Exploring Otaku Culture and Street Food in Nakano Broadway and Sun Mall

By Emily Suvannasankha
Updated: February 9, 2022

Are you a hungry otaku looking for delicious street food? Look no further than Nakano Broadway, home to hundreds of years of anime and manga history, not to mention tons of yummy street snacks! In this video, Shizuka explores Nakano Broadway and Nakano Sun Mall, a shopping complex famous for selling secondhand otaku goods and rare collectibles. Follow along as she samples both the most famous street foods in Nakano as well as some more unusual finds!

Retro Otaku Culture and Street Food in Nakano Broadway & Sun Mall

On her first stop, Shizuka tries imagawayaki, a traditional pancake-like bun, from Oyakidokororefutei Nakano. Pick from many creative, seasonal fillings for a perfect hot snack on a cold day!

Woman dressed in yellow holds out an imagawayaki (Japanese sweet) from Nakano

Shizuka's next stop is Temma Curry, where she bites into a fat, juicy deep-fried curry bread, or karepan. The fresh, crispy breaded exterior complements the doughy insides filled to the brim with mildly spicy ` and cheese. Curry bread is a great way to experience Japanese curry in a convenient way on the go!

Woman holds out a Japanese karepan, curry-filled bread, which is also oozing cheese

At Umeya, Shizuka tries something new and orders kuzumochi for the first time. This traditional Japanese sweet incorporates black sugar sauce and kinako roasted soybean powder on top of triangles of mochi or stretchy pounded rice. To Shizuka's surprise, this delicate-looking dessert packs a sugary, nutty punch! Watch the video to see how this unique dish is served when ordered takeout-style.

Craving a full meal after all those snacks, Shizuka stops by Shanghai Menkan Nakano to order some tsukemen, or dipping-style noodles, a dish born right here in Nakano! This chicken soup-flavored tsukemen wows Shizuka with its creamy, fatty flavor without being too heavy or rich. Perfect for a quick takeout lunch in the park!

Shizuka holds up the 8-flavor ice cream tower from Daily Chiko in Nakano

Last but not least, Shizuka finishes off her tour of Nakano Broadway by sampling perhaps its most famous street food offering: Daily Chico's 8-flavor ice cream tower! To order this beloved mountain of soft serve, venture down into the food-filled basement floors of Nakano Broadway. Watch Shizuka sample each flavor, including uniquely Japanese offerings like matcha and ramune soda.

Take a Street Food Tour of Nakano and Koenji

Curious about the street food scene in west Tokyo? You can easily experience it for yourself by booking a Tokyo Walking Food Tour in Nakano and Koenji and enjoy all that Nakano's most famous shotengai shopping streets have to offer. With a Tokyo local by your side, you'll get to try fresh street food from five different street vendors in Nakano, plus gain incredible insight into the best dining spots in the city.

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Emily Suvannasankha
Masquerading as a grad student in Linguistics, Emily can typically be found counting the minutes ‘til her next peach chūhai. She has two years in Nagoya before her need for jumbo peanut butter sends her crawling back to the US.
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