The nice thing about being in a city as large as Tokyo is that there is never really is a moment where you have run out of things to see or do. Thanks to the train system, it is also convenient. That being said, I have taken the initiative to try and hit up as many hot spots as I can, so if you are looking for a couple of suggestions, I have you covered.
The name is a little bit misleading. It’s called Nakano Broadway, and as for me personally, I immediately associated it with bright lights and musicals. I was woefully off-base as I found out when I arrived. Don’t let that deter you because it is a nice place to wander around and shop a little should you be so inclined like my friends and me. The crowning glory is in the basement of the building though. If you are a fan of soft serve ice cream, I challenge you to finish the glorious delicious monstrosity below. Come with an empty stomach because I had breakfast beforehand and wiped out somewhere along the last 20% of the ice cream and the entire cone. If you want to play it safe though, the treat can be split with someone else and still be more than enough. I don’t recall the exact price, but it was around 500 yen which makes it pretty cheap considering the size of it. The biggest challenge is actually eating it fast enough before it all melts without it tipping and falling off he cone.
Jimbocho’s strip of bookshops
If you are as much of a book lover as I am, Jimbocho’s strip of bookshops, about a 5 minute walk from the train station, is the place to go. You can find books, comics, and the occasional DVD but for the most part, all of them are used. In other words, if you want to save a little and get a “new” book, this is a good place to start off. Certainly there are a large number of Japanese books but there is also a selection of English ones. I even saw some in German. Not to mention, one of the biggest used bookstores there has a whole floor upstairs dedicated to English books, and it was fantastic. I fell in love with the place a little because it reminded me of a European study from the 1800s with its old fashioned shelves with glass doors, carpeted floors, and dim lights from hanging lights. Some of the books there were probably considered antique, judging from the binding, and a few of the collections had tags that warn against touching. On the whole though, they have a large section filled with classics like Poe and Hawthorne. However, they have an even larger selection of books for personal edification where you can read up on Nietzsche if you’re feeling philosophical or apply Jung if wanting to probe the psychological workings of the mind. I was most impressed by the whole bookcase that was all analysis on Chaucer’s work. If I were an English major, I would be having a field day.
That said, just a tip. Don’t be afraid to explore since you’ll never know what gems you’ll end up stumbling across!