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.
How to get there?
Head to JR Nakano Station. The west bound Chuo Line (Rapid) from Shinjuku gets you to Nakano 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.