for.
Nakano at a glance
Nakano is an extremely popular location for people visiting Japan. It has a reputation for being a mecca for anime/manga fans (only shadowed by Akihabara). But, that’s just one aspect of what Nakano has to offer.
It’s a great area to be in if you end up living in Tokyo. There is lively nightlife in the neighborhood and great access to supermarkets for groceries/household goods. It also happens to be just minutes from Shinjuku. To be exact, it’s about a 4-minute direct ride from Nakano Station.
Nakano Station gives you access to the Chuo Line, Chuo-Sobu Line, and the Tozai Subway Line. I am a big fan of the Chuo Line since it goes through Tokyo, and can take you all the way out to Okutama for a breather away from city life. I’ll save west Tokyo for another article since today’s focus is on the wonderful, somewhat wacky world of Nakano.
Since Nakano Station is only 4 minutes away from Shinjuku, it’s no hassle to get around Tokyo (once you get used to Shinjuku Station that is).
Despite being so close to Shinjuku, the rent in this area is rather affordable.
- Studio/1K/1DK ¥82,900 yen/month (About $780 assuming an exchange rate of ¥106/US dollar)
- 1LDK/2K/2DK ¥138,900 (About $1,310)
- 2LDK/3K/3DK ¥173,100 (About $1,630)
Of course, these are averages so it is possible to find cheaper listings (most likely those farther away from the station, or in older buildings, etc.) if affordability is your main concern. For a better idea of currently available properties in the area, check out listings here.
For example, rent for shared rooms in guest houses near Nakano Station start at around ¥30,000 per month.
Apartments for rent in the Nakano area
To see current listings, please click on the links below.
- Nakano Station Apartments
- Shinjuku Station Apartments
- Takadanobaba Station Apartments
- Koenji Station Apartments
- Higashi-Nakano Station Apartments
- Shin-Nakano Station Apartments
- Ochiai Station Apartments
Ease of living
One of the largest draws to living in Nakano is that you’ll be close to Shinjuku and have plenty of access to transportation from there, without having to pay Shinjuku level rent. And there are parks in the area where you can relax a bit if the cramped clusters of stores in and around Nakano Broadway start to feel too suffocating.
Regarding everyday living, there are a few supermarkets located near the station, making it easy to pick up ingredients for dinner (or a ready-made dinner) on the way home. On the north side of the station, it’s only a one minute walk to a Life supermarket. To the south you’ll find Peacock Store; just be aware that the grocery is in the basement of the building.
The wide variety of restaurants in the area also means you can enjoy practically any cuisine you happen to have a craving for (please tell me if you find a restaurant in Tokyo that does a mean biscuits and gravy though).
Fitness-wise, there are a few gyms located near the station so you should be able to stay in shape without having to go out of the way too much. You will find a TAC (Tokyo Athletic Club) location two minutes from the south exit of Nakano Station by foot. There is another location on the North side (2-minute walk). A little bit further out on the north side (4-minute walk), you can find a Gold’s Gym location.
Close to the station you’ll find Nakano Central Park which is a modern building that is home to a few restaurants and cafes. There is also an open space where public events are often held (farmer’s markets, concerts, beer gardens, etc.). After you’ve been living in a city for a while, you begin to appreciate open spaces that aren’t in the shadow of skyscrapers.
Further away from the station, you’ll find Heiwanomori Park. It’ll take about 15 minutes on foot to reach this park, where you’ll find a playground for children, a pond, and an open grassy field.
No article about Nakano would be complete without mentioning Nakano Broadway – the large complex that houses stores specializing in vintage anime/manga goods. While this might not be a destination that you will frequent if you end up living in the area, it’s an interesting place to walk through if you have some free time. There’s also a dessert shop in the basement where you can grab an 8-layer ice cream cone!
Who is this area ideal for?
If you want to live as close to Shinjuku as possible without actually being subjected to Shinjuku pricing (and crowds), Nakano is a good alternative. This area is a great balance of affordability and convenience, albeit with a lively (if not, rowdy) nightlife. If you’re ok with being even farther away, you might be interested in Koenji or Ogikubo as well.
Lead photo: Scott Kouchi