Friday 12 September 2014

An evening of surprises - Nakano (part 1)

I had a free day recently and I started wondering a few days before what I would do with it.  Not long after I visited Koenji some of my Japanese coworkers suggested that I visit Nakano as it had a similar feel with the small alleys with numerous restaurants and bars lining them.

People say that Nakano has a Showa era feel to it.  The Showa era ran from 1926 - 1989 when the economic bubble burst.  I can imagine at that time lifestyles were changing and eating out was becoming more and more popular and common (which I guess is why Nakano is lined with small restaurants and eateries.  

In 2011, Nakano was voted the best place place to live in Tokyo by readers of the popular Tokyo Walker magazine after having finished second the previous year, so there was obviously a great deal of appeal to the area.  All of this was enough for me to finally decide to go and check it out.

I jumped online to see how far away Nakano was from home and found that it was definitely within walking distance so I set off.  I hadn't planned to take any photos on the way there, only once I got to Nakano, but the walk started getting interesting too.  At one point I approached a tunnel of trees that completely covered the road.

Off to the left was a track that went into the trees.  That seemed more interesting to me, so I walked in.

It was one of the many little pockets of green that are all around Tokyo.

These little areas, you can enter, be surrounded by nature and forget about the metropolis that waits outside!  Enjoy the peace, just as the sign says.

Pretty soon I reached the other side and came back out into reality, but a few minutes further on was another park, so I once again entered the cone of silence that these places offer.

A little further on I came across a couple of very nice temples that had the usual beautifully manicured gardens.

Then there was this place........

That funky little cafe was a sign that we were approaching the Koenji area!

At this point I had to go up some stairs and across a walkway that went over a main highway.  As I got halfway up, I smelled an all too familiar smell..........tonkotsu (pork soup) ramen.  Looking around, sure enough, there it was!

10 minutes before, I had started to smell the unmistakable smell of rain in the air, and sure enough, it had now started, although it never got too heavy.

Back out to reality again.....

This one has become a two part post too, so I will finish part one now and I will start on part two, picking up from when I get to Nakano.  That is a blog post in itself!

Thanks for reading.


  1. Hi Jason,the 13th photo of the pump and buckets intrigued me.I have a feeling the buckets may be for washing of hands and then perhaps the water can then be used on the plants?Japanese gardens really make an impression and together with buildings and statues are always a pleasure to behold.All the best,Noel.

    1. Hi Noel,
      I'm not sure of the answer to that one Noel. If anyone reading knows the answer, please let us know.
      I love Japanese gardens. Do you go to the Japanese gardens much in Adelaide? I hope to get to our sister city of Himeji at some stage.