Just north of the MyLord building near Shinjuku Station is a narrow hidden little shopping street called Mosaic Street. Sandwiched in between MyLord + the Keio Dept. Store, the street contains a variety of shops, restaurants, stores and other attractions.
To get to it, exit the MyLord Bldg. to the north on the 3rd floor, or else head up the stairs/ramp right next to the Keio Dept. store on the northwest side of the station (near the bus pickup area). (The exit is actually called the West Gate).
The street is relatively short and an easy walk so it’s a quick diversion while in Shinjuku.
While you’re in the area, definitely hit the Depachika (food basement) in Keio as it’s out of sight.
The Mosaic St. entrance is just to the left of the Keio Dept. Store on the northwest side of the station. The entrance is just on the left in this photo.
Mosaic St. entrance.
Shinjuku Station entrance just to the left of the Mosaic St. entrance.
Looking back out the entrance to the north.West Gate station exit is straight ahead.Bic Camera and HALC are straight ahead.
The name Shinjuku means New Lodgings. The area became a busy commerce center during the Edo Period and later again after World War 2. The name derives from the older area Harajuku (Sun Lodgings) to the south.
A diorama depicting Shinjuku during the World War 2 era at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station on earth. Over 2 million people pass through the station every day. At rush hour the place is so packed it can be hard to move or even find your way around if you’re not familiar with it.
There are both Japan Rail (JR) platforms for common lines such as the Yamanote Line, as well as various subway lines. The station acts as an interchange + transfer point for many lines in Tokyo. There are at least 8 levels in the station, many of them buried deep underground.
There are also lots of shopping areas as well as a newly renovated outside shop area and courtyard (Shinjuku Southern Terrace). The station was vastly expanded in 2009-2010 and is now several times its former size on the south end.
The station is shown above, lower center. On both the north and south ends there are huge clusters of shopping centers, as well as an outdoor courtyard. To the northwest is the Cocoon building, and the Tokyo Metropolitain Gov’t buildings (which has a great free observation deck). Just northeast of the Cocoon Tower is the Odayku department store (depato) complex. To the northeast are the main streets with a dizzying array of outdoor shops, restaurants, and things to do and see.At night the area comes alive with lights + sounds – a photographer’s dream.There are also countless huge electronics shops such as Bic Camera and others.
View of Shinjuku from the outdoor platform. The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Toweris on the left, and Odakyu (see below) is the orange building in the center. Ikebukuro is a few stops to the north from here.
Info map at the station on a platform.
From Shinjuku you can take your pick of 2 more interesting areas in either direction: Ikebukuro to the north, or Shibuya to the south.
Madness at a station platform.
At the north entrance of the station around 35°41’31.78″ N 139°42’03.26″ Eis the famous Duckman street performer.
The surface-level of the station has several areas: the main (north) area bisected by Rt. 20 running east-west (this area has the LUMINE and NewWoman modifications made in the early 2000’s. The MyLord bldg. and open terrace to the west of that, the Cocoon bldg. area to the northwest, and the Takashimaya Square area to the south. Of course there are many more areas than this – the station area is huge and takes a whole hour to circumnavigate on foot. Just to the northeast of the LUMINE area is a huge OIOI (pronounced Marui) department store complex, and just to the immediate west on Rt. 20 is a huge Don Quijote discount store. Also at the very south end of the new station redevelopment is a huge outdoor open-air sitting area + cafés (Shinjuku Southern Terrace). You can sit and watch the trains come and go beneath you. Just to the east of the Takashimaya Square complex is the huge Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – a must see. If you go to the gardens and have a few extra minutes, also pop in to Yoyogi just a few minutes’ walk to the south.
At the very south end of the LUMINE bldg. under the train tracks is a huge Shinjuku Tourist Information Office. If you want to pick up some brochures on things to do in the area, stop in when you first arrive.
There are also loads of currency exchanges around the info offices, but their rates may not be the best. You might be better off using a smaller exchange in places such as Akihabara, or the Sakura Exchange in Shibuya.
There’s also a large coin locker bank on the southern side of the info center shown above.
Around 35°41’23.18″ N 139°42’05.80″ E is an east exit from the station, 2 long escaltors, and a huge department store called Flags. There’s a huge GAP that’s been here for over 20 years.
The Flags Building @ the east exit.
Incredibly, right next to the Flags building is a huge, 8-story pachinko parlor called Green Peas, which even has entire floors of Vegas-style slot machines. There is also a huge Taito Game Station arcade just behind it down a side street.
Just northwest of the station is the Odakyu Depato (department store) area. There are plenty of things to do here, and there’s a food floor on the top floor, which includes Shinjuku’s part of the latest craze in Tokyo: pancakes. Rainbow Pancake is on the food floor. There are also elevated walkways to other department stores such as Keio just across the street (Keio‘s food basement is one of the best in Tokyo).
The dept. store complex on the west side. Odakyu is the orange bldg. on the right, and just to the right of that, the KEIO dept. store.Further to the left out of view is a huge Bic Camera. The Cocoon bldg. is just behind the camera to the west.The MyLord terrace area is just beind the KEIO bldg. to the east.There are actually 2 Odakyu complexes – the east side one shown here, and the Odakyu/HALC/Bic Camera annex to the north (out of frame to the left). There is also a major bus stop area here.
Heading in to the east-side Odakyu complex (right). The northern Odakyu/HALC annex is shown here on the left. This photo faces north.
Standing on the northern Odakyu/HALC annex pedestrian overpass facing east. The huge UNIQLO is on the right.
From the station to the east, there are 3 main streets running west-east which parallel each other a few blocks apart. These are: 1), Yasukuni-Dori 2), Shinjuku-Dori, and 3) Koshu-Kaido Dori (Rt. 20).
By far, the most popular of these is Yasukuni-Dori. Several blocks to the eastMeiji-Dori intersects all 3 and runs north-south all the way to the Imperial Palace. In this central area of about 3-4 long blocks, most of the action in Shinjuku happens. The west side is interesting too, but it’s more business/gov’t-oriented. A stroll around the east-side streets at night will floor you with its colors, lights, and dizzing array of things to do.
North Exit + Studio ALTA
The northeast station exit is a popular meeting spot for young people. Just across the street is a building called Studio ALTA with its massive TV display on the outside of the building. If you slip down the small side street to the left at night, you’re in for one of Shinjuku’s nightime delights – a small concrete pedestrian-only area with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also a huge Matsumoto Kiyoshi drug store here, and the rear entrance to the huge Yamada Denki LABi electronics shop (see below). As mentioned above, this is also where the infamous Duckman performs nightly. If you head through the small concrete park, in a few blocks you’ll come to a huge Don Quijote, described next.
Studio ALTA, right. Head down the small side street ahead.
Just north of the north exit. The station entrance is ahead.
Massive Don Quijote on Yasukuni-Dori
On Yasukuni-Dori 2 blocks from the station is a huge Don Quijote discount store. If you’re strolling this street at night, it’s worth a stop in to look around. The place is huge and has multiple floors of just about anything you could want, including a grocery.
As a footnote, you can walk or bike all the way east on Rt. 20 back to Yotsuya (about 6 miles) – there are a lot of interesting things to see along Rt. 20 as well as several other subway station stops at various points – most notably Shinjuku-Sanchome Station around 35°41’26.01″ N 139°42’20.84″ E, and Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station – one more stop the east. All of them pop up onto Rt. 20 at various points. The coolest thing about Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station is its little retro 1950’s-styled entrance on the street around 35°41’19.17″ N 139°42’35.28″ E. There is also a large, cheap, excellent APA Hotel just 1 block west on the same side of the street. There is also a huge Tully’s Coffee just across from Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station.
Heading east on Rt. 20 towards Yotsuya. Note the JTB building on the right.Along this route around this area there are also huge massive department stores such as Isetan, OIOI (pronounced Marui), and Takishimaya. This part of Shinjuku is known as the Shinjuku Ohdori Shopping District. There is also a huge Apple Store here. One of the best kept secrets in this area is the hobby shop on the top floor of the OIOI.
West a few blocks from the west side of the station is the odd-looking Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower. It’s mostly offices, but there are a few interesting things on the ground floor. It’s a rather small building, so there’s not a lot to do here. But it’s worth walking to it just to have a look at the architecture.
If you head just northwest from the Cocoon, you’ll come to an iconic part of Shinjuku which includes many buildings from famous photos of Tokyo: such as Sampo Japan Building, and others. There is also a massive pedestrian walkway here which allows you to walk around several of the buildings elevated from the streets.
There is also a very nice massive concrete and green park 2 blocks to the west of Cocoon at the Sojibo Shinjuku Mitsui Building around 35°41’30.14″ N 139°41’38.23″ E.
If you continue west for a few blocks, you’ll next pass the Shinjuku Keio Plaza Hotel, and 2 blocks west of that, you’ll come to the Tokyo Metropolitain Government buildings. These twin buildings house the entire central government for Tokyo. There is a massive open-air concrete courtyard surrounding the buildings, and a free observation deck on the top floors – but be warned, because it’s free, there are usually huge lines for the observatory – even on weekdays. Plan on spending several hours in line – more if it’s peak season such as in the spring or late fall.
The Japanese word for electronics is Denki. There are several huge electronics stores in Shinjuku: There are 2 Yamada Denki LABi stores – one near Studio ALTA mentioned above, and one just west of the MyLord building near the station’s central exit. The one near Studio ALTA is closing soon.
There are 3 huge Bic Camera stores – one in the Odakyu Annex mentioned above, one in the huge UNIQLO store (called BicQLO) around 35°41’29.45″ N 139°42’11.45″ E, and Bic Camera Shinjuku Station East Store just southeast of the Studio ALTA location.
The other big electronics store is the huge Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku West Main Store around 35°41’23.30″ N 139°41’52.96″ E. It’s just a few blocks southeast of the Cocoon Building. There’s also lots of interesting other small shops around the Yodobashi store.
All of the electronics shops are worth a look – if for no other reason than to marvel at their scale and selection.
Jammed in between the MyLord + Keio Dept. Store bldgs. is the excellent Mosaic Street. Definitely worth a stop. We have a full post on it here.
Kinokuniya Book Store
Just across from the BicQLO store mentioned above is a huge Kinokuniya Book Store around 35°41’30.98″ N 139°42’09.99″ E.Kinokuniya is one of the largest book chains in Japan, and this one doesn’t disappoint. If you have any extra time, be sure to pop in and look around. They also have a web store where you can order online.
Takishimaya Times Square + The Bubble Building + Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden + Cafe La Boheme
Just to the south of the station and the Southern Terrace area is the epic Takashimaya Times Square complex – a huge multi-story shopping/food/entertainment complex, TTS is a must-see in Shinjuku. There are also plenty of interesting shops in the complex’s open-air below-ground area, and the large Tokyu Hands department store (depato) on the south side. To get to TTS, go outside to the southern terrace (on the west side of the station) and head south to the large foot bridges which lead to the complex.
Just south of TTS is the NTT DoCoMo “Bubble Building” HQ. It was nicked-named the Bubble Building because it was built during Japan’s “bubble” economy in the late 1980’s-1990’s. The building’s design was inspired by the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York.
West of TTS is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – a huge Japanese garden with several ponds, trees, and long walkways. Many of the paths afford excellent photo spots of various parts of Tokyo. There is also a large impressive greenhouse. Admission price is around $6 USD, but it’s worth it. Be sure to check it out.
If you’re in the mood for a brew, just across the street to the north of the greenhouse is the excellent European-themed Cafe La Boheme at 35°41’15.14″ N 139°42’46.09″ E. If you love coffee + have the time, be sure to check it out – it’s excellent.
To the north of the station a bit (oddly in a seedy nightclub area) around 35°41’43.84″ N 139°42’12.63″ E, is the excellent Samurai Museum Shinjuku. This is one of the best samurai museums in Tokyo, and you can even buy swords and take caligraphy lessons there if you want.
Walking to Other Parts of Tokyo from Shinjuku
As mentioned, you can actually walk to other parts of Tokyo (or ride a bike) such as Yotsuya or Akasaka. Ebisu is just to the south and worth a walk. Plan on a few hours, however, and the walk east is a quite a ways. On bike it will take about 30-45 minutes.
Yoyogi is just to the south also, and Nakano just to the northwest.
There are so many food options in Shinjuku it’s hard to know where to start. The options are endless. There are conbini (convenience stores) in the station and they are all good. There are many good places just outside the station, and there are huge and upscale restaurants in the area and in TTS.
The Maple Diner waffle shop near the MyLord building.
Kinokuniya Entreé conbini near the Saikyo Line in the station.
HOKUO the Garden also in the station.
Watch them carbs.
Shake Shack @ Southern Terrace.
Soup Stock Tokyo.
American Bar + Grill, TGI Friday’s jammed down some side street.
Shinjuku is one of the biggest, busiest, and most overwhelming parts of Tokyo – you could easily spend several days exploring it all and not see everything. It’s a must-see part of Tokyo, so plan on spending a few days at least seeing it.
We can’t recommend Shinjuku enough – and you absolutely can’t miss it if you’re in Tokyo. From the station area to vast electronics stores, depatos, the TMG + Cocoon buildings, and the streets, there is more than enough to do here. Be astounded, and be amazed.
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend. You live, you learn. The NTT “Bubble Building” towers in the distance at dusk.
A typical exit info sign in Shinjuku Station.
Inside the Odakyu complex heading down into the station below.
The Yamanote Line heading north for Ikebukuro and Omiya.
Facing the Odakyu/KEIO complex from the taxi stand @ the west side of the station.
Also @ the west side of the station.
At the LUMINE/NewWoman side of the renovations at street level.
The Odakyu Line cuts through the Shinjuku night.
One of many endless excellent restaurants on the backstreets.
There are endless things to discover on the streets of Shinjuku.
A hidden place to park your bike for free in a small underpass.
Stumbling around Shinjuku’s streets in the dark, every once in a while the perfect photo opportunity hits you smack in the face.
Or if you prefer – the B+W version.
Inside Odakyu HALC. This ain’t Walmart.
Outside Odakyu HALC.
Inside Shinjuku Station near MyLord.
Epic view outside Shinjuku Station. LUMINE is on the left, and MyLord is just behind the camera on the left.
On Southern Terrace. MyLord is just ahead behind the trees. The huge bldg. on the left used to be Microsoft‘s Japan HQ.
There are awesome pancake shops all over the city. Many of them are quite good – must visits. Some of these places are pretty crazy – offering stacks of 8-12 pancakes with scoops of ice cream, chocolate, honey, fruit, eggs, and whipped cream.
Another popular pancake shop in Harajuku is Gomaya Kuki. This shop is world-famous for its pancakes served with ice-cream and sesame + matcha parfait. Along with Flipper’s a must try if you are in Harajuku. If you plan to hit both shops at the same time, you may want to walk 15 miles or so first sightseeing so you’ll be really hungry.
gram Harajuku is a smaller out-of-the-way pancake shop in Harajuku. A very nice shop with seating for about 30, they serve fluffy pancakes with fruit and syrup. Very nice. There are, in fact, several of them all over Tokyo and Japan as well as overseas. See their website for a complete list.
In the Odakyu department store (i.e. depato) next to Shinjuku Station there’s a cafe called Cafe Plant’s which serves great pancakes. Worth a look. To get here, get off at JR Shinjuku Station and head up to Odakyu on the northwest side.
Also in Ebisu is Clover’s – a definite must-see. Northwest of Ebisu Station, Clover’s has a wide menu with lots of luxurious choices. You can’t go wrong here – but come ready to eat. And we mean eat.
R.L. Waffle Café @ Tokyo Station
At the east side of Tokyo Station is the R.L. Waffle Café – well worth a visit. The blackberry ice cream variant shown above is out of this world. Head out the Yaesu Central Exit, head south along the sidewalk, and it’s the last shop on the right. There is also one in Akihabara. They even have matcha waffles.
Also at Tokyo Station – on the outdoor east floor just above R.L. Waffe Café is Volputas Pancake Dessert Café. Serving mostly stacks of pancakes with heaping piles of fruit, it’s well worth a stop. Prices are fairly reaonable. Expect to pay 1200¥ ($12-17). They also have smaller plain stacks for around $8.
Sarabeth’s @ Tokyo Station
At the opposite end of Tokyo Station on the east side is Sarabeth’s. It’s just to the north of the massive Daimaru department store and south of the $400/night Shangri-La Hotel. The menu is excellent, but be prepared to spend a bit more – up to $30/person. Well worth it, however, once in a while.
The massive Daimaru food palace at the northeast end of Tokyo Station. Sarabeth’s is just out of frame to the right. Daimaru also has an awesome depachika (food basement).
Rainbow Pancake in a mall in Ikebukuro. Well worth a stop. There is also one in Shibuya.To get to Rainbow Pancake, get to Ikebukuro Station, enter the SEIBU department store from inside the station, or the street, and head up to the top floor.There is also one in Omotosando.
In the basement of Sunshine City is the newly opened Sanrio Cafe where “You can enjoy pancake sets for 1,000¥ decorated in themes based on Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll and Pompompurin” as well as hamburgers, donuts, and a slew of other delights.
On the top floor of the LUMINE department store in Ikebukuro is a great pancake place called Mokuola Dexee Diner. They also have great hamburgers. You can get a variety of pancake plates for around $8-$10. The chcolate ones are fabulous. Other options include fruit, whipped cream, and matcha.
LUMINE Ikebukuro just south of the station on the West Gate Park side. Head to the top floor.
On the other (east) side of Ikebukuro Station to the southwest is the Milky Way Café.It’s on the 1st floor in the bldg. shown below just across from a major intersection. While Milky Way is mostly an ice cream parlour, they also have pancakes.
In Shibuya are Micasadeco & Cafe and Burn Side Café. Both are excellent. Micasadeco are known for their big stack of Ricotta chese pancakes served with whipped cream. Burn Side Cafe has a wide menu with chocolate pancakes, fruit, and pancakes served with ice cream. Come hungry.
Benitsuru (formerly “Flamingo Café”)
In Shibuya is a great new cafe called Benitsuru (Pink Crane). Formerly known as Flamingo Café, the place has been remodeled + updated. Reservations are required. You need to go to the shop, make a reservation + deposit 2000¥ ($20) for a reservation. Seating is limited. They serve a huge stack of fluffy pancakes with egss and bacon. Not to be missed. Paolo From Tokyo has a video about the place (see below). There is also a Benitsuru in Ueno.
Also in Shibuya is the Jimmy Monkey Café. Serving pancakes + light French Toast, they also serve ice cream, burgers, and coffee. Worth looking in.
Also in Shibuya is Ivy Place, with a nice upscale atmosphere, and plenty of seating. You can see their menu here.
Milk “Craft Cream” is a small shop specializing in fluffy pancakes and pastries in Shibuya. Worth a look.
Cafe Asan, Ueno
In Ueno, in Tokyo’s northeast is Cafe Asan. It’s in a little art space called 2K540 hidden under the freeway north of Akihabara Station. Well worth a trip on foot – it’s only a mile or so. They are closed Tuesdays. Cafe Asan has unusal hammock-style seating which makes it more interesting, if not a little unusual for a restaurant. Still worth a look. They have giant fluffy pancakes and souffles with heaping servings of fruit + a mountain of whipped cream. 2k540 is roughly located at 35°42’10.66″ N 139°46’25.45″ E.
A small shop on a side street in Ginza, Yukinoshita is well worth a stop. Featuring smaller, refined plates of fluffy pancakes + french toast, it’s worth a look.
Also in Ginza is the great bill’s – a must-see. They have a nice modern environment, and a wide menu with lots to chose from. They also serve a variety of wine + coffee. There’s a review of bill’s @ the Pancake Club Blog.
eggs n’ things Ginza
eggs n. things “Breakfast from Hawaii” in Ginza is also worth a look – with a Hawaiian theme it’s an enjoyable experience. They serve big plates of pancakes with heaping piles of whipped cream + fruit. They also serve burgers and a variety of drinks. Worth a stop. There’s also a review over @ the Pancake Club Blog in Japanese only.
French Toast Factory, Akihabara
In Yodobashii Akihabara, on the food floor, you’ll find the French Toast Factory. Well worth a visit for the light yet thick French Toast served here. To get there, take a train to JR Akihabara Station, and exit northeast.
Flying Scotsman, Akihabara(フライング・スコッツマン 秋葉原)
Just to the northwest of the Akihabara UDX Bldg. down a little side street is Flying Scotsman pancake shop. It’s a small shop with limited seating but is well worth the trip. To get there exit the JR Akihabara Station Electric Town (North) Exit and head northwest up the next side street north to the west of the UDX Bldg. It’s down a side street on the left roughly around 35°41’59.81″ N 139°46’19.92″ E.
Café Hudson @ Shinjuku Mylord
In the Shinjuku Mylord bldg. next to Shinjuku Station is Café Hudson – a nice indoor pancake and coffee shop. There is lots of seating and a vast menu of variety to chose from. And it’s really easy to get to – take a JR or subway line to Shinjuku Station, and exit the new remodeled north entrance and head west. The Mylord bldg. is just at the west end of the station. You can also get to it from the Southern Terrace. The cafe is smoke-free, but note they don’t have free WiFi. Still worth a look however – a very nice place to eat. It’s on the 9th floor.
French Toast LONCAFE Meguro
French Toast LONCAFE in Meguro is a small shop that serves great French Toast and champaign. There is a shop in Meguro and one in Shinjuku as well. Both worth a look.
Just under Meguro Station sneak up on the LONCAFE and you won’t be disappointed.
In the town of Kinshicho in the PARCO department store is a nice pancake shop called simply Butter which serves stacks of a dozen pancakes with fruit, whipped cream, and other goodies:
Rakeru @ OIOI Kinshicho
Also in the OIOI bldg. is Rakeru. While not particularly high-end, this quaint western-style restaurant serves a variety of pancake plates with fruit, ice cream, whipped cream, and other toppings. Prices range from $6-$18. Not a bad little shop.
Just north of Ikebukuro in the small town of Itabashi is the Pinnochio Coffee Shop. This shop is well-known in the area for its great pancakes. To get there, walk northwest of Ikebukuro on the Central Circular Route, on the west side of the street, and hang a left around 35°44’41.50″ N 139°42’28.77″ E down a side street. To get to Central Circular Route from Ikebukuro Station, you’ll have to wander northwest on side streets for .65 miles. The east way is to get onto Rt. 315 west + head northwest, then turn right. The entire walk from the station is only a few miles and isn’t that hard.
About 14 miles to the west of central Tokyo is egg Café Kokubunji. While their menu selection is a bit limited, their pancake meals are out of sight + are well worth a trip if you have time. It’s located on a little side street at 35°42’08.60″ N 139°28’51.85″ E.
To the southwest of Tokyo in Kawasaki is 3 Stars Pancake. A bit of a hike just for a pancake shop but if you’re in the area, worth a stop.
VERY FANCY loves ANNTEANA Daikanyama
A very slick shop in Daikanyama is VERY FANCY loves ANNTEANA. Just south of Shinjuku on a little side street in a small residential neighboorhood, this shop is worth a stop. They also have a cookbook and special Halloween Menu.
〒064-0808 北海道札幌市中央区南８条西3-1-4 HOTEL RELIEF 札幌すすきの 1F TEL : 011-520-6560 BREAKFAST 07:00-10:00 CAFE TIME 11:00-19:00(L.O.18:30) 不定休
Oddly, unlike their counterparts in the US, most Denny’s in Japan are lacking in the breakfast area. Most Japan Denny’s are more lunch-oriented. They do have breakfast, but they are much less impressive + generally smaller than in the US – for pancakes in Japan, really not worth it.
Walk It Off
Don’t worry about gaining weight when you pig out on pancakes in Tokyo. You’ll most likely walk 10-15 miles a day as a tourist when there so you won’t gain weight. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see tiny Japanese women in pancake palaces in Tokyo wolfing down huge plates of pancakes with ice cream. The daily walking routine in Tokyo means most of the calories are burned off in less than a day. Which means you can enjoy eating even more.
Well, that’s it for now. We’ve only scratched the surface here. There are many more pancake shops in Tokyo worth checking out. We’ll keep this page updated if we come across any new cool pancake houses in Tokyo.
Finally, for the most insane comprehensive OTT catalog of pancake places in Tokyo check out the TCS Pancake Club website. This unbelievable site has a review of literally 1000’s of Tokyo pancake shops. It’s so comprehensive it’s hard to imagine how the 2 ladies who run it found the time to compile the list (with photos and descriptions in Japanese only, unfortunately – they’ve been at it for 10 years). Quite an impressive list.
If you’re up for a hike of about 1 mile, get off at Nakano-sakuae. There’s a few interesting things to do here. There’s a huge LifeSupermarket which is quite good, and you can also stroll south on the main road for a few miles for general sightseeing. On this street there is also Tokyo Polytechnical University. There’s also a huge Asahi Brewery distribution warehouse in this area. There’s a temple along this route. In fact, from this vantage point, you’re still close enough to Shinjuku that you can see the Tokyo Metropolitan Gov’t building only a few miles to the east. You can take in a few shops + other interesting sights as you come up to street level out of Nakano-sakuae station. As a footnote, if you head right (east) in the photo below, you’ll arrive @ downtown Shinjuku.
Just outside Nakano-sakuae station(out of frame to the left), facing north. If you turn right here and head east, you will come to downtown Shinjuku.See the video below for a reverse walk:
Once you’re done around the station, head west along Rt. 317 (Ome Hwy.) for about .85 miles (left in the photo above). When you come to the Super-Seven pachinko parlor, head north along Nakno Dori St. There are lots of shops + restaurants along Ome Hwy. .6 miles north on Ome Hwy. is the main JR Nakano Station. This is where the Tozai Line terminus is. When you’re done for the day you can take the JR line back to Shinjuku, or any other point from Shinjuku on JR or Metro.
As a footnote – just 2 + 3 stops away on the Tozai Line are Waseda University, and one stop beyond that, Kagurazaka – another charming small town well worth a quick stop. Both these areas are definitely worth a day trip.
The Tozai Line is invaluable because it can shoot you from east of Shinjuku in Nakano, to several interesting stops: Waseda, Kagurazaka, Iidabashi, and beyond that Otemachi + Nihonbashi right near the central finance district on the east side of Tokyo – all in just minutes, all bypassing the crowds + mess @ JR Shinjuku Station. Note also Metro Otemachi is an interchange point for several other important Metro lines – namely Hanzomon which can shoot you right out to Sky Tree (Oshiage), and Maronuchi which can shoot you back to Shibuya fast, or to Ikebukuro. One stop beyond that at Nihombashi will connect you to the Ginza Line, and Yurakucho which drops you right into Ginza. You can even get to Tokyo Dome from Iidabashi station just one stop away on Maronuchi – at Korakuen Station. For these reasons, Tozai is often the fastest way to get around Tokyo west to east.
This map image shows JR Nakano Station on the right, center, Nakano Broadway in the right upper corner, and Nakano Central Park in the upper left. All within a few blocks of each other. Nakano Sunplaza is the square building in upper center right above the station.The pachinko parlor on Ome Hwy. is to the south on Rt. 420.Nakano-sakuae Station is to the east (right).
Another view of Nakano – JR Nakano Sta. is on the right. Nakano Central Park is in the lower center behind the tall bldg. which is Nakano City Hall. Sunplaza is the sloped bldg. in the upper right. Nakano Broadway is just above that in the upper right corner. There is also a massive bike parking lot just to the northeast of the park. The street that runs southeast to northeast above Sunplaza has a lot of interesting cafes and shops – including a Don Quijote. j.s. Pancake Café is just to the northeast of the park – at the lower corner of the smaller office bldg. next to City Hall.If you cut southeast down the street by Sunplaza and then east a few blocks down onto Nakano-Dori Ave., you’ll come to Nakano-Sakue – another part of Nakano a few miles down – there is also a Metro subway station there.From the JR station you can shoot into Shinjuku in just a few minutes – or take the Tozai Metro Line from there as well. Nakano (T01) is the western terminus for the Tozai Line.
Turn right (north) at the Super Seven pachinko parlor to get to the JR station.
The main attraction at the JR station is on the northeast side and is called Nakano Broadway. It’s a large covered arcade with side streets, as well as an underground mall. It’s known as Little Akihabara for all its shopping + electronics shops. The entrance to Broadway is just on the northeast side of the JR station and is shown in the Tokyo Explorer video at the end of this article.
Free Nakano City WiFi
The City of Nakano provides free WiFi near most major infrastructure in the city. They have a site you can use on your phone for access:
Nakano Broadway – A Covered Shopping Arcade
Just to the north exit of Nakano Station is Nakano Broadway – a long large covered shopping arcade which heads north for almost a mile. There’s every conceivable kind of shop here and it’s well worth a look. If you want to see it and Sunplaza (shown next), you can stroll through the arcade, then head left at the end, and walk back south towards Sunplaza in sort of a loop. Nakano Central Park (aka Nakano Shikinomori Park) is then just to the west of Sunplaza (see video below).
Nakano Sunplaza is an old hotel restaurant complex built in the 1970’s – it’s very popular for weddings + receptions. The upper floors have some good upscale restaurants. It looks like something out of a 1970’s sci-fi movie such as Logan’s Run. There are also a variety of shops just to the east along Nakano Dori.
The modern jewel of the town is Nakano Central Park to the northwest of the station. There’s a huge office complex here, and just behind it a large park + several shops including lots of cafes + dining areas. Well worth a stop. It’s just a few blocks west of Sunplaza. There is also a giant bike locker just across the street. On weekends in spring and fall, the park is mobbed with young families with kids. So be aware.
The hidden treat in Central Park is a giant pancake shop called j.s. Pancake Cafe. It’s on the southeast corner of the park in the corner of an office building. This place is huge + has a massive selection of insane pancake delights. Plates run $10-$14 USD. $10 bucks gets you a giant stack of pancakes, with ice cream + mixed fruit.
There are a variety of other parks in the area, as well as several onsen.
Well that’s it. Enjoy your trip to Nakano – you can easily see everything in 1 day.
Walking north towards Sunplaza.
Looking back east over the square north of the station.Straight ahead is the hidden east side street.
Hidden east side street is to the right. This is just to the right of the arcade on the north side of the station – turn right here and discover some really awesome backstreets with cool shops such as this Kale Juice Shop:
North side of the station.Sunplazais up to the right.
South side of the station.
JR Ticket Office. There some helpful folks inside + lots of brochures.