Mandarake Nakano Henya Vintage Toys

Anime Locations & Otaku Stuff

Shinjuku anime location walk

Tokyo Metropolitan buildings anime location

Tokyo Metropolitan Buildings are a Shinjuku anime landmark — Photo by Athena Lam

Ikebukuro’s Durarara location walk

durarara ikebukuro

Statues at Ikebukuro’s East Exit for Durarara — Photo by Athena Lam

Azabu-Juban Sailor Moon location walk

Sailor Moon takes place in Azabu Juban

Mandarake for Collectibles

Mandarake Nakano Bookstore 1

Mandarake’s HQ is in Nakano Broadway — Photo by Athena Lam

Mandarake HQ Nakano Broadway Guide for Anime, Manga & Collectibles

Photo essay of Mandarake’s HQ at Broadway Nakano

 

Anime and Otaku
ntt building shinjuku anime location

Shinjuku’s Anime Locations

It was anime that finally sold me on Shinjuku, a place I avoided like the plague for nearly a year after moving to Tokyo. The raindrops in Garden of Words got me to take the train across town to explore the area, and once I started, I began to see all the anime inspiration locations for 5 Centimeters per Second, Darker than Black, Terror in Resonance and Tokyo Godfathers. Shinjuku wasn’t just Tokyo’s busiest station, a tourist trap, shopping area, or a nostalgic set of romanticizations. As I spent more and more time at Shinjuku Gyoen, then taking friends around to the tourist attractions, then at a bouldering gym, I often stopped to marvel at how a new place seemed so familiar – because I had seen exactly the same frame on the screen.

Below are some of the places I managed to take with my fixed 35mm lense camera. Enjoy!

Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa)

Japan’s 2016 hit movie doesn’t need further elaboration. Instead, what I noted while taking a photo of this intersection that evening was the type of cameras they must have used to scout locations. The shot they must have taken was not only done with a wide-angle lense, but probably from a car. Trying to follow in their footsteps as a pedestrian trying not get run over (or, in Japan, more likely just glared at) in the middle of the road, I began to appreciate how the animated frames generally distilled the quintessential parts that created the characters of places they captured only for brief seconds.

Makoto Shinkai Kimi no Na Wa

Your Name (Kimi no na wa) screencap

君の名は 舞台 新宿

Shinjuku intersection by the government offices — Photo by Athena Lam

Garden of Words (Koto no ha no Niwa)

I hated the ending. I’ll just put it out there. But Garden of Words (Kotono ha no Niwa) blew me away with its rendition of tsuyu, rainy season. Makoto Shinkai‘s animation style appeals because it often conveys the romanticism that one can view otherwise cold or dreary settings. He gets the details down right to the swish of cars rushing over puddles.

言の葉の庭 新宿

Garden of Words screencap

anime locations shinjuku

Traffic by Shinjuku station — Photo by Athena Lam

言の葉の庭 新宿

Garden of Words screencap

anime locations shinjuku

Lumine above Shinjuku Station — Photo by Athena Lam

Garden of Words is set mostly between Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku Gyoen, the Takashimaya Department Store and the school in between (just where the overpass is). If you liked the movie enough, then consider visiting Shinjuku Gyoen during a rainy day when there are fewer visitors. Just note that it has a small admission fee (which I think is entirely worth it for the upkeep) and that it closes usually around evening or sunset (time varies between winter and summer).

Makoto Shinkai Shinjuku anime locations

Garden of Word Screencap

Entrance to Shinjuku Gyoen — Photo by Athena Lam

Shinjuku Gyoen was originally the residence of the Naito family, feudal lords of Edo Japan. The grounds later came under the ownership of the Imperial Family and were mostly destroyed during the Tokyo Fire Raids during World War II. After the war ended, the gardens were reconstructed and opened to the public in 1949.

5 Centimeters per Second

5 Centimeters per Second is probably Makoto Shinkai’s first feature film that caught international attention. Takaki Tono, the boy in the movie, grows up and works in Tokyo. Shinkai uses the gigantic commercial hub of Shinjuku to accentuate the loneliness and isolation many urbanites now relate to.

Makoto Shinkai anime locations tokyo

5cm per Second screencap

ntt building shinjuku anime location

The NTT building is one of Shinjuku’s most noticeable landmarks — Photo by Athena Lam

Shinjuku Station is Tokyo’s busiest station and has an average of 3.6 million people transiting every day. The station has over 200 exits and 51 platforms. I never found it that confusing to navigate, but local Tokyo (expat?) wisdom seems to conclude that you never, never arrange to meet there. If you do, I suggest you specify exactly which subway line to take and which exit based on that line. An alternative is to just go to Shinjuku Sanchome on the Marunouchi Line, which is close to Shinjuku Gyoen.

5 Centimetres per Second screencap

makoto shinkai anime location

Shinjuku Station taxi Stand — Photo by Athena Lam

5 Centimetres per Second screenscap

Makoto Shinkai 5cm per second

Shinjuku station West exit — Photo by Athena Lam

If you do exit in Shinjuku Station, make sure you get out on the correct side (East or West) as the two are not connected and you will have to walk all the way around if you’re not careful. The scenes from above are on the West exit, as Takaki is wandering towards the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building area.

5 Centimetres per Second screencap

5秒速センチメートル

Sumitomo Building Building at Shinjuku — Photo by Athena Lam

On a side note, Shinjuku has three interesting coffee shops. Verve Coffee is from the US and conveniently on top of the new coach bus terminal. 4/4 Seasons Cafe is in a quieter corner closer to Shinjuku Gyoen. My personal favourite for the ambience is Teijimaya Coffee Honten right at Omoiydeyokocho (Yakitori Alley).

Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers is the brainchild of two anime legends: Satoshi Kon (director and writer of Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Paranoia Agent) and Keiko Nobumoto (creator of the Wolf’s Rain series and head scriptwriter for Cowboy Bebop). I didn’t know about them before I watched it, or what the movie was about. It just seemed to satisfy my craving at the time for Tokyo rendered in anime.

Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers screencap — Photo by Athena Lam

Tokyo Godfathers Isetan anime location

Isetan intersection at Shinjuku — Photo by Athena Lam

The feature film follows three homeless people as they try to take care of and return an abandoned baby during the Christmas holidays. Gin, Hana, and Miyuki make Shinjuku Chuo Park their squat and roam the chilly, neon-lit streets of Shinjuku and other districts, giving a glimpse into other communities that make Tokyo their home. Below is a view of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, an essential part of Shinjuku’s distinct skyline cluster.

Tokyo Godfathers screenscrap

anime location shinjuku

Squatting in Shinjuku Chuo Park, right under the iconic government buildings — Photo by Athena Lam

I appreciate the film’s unflinching depiction of those living on the fringes — those in poverty, the elderly, the immigrants, and of course the thugs and gangs. As someone who irrationally seeks out ghettos and low-income areas when travelling, this film’s glimpse into the dark backstreets as both purgatory and havens was an insight into not only how another side of Japan lives, but how others view this underside.

shinjuku shrine

Tokyo Godfathers screencap

Shinjuku shrine

Hanazono Shrine in East Shinjuku close to the Isetan department store — Photo by Athena Lam

Darker than Black

Darker than Black is a two-volume manga and two-season anime series awarded Best Original Anime of The Year by GoGoplex. The series is an alternate reality where the stars have disappeared from modern-day Tokyo due to a mysterious “Hell’s Gate” event that also gave rise to “Contractors” with special powers. Shinjuku and Nakano are the focus of many face-offs and Hei, seems to live somewhere betwene the two. Even though many Nakano areas seemed familiar, I didn’t quite find the rooftops from which you can see the Shinjuku offices.

Darker than Black - shinjuku skyscrapers street

Darker than Black screencap

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Headquarters Building — Photo Athena Lam

The white building on the right called the Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Headquarters Building is one of the many iconic buildings one notices when going out the Shinjuku Station West Exit.

Terror in Resonance

Right across the north-end Shinjuku Station train tracks, viewers will find the Yunika Vision LED screen that popped up in Terror in Resonance (Zankyō no Terror), an anime mini-series about two young terrorists out to expose a state cover-up of an experimental project.

Terror in Resonance screencap

Shinjuku anime locations

JR train tracks at Shinjuku Station by Omoideyokocho — Photo by Athena Lam

Trains are integral to the Japanese experience as every otaku would knows. Trains are the pulsing veins of the Tokyo landscape. Standing at an intersection on the northwest end of Shinjuku Station, one can look out for the JR Yamanote Line train that races by in a silver blur accented with green bands.

It took me 3 visits and about 20 back-and-forths during the green signal to get a frame I liked. It would have been much easier in a car, and it makes me wonder sometimes how the anime location scouts accessed some of the corners they did.

Terror in Resonance screencap

 

Terror in Resonance Shinjuku anime-1120642

Yunika Building LED wall on Shinjuku’s shopping street — Photo by Athena Lam

In addition to being known for its department stores and clothes shopping, Shinjuku also has large electronics department stores such as BIC Camera and LAOX, which is where visitors can get the Tokyo subway pass.

Terror in Resonance screencap

Shinjuku anime location

Entrance to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building — Photo by Athena Lam — Photo by Athena Lam

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is the site of an extended scene in the first episode of Terror in Resonance. I looped the entire complex looking for the exact spots the explosions took place, but I’ve just kept the more impressive interior shots to give you an idea of what you would see if you went up.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Shinjuku

Terror in Resonance screencap

Tokyo metropolitan government building

Gift shops at the top observation floor — Photo by Athena Lam

Visitors can go to both the North and South towers, which have gift shops and a cafe in the top floor (access is free). The top floor observation deck offers a great view of the cityscape below, sunsets, and maybe even Mount Fuji on a clear day.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Shinjuku

Terror in Resonance screencap

Tokyo metropolitan government building Shinjuku

View from the top floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan government building — Photo by Athena Lam

For otaku on an anime pilgrimage, I recommend giving yourself a full day to enjoy all the different parts of Shinjuku. If pressed for time, you can try to absorb the throbbing, frantic, nostalgic, and even romantic moments captured at these anime locations within an afternoon.

Thanks for checking this out! If you want to buy collectibles, check out my photo essay of Mandarake at Broadway Nakano!

 

Anime and Otaku
Mandarake Nakano Henya Vintage Toys

Mandarake HQ Nakano Broadway Guide for Anime, Manga & Collectibles

A visual guide to Mandarake’s shops at Nakano Broadway, based off of the official store map. You can get a sense of the things you’ll find here in my photo essay.

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Map Wall-4781

The store’s wall-map on the 1/F. Print maps available in 3/F bookstore.

Most people who are interested in anime, manga and gaming make Akihabara a top Tokyo destination. It’s a pretty interesting place to see, especially with all the lights at night. I personally prefer Nakano Broadway, the shopping mall from the 1960s that is the home of the first Mandarake. The complex is home to Mandarake’s 27 stores and a host of other independent specialty shops that range from coin collectibles and watches to video games and headphones.

For people who are visiting Tokyo for the first time, it might be difficult to imagine how Mandarake’s online shop manifests in real life. Below, I’m sharing quick and dirty visuals for what to expect when you go through this area. Give yourself at least half a day to explore!

The levels begin from the top (4th Floor) down to the ground level, where the entrance is. This is also to correspond with Mandarake’s map, which is ordered from #1 to #27.

Note: Linked items direct you to my Nakano Broadway photo essay which has close-ups.

4th Floor

Plastic

Mandarake Plastic Nakano Broadway Dolls Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon, Card Captors Sakura & magical girls. Creepy dolls too.

It’s actually several store units, each specialising in their own dolls, teddy bears, and magical girls. Included some examples in my photo essay of Broadway Nakano.

Anime-kan

Mandarake Anime Kan Nakano Broadway

Coolest cells, storyboards, genga items.

It’s like a mini museum. There are story boards and cels from classic anime from the 80s right up to recent years.

Kaiba (Books)

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Kaiba Bookstore

Artbooks, Sci-Fi, Mystery novels, random other topics.

I love this upper bookstore. Most of the stuff is in Japanese, but the art and design books are quite international. It’s even better than a lot of art book stores. For Japanese readers, I also found many interesting historical books (i.e. Edo Tokyo and Japan).

Henya

Mandarake Nakano Henya Vintage Toys

The most atmospheric Mandarake shop!

It’s difficult to explain what makes this shrine to vintage and tin toys so cool. Just walk through the torii.

Mania-kan

Mandarake Nakano Mania

Find your vintage comics, art books, magazines at this store on the 4th Floor

The art books that you’re probably ordering online will be housed here! In addition to the gorgeous collections like CLAMP X and Angel Sanctuary, you’ll get the vintage comics and magazines as well.

Ryusenkei Jiken

Mandarake Nakano Ryusenkei Jiken train models

Trainspotters head here!

Train models, goods and train parts, N-gauge, HO-gauge stuff here.

Special 6

Mandarake Nakano Special 6 Mecha Gundam Macross Evangelion

Find your mechas here: Gundam, Macross, Evangelion etc.

This is Mandarake’s Robot & Mecha store. Of course, there’s the Gundam, Macross, Evangelion, stuff. There are also many other shops within the building that sell these models!

Online Store Office

English speaking staff available


 

3F

Retail Corner

Mandarake Nakano Retail Corner

Resell your otaku items, manga, anime DVDs here!

Where you can sell your items to Mandarake.

Special 3

Mandarake Nakano Special 3 Video Games Disney Lego Dragon Ball

Find Disney, LEGO and Dragon Ball collectibles here!

I don’t quite get their collections here, as it’s quite random. However, you’ll find collectibles from many of the most popular anime and video games, Disney movies, and LEGO collections. Basically, it’s a good first stop to see what they have.

Bookstore 1

Mandarake Nakano Bookstore 1

Shounen, shojo, seinen manga. Boys Love manga, CDs. Light novels

Infinity

Goods from male idol groups (Japanese & Korean), Male seiyu & actors

Special 2

Mandarake Special 2 Nakano Broadway

Figures. Uncountable. You’ll find what you’re looking for!

Superhuman / Sentai Toys (Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Metal Hero, Power Rangers)

Bookstore 2

Mandarake Nakano Bookstore 2 Seinen manga

Seinen manga

Seinen manga, light novels, subculture, adult manga, hobby & anime magazines, artbooks


 

2ND FLOOR

Special 4

 

Mandarake Special 4 Nakano Broadway

PVC & collectible figures, capsule toys, One Piece stuff

PVC & Trading Figures, capsulre toys, One Piece POP

Special 1

Mandarake Special 1 Nakano Broadway Transformers

For ultraman, transformers, and zoid fans.

Basically Ultraman, Transformers, Zoids, Votoms, Kaiju characters.

Special 5

Mandarake Special 5 Nakano Broadway Star Wars

American Toys. And yes, Star Wars.

American toys and artist figures. I’m not sure why Lupin the Third is also thrown in, but it is!

CARD-kan

Mandarake Card Kan Nakano Broadway

Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Magic, etc. etc. 

Game cards, trading cards & stickers. Nostalgia incarnate.

UFO

Mandarake UFO Nakano Broadway

Get your DVDs, CDs, Blueray discs here.

Basically, pick up your entire Anime DVD and Bluray set here. You’ll also find the soundtracks and CDs.

DEEP-kan

Mandarake Nakano Broadway-4823

Deep Kan

Galaxy 

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Deep Kan Video Games Consoles-4827

Stop here to find the old cartridges and console games!

Since I don’t own a console anymore, I didn’t tempt myself by sifting through every isle. However, I did see plenty of games I’d not seen before in Canada. I also saw tons of cartridges! I included some items in my photo essay of Broadway Nakano.

Katsudo Shashin-kan

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Katsudo Shashinkan Posters Baseball-4852

Paraphanalia for baseball fans and movie posters.

Baseball’s huge in Japan, so one side of this store includes jerseys, signed baseballs and other related items. The rest of the store includes lots of vintage posters and is good for retro inspiration!

Cosplay-kan 

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Cosplay Kan-4819

As the name suggests…

Complete sets that are perfect if for last-minute anicon decisions.

Live-kan

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Live Kan-4835

One of the few places where you can still get doujinshi.

Daisharin

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Daisharin Car Toy Models-4859

All those old car toys we tossed out…

Find your favourite rare models here. Have one shot in my photo essay of Broadway Nakano.

Mico-kan

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Micro Kan Studio Ghibli-4869

Ghibli collectibles alongside Tamagochi and pro wrestling masks.

This one is a hilarious mash of items. There are tons of rubber figures, 80s & 90s Anime collectibles (digimon etc.), pro wrestling toys & masks, Studio Ghibli items, and tamagochi. Check my photo essay of Broadway Nakano to see some of the items.

Kaguya

Mandarake Kaguya Nakano Broadway

Plastic scale models. Runner up for coolest entrance.

New & Vintage plastic scale models


 

1st FLOOR

Mon

Mandarake Mon Nakano Broadway

You’ll probably miss this when you first walk in.

Special products & auction items are right at the entrance on the ground level. It’s actually more like a showcase wall rather than a shop, although there is someone inside to help you!

 

Directions to Mandarake at Broadway Nakano

Map of the building: Mandarake has a handy English guide

Some of the things you’ll see: my random photo essay of figures, shops, and collectibles.

Address: 5-52-15 Nakano, Tokyo 164-0001
〒164-0001 東京都中野区中野5-52-15
Closest Station: Nakano (Metro Tozai Line, Chuo Line, Sobu Line)
Website: http://www.nbw.jp/index_e.html (English Site)
Hours (Daily):
Varies by shop
Generally 10:00 – 22:00
Mandarake: 12:00 – 20:00

Also join the Japan Forums Slack Community to ask questions and share info in real-time!

Anime and Otaku
Gundam Wing Collectible Figures Mandarake Broadway Nakano

Nakano Broadway: An Otaku’s Photo Essay of Mandarake+

This is a photo essay of Nakano Broadway by an anime fan, gamer, and maybe otaku. I also have an in-progress visual guide to Mandarake’s 27 shops.

Nakano Broadway Tokyo

Entrance to Nakano Broadway Shopping Centre

It’s always easier to say you came to Japan because of the ‘culture’. Conveniently leave out the ‘pop’ part of culture and list out things like the temples, the food, the crafts. Maybe drop a few names in history. You’ll get bewildered, but respectful, nods. The truth is, I grew up on a staple anime diet since Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z in kindergarten. By the time I moved to Tokyo, I’d soaked myself in two decades of anime from Hikaru No Go up to the more recent Death Note, Code Geass, Durarara, Steins:Gate, Mushishi. It’s difficult to believe Baccano and Ghost in the Shell SAC are a decade old.

After arriving in Tokyo, I did a quick visit to Akihabara and wasn’t too impressed with the commercial and touristy vibe. Then, I discovered Nakano Broadway. Actually, I rediscovered it when I found Mandarake in the upper floors. Basically, I got pretty excited, and I want to show you why this place is so awesome and worth a visit.

Nakano Broadway, a shopping complex built in 1966, houses not only Mandarake’s 27 shops, but also the numerous collectible shops like Robot Robot, and specialty stores for doujinshi.

Give yourself a good half day to wander through! Directions at the bottom of this post.

Mandarake Bookstore Nakano Broadway

Hello Mandarake!

If you take the escalator from the main entrance of the covered shopping arcade, you will be whisked up to the 3rd Floor, where the main bookstore is. This is fitting, as Mandarake began as a second-hand bookshop in Nakano back in the 80s. I’ve heard that the name comes from a combination manga and darake (random stuff). Since then, Mandarake has expanded to cover all things Japanese (and foreign) pop culture. Most people know their location in Akihabara, but I much prefer their home home base here, which is more spacious and has many other independent shops.

Mandarake Bookstore Nakano Broadway

Steampunk anyone?

Of course, what caught my eye immediately was this awesome homage to steampunk. I love all the retro flyers, aliens, and neon lights that harken back to earlier decades in the 20th century.

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Steampunk Decor

More neon lights. I stared at this fixture for a while!

Dragon Ball Z Kami Mandarake Nakano Broadway

DBZ’s Kami-sama! A godly price-tag for one so small.

I like the balance between casually stacked boxes, crammed glass displays and carefully selected features. The rows and rows of boxes for limited edition Final Fantasy figurines alongside individual figures such as the one above give a reassuring sense of collection and taste. Even if I can’t buy it, at least I can oogle!

Pikachu!!! Plushies!!!!

Pikachu!!! Plushies!!!!

How can one resist Pokemon and the Gameboy games we grew up with? Of course there are second-hand console games around here too!

Dragon Ball Z's Android 18 never looked better.

Dragon Ball Z’s Android 18 never looked better.

Quality. I can’t believe the quality of the figures, and the shockingly reasonable prices. They were so much more expensive in Canada and rarely had such awesome poses.

Nintendo Earthbound Ness Nakano Broadway-1090531

Ness! Zelda! Pokemon! Winner.

This is in a small corner shop across from the Mandarake buying centre. It basically specialises in mini figures and keychains for select animes, and has figures from games I love…

As retro as you get. Bruce Lee.

As retro as you get. Bruce Lee.

This is within the red arches of Mandarake’s Henya-kan ,which houses all sorts of retro collectibles. I can’t quite trace how all the odd, usually individual, figures link up, but the collection feels oddly right. The photo below is the interior, which has everything from kids face masks to retro metal plates.

Inside the Mandarake Henya shop. Has some trippy sound effects.

Inside the Mandarake Henya shop. Has some trippy sound effects.

Gundam! *heart*

Gundam! *heart*

I’m superficial. The Gundam mechas are just gorgeous. Imagine seeing an entire wall of them, lovingly arranged.

Gundam Wing Collectible Figures Mandarake Broadway Nakano

Gundam Wing Mini Collectible PVCs

Even if I have no space or inclination to get a full figure, there are still plenty of mini ones I could choose for life on the road.

Trains! They also have subway cars.

Trains! They also have subway cars.

There’s also a train shop too! Trainspotters come for your models, vintage tickets, signs, and whatever else train-related you can think of on the 4th floor. It includes subways.

Taking a break.

Being excited nonstop is exhausting!

Despite this building’s subculture popularity, it’s still got many quiet corners.

Mandarake Nakano Retro Arcade Tourney 1090592

Retro arcade tourney!

And after the recharge, I stumbled on this in what seemed like a quiet corner with shuttered shops! The tourney ladder was basically done. There was awesome buzz around this match and still there were other guys still playing on the side.

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Nintendo Cartridges Video Games-4829

Childhood growth = Nintendo cartridges, to Sega & Sony PS Discs, to PS3

You’ll find these in the Mandarake Galaxy-kan on the 2nd Floor. There are also other shops in the building that sell video games.

The Last Unicorn Cel! My gosh.

The Last Unicorn Cel!

My jaw dropped when I saw the demon bull at the Mandarake Anime-Kan. It was one of the saddest movies I watched and left a deep impression even though I’d only seen it once. This iconic demonic bull. This place helps me rediscover childhood nuggets I’d totally forgotten!

Cel art for Mikasa Ackerman, IMHO the real hero of Attack on Titan.

Cel art for Mikasa Ackerman, IMHO the real hero of Attack on Titan.

I ordered storyboard and art books from Ebay the moment I convinced my mom to let me use her credit card online. Seeing these cels taught me a lot about how they developed characters and put together the film strips!

Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon…OMG, Sailor Saturn!

This is definitely the place where no-one will judge you no matter what you love! It’s hard to believe the Sailor Moon things we discarded years ago can fetch such prices now! Find all these magical princess related things in the Mandarake Plastic section on the 4/F.

Sailor Moon Mandarake Broadway Nakano

Never stop believing in magic, plastic wands!

This doll area was super creepy, but you should check it out.

This doll area was super creepy, but you should check it out.

Of course, this is Japanese subculture. There’s plenty of other things yaoi, adult manga, and dolls. I’m not gonna lie. The dolls were well crafted, but seeing rows of their soulless eyes and bodies, then entire shops for their clothes and accessories was a bit awkward.

Yu-Gi-Oh Blue Eyes White Dragon Mandarake Nakano Trading Cards

Blue Eyes White Dragon! Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh.

About the last trading card set I dabbled with after Magic and Pokemon. Good times!

Can't stand Eren Yeager, but this figure looks super cool.

Can’t stand Eren Yeager, but this figure looks super cool.

So many characters I didn’t even like in the original anime look so cool.

Don't forget Sanrio and Hello Kitty! Love how this little shop is so...old.

Don’t forget Sanrio and Hello Kitty! 

One other thing I love about Broadway Nakano is that it doesn’t try to be that modern or flashy. The ground floor and basement are still daily-life shopping areas. Even many of the shops here don’t seen to mind their dated decor. On the contrary, it adds to their appeal.

Ryuk's just so awesome he needs to pics.

Ryuk and Gutz!

Even if there are repeats, every display case is a new field for discovery. Each independent shop shows off their collections in unique ways. Sometimes, you’d think there’s even a logic to it – putting Death Note’s Death God with Berserk’s Black Swordsman.

R2D2. Mandarake has a special shop for Star Wars stuff.

R2D2. Mandarake has a special shop for Star Wars stuff.

Even better, there are plenty of specialty shops for other interests too. Mandarake’s Special 5 is for American collectibles. I saw a military shop, coin collectible store, and Sennheiser.

Porco Rosso

Studio Ghibli’s Porco Rosso

Those moments when you can zone in to an awesome figurine…

Yoshi!

Yoshi! (And Mario, of course)

*Yoshi!* Every time I see this photo, Super Mario World’s sound effects play on loop.

Mandarake Nakano Broadway

Retro battle ship and war plane toys.

I think I date myself when I recongise these boxes, and this is the best place to feel proudly ‘old’. What a shame the millennials grew up without these analogue things!

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Baseball-4851

Baseball collectibles in the Mandarake poster store.

I also find this place an interesting destination to check out niche cultural interests. Baseball’s huge in Japan.

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Daisharin Car Toy Models

Collectible car models

I can’t drive. I don’t have much of an interest in cars, but it was fun to look at all the mini models that have such detail. It’s a much faster way to look at the history of cars than walking through models at a museum for a lay-person like me!

Saber from Fate/Stay Night.

Saber from Fate/Stay Night. And all the other girls that capture the imagination.

Totoro Figure at Robot Robot

Totoro at Robot Robot

Robot Robot is another collectible store in the mall. It also has two Akihabara stores. I never understood the price of Ghibli things – which range from ¥300 cute figures to ¥3,000 for ugly plushies. Robot Robot also sells Disney items (think Frozen) and Barbie collectibles.

Mandarake Princess Mononoke Micro Kan-4875

Princess Mononoke’s Great Forest Spirit / Nightwalker, at an incredible price!

Speaking of Studio Ghibli, I had to include another photo. These two figures from Princess Mononoke were found at Mandarake’s Micro-kan, which I found the most entertaining. A number of shops can be a bit random in their collectible pairings, but this one tops it with pro wrestling masks, tamagochi, digimon, and other collectibles from the 80s and 90s. In the next 3 photos, you’ll see some of the things I discovered in there.

Mandarake Tamagochi-4884

Tamagochi from the 90s

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Micro Kan Wrestling Mask-4870

Wrestling masks at Mandarake Micro

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Micro Kan-4879

Superheroes!

And, even though I never became a FF Fan, I’ve always loved their art. I’m not sure I’d fork out this amount ever for a model, but the idea of having this set was pretty cool!

Final Fantasy. Love Japanese video game characters.

Final Fantasy. Love Japanese video game characters.

Even if you’re not up for ¥20,000 figures, there’s definitely something for you. Keychains, mini figures, and charms ¥150. Just look around!

So...many...choices...

So…many…choices…

Alright, here’s a sample close up from another store.

Super Mario World Keychains Cell Phone Accessories Mandarake Nakano Broadway

Cell phone accessories usually range from ¥150 – ¥800

Mandarake Special 4 Nakano Broadway

PVC & collectible figures, capsule toys, One Piece

This was basically me, every 10 metres.

This set makes Kingdom Hearts look pretty cool.

This set makes Kingdom Hearts look pretty cool.

There are so many PVC styles. This place just made anime, manga, and doujinshi come alive.

Mandarake Nakano Broadway Books-4855

Collectible books on the 2/F

I have to throw in these old prints. I’m also a bookworm, so any bound text is cool, even if I can’t read all of them!

Mandarake Nakano Broadway-1090564

One of my favourite little shops right across from the Mandarake Buying area.

This mid-century complex has its worn-down charm. Some of the stalls are shuttered and quiet. Admittedly, the Mandarake is the big draw that keeps this ecosystem of little specialty stores alive. Despite its success (check out its online store, which ships internationally), the Mandarake has stayed firmly in Nagano and made this a vibrant community and subculture hub. The above photo is of one of my favourite small stores sprinkled throughout Nakano Broadway. It sits right on a corner, across from the Mandarake Buy Centre.

Yes, this is all pretty exhausting!

Charlie Brown and Snoopy summed up my sister and me.

After being mind blown all afternoon, I was pretty contentedly pooped out!

I also have photos of the Mandarake storefronts based off their handy English map.

Address: 5-52-15 Nakano, Tokyo 164-0001
〒164-0001 東京都中野区中野5-52-15
Website: http://www.nbw.jp/index_e.html (English Site)
Hours (Daily):
Varies by shop
Generally 10:00 – 22:00
Mandarake: 12:00 – 20:00

If you liked this post, look out for my visual guide to Mandarake at Nakano Broadway.

Anime and Otaku