At the end of the Nakano Sun Mall shopping arcade outside of JR Nakano Station can be found a holy ground for otaku: Nakano Broadway. Packed with stores selling anime figurines and other ephemera, it even attracts fans who make pilgrimages from abroad. An exploration of the past, present, and future of this iconic Tokyo shopping space.
From Success to Shutters
The year 2022 marked the fifty-sixth anniversary of the opening of Nakano Broadway. A long shopping promenade called Sun Mall extends from the north exit of JR Nakano Station; Nakano Broadway, a 10-story building with three basement levels, sits near the north end of this arcade. The fifth through tenth floors are residential, and residents have access to a rooftop pool, a playground, and a garden plot.
The bottommost two floors are mechanical facilities, but the first basement floor through the fourth floor…