Nakano, Tokyo

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Nakano City
Skyline around Nakano station
Skyline around Nakano station
Flag of Nakano
Official seal of Nakano
Location of Nakano in Tokyo Metropolis
Location of Nakano in Tokyo Metropolis
Nakano is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 35°42′26.63″N 139°39′49.81″E / 35.7073972°N 139.6638361°E / 35.7073972; 139.6638361Coordinates: 35°42′26.63″N 139°39′49.81″E / 35.7073972°N 139.6638361°E / 35.7073972; 139.6638361
PrefectureTokyo Metropolis
First official recordedearly 15th century
As Tokyo CityOctober 1, 1932
As Special ward of TokyoJuly 1, 1943
 • MayorNaoto Sakai
 • Total15.59 km2 (6.02 sq mi)
 (October 1, 2020[1])
 • Total344,880
 • Density22,121/km2 (57,290/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address4-8-1 Nakano, Nakano, Tokyo
Sunset over Nakano, with Nakano Broadway in the distance
One of the oldest temples in Nakano: Jougan-ji

Nakano (中野区, Nakano-ku) is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. The English translation of its Japanese self-designation is Nakano City.[2]

As of May 1, 2015, the ward has an estimated population of 322,731, and a population density of 20,701 persons per km2. The total area is 15.59 km2.[2] Nakano is the most densely populated city in Japan.


The ward was founded on October 1, 1932, when the towns of Nogata and Nakano were absorbed into the former Tokyo City as Nakano Ward. The present administration dates from March 15, 1947, when the Allied occupation reformed the administration of Tokyo-to.

  • 1447: Ōta Dōkan defeated Toshima Yasutsune in a battle here.
  • 1606: The Naruki Kaidō, predecessor of today's Ōme Kaidō (a road to Ōme) was established.
  • 1695: In connection with the Shorui Awaremi no Rei (a law for the protection of animals), a facility for keeping wild dogs opened.
  • 1871: The twelve villages that comprise present-day Nakano became part of Tokyo Prefecture.
  • 1889: The Kofu Railway opens. The forerunner of today's Chūō Main Line included a station at Nakano en route from Shinjuku to Hachioji.
  • 1897: Nakano becomes a village.
  • 1932: Tokyo City expands to encompass the district that included Nakano.
  • 1943: With the abolition of Tokyo City, Nakano becomes part of Tokyo-to.
  • 1947: Nakano becomes one of the special wards under the new system.
  • 1961: The Tokyo subway system extends to Nakano.
  • 1973: Construction of Nakano Sun Plaza near Nakano Station reaches completion.

Districts and neighborhoods[edit]


Five special wards surround Nakano: Shinjuku, Suginami, Nerima, Shibuya, and Toshima. It lies just west of the bustling Shinjuku area.

Rivers include the Kanda, Myosho-ji and Zenpuku-ji Rivers, and the Aratama Waterway.



Public schools[edit]

Public elementary and middle schools are operated by the Nakano City Board of Education. Public high schools are operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education.

  • Fuji High School
  • Minorigaoka High School
  • Musashigaoka High School
  • Nakano Technical High School
  • Saginomiya High School
  • Yotsuya Commercial High School

Private schools[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]



Nakano Ward is served by the JR East Chūō and Sobu lines, the Seibu Shinjuku Line, the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, and the Toei Oedo Line.


A complicated bus network is constructed throughout Nakano Ward because most train lines only run east and west.

  • Kanto bus
  • Toei bus
  • Kokusai Kogyo bus
  • Keio bus


Shuto Expressway:

Prefectural road:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 8 (Mejiro-dōri Ave., Shin-Mejiro-dōri Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 439 (Senkawa-dōri Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 440 (Shin-Ōme-kaidō Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 25 (Waseda-dōri Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 433 (Ōkubo-dōri Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 4 (Ōme-kaidō Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 14 (Hōnan-dōri Ave.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 317 (Yamate-dōri St.; 6th Beltway)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 420 (Nakano-dōri St.)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 318 (Kannana-dōri St.; 7th Beltway)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Route 427 (Nakasugi-dōri St.)

Business and entertainment[edit]

  • Nakano-minamiguchi ekimae shōtengai – an outdoor arcade
  • Soft On Demand – a Japanese adult video group of companies has its headquarters in Nakano[3]

Benza series[edit]

Promotional art for Benza English, a television show that takes place in Higashi Nakano

The Benza is a 2019 Amazon Prime Video series about two foreigners (Christopher McCombs and Kyle Card) who are trying to fix their broken toilet seat (便座, benza) and are suddenly tasked with saving the world. The series takes place entirely in Higashi Nakano. Benza English is a 2020 spin-off series that also takes place in Higashi Nakano. The Benza RPG is a 2020 video game adaption available on iOS, Android, and Steam.[4]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population by District". Tokyo Statistical Yearbook. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "About Nakano City." Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  3. ^ "SOD Company Data" (in Japanese). SOD. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  4. ^ "The Benza Transformed Into A Free-to-Play Retro RPG". Tokyo Weekender. February 18, 2022.

External links[edit]