Outer Tokyo

Nakano Area Guide

Outer Tokyo > Nakano Ward > Nakano

Nakano is one stop from Shinjuku on the Chuo Line Rapid Service and one of most densely populated areas in Tokyo. A homely, suburban atmosphere coupled with good access to both east and west Tokyo mean that it’s a popular place to live.

For tourists, the reason to visit Nakano is the maze of side streets that make up the commercial district (shoten-gai) just north of the station. This is a fun place: among the establishments you can find kiosk-sized bars into which only 5-6 people can squeeze, traditional izakaya, 80s-themed music bars, and other establishments. Moreover, the stone-paved narrow side streets and abundance of red lanterns outside the izakaya give the area a very “Japanese” feel. Despite its proximity to Shinjuku, not many tourists visit the area.

An izakaya in the commercial district

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JR Nakano Station. The west bound Chuo Line (Rapid) from Shinjuku gets you to Kichijoji in under 5 minutes, but note that the Chuo Special Rapid and Commuter Special Rapid do not stop at Nakano so take care which train you board.