Nakano Broadway

I <3 (heart) Nakano

Nakano Broadway Coffee

It’s great that Japan celebrates the first day of spring as a national holiday. I celebrated with a trip to Nakano Broadway and Sun Mall for a coffee and some ramen. My favorite coffee shop in Broadway serves an amazing cup of cold-dripped coffee (水出し) served with the cutest mini-carafe of sweetner and tiny tin of cream. For serving the most amazing coffee, with no pretension, I salute you sisters!

Equally exciting, I visited the new Sun Mall ramen shop in a cool, metal-clad building. The shop is paneled in wood, and serves delicious pork-broth Kyushu ramen. Best of all, all six male staff wear white towels on their heads, each tied differently. Friendly and tasty! I’ll be back.

Nakano Sun Mall, new ramen shop

Happy Coming of Age Day! 成人の日

Seijin no hi, manga

Happy Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no hi)! There are many strange official holidays in Japan: kids day (formerly boys day), sports and health day, for example. But Coming of Age Day is special– not only is all official business closed, but there’s the opportunity to see 20 year old’s dressed in their gaudy finest.

For girls just turning 20 years old, it’s an opportunity to look like a slightly late Christmas tree: teased hair piled high, with plastic flower ornaments, pink and neon kimonos, faux white fur stoles with glitter, fancy nails. For boys, there’s the classy kimono look and the more popular host look: shiny suit, and big permed hair.

Some of the activity should take place in a temple or shrine. However, I saw dozens strolling in Nakano Broadway, take sticker photos, and showing off hair do’s. The best guy hair-dos I saw include blue-grey hair and one red-and-yellow mix.

I wasn’t sure what to say. Congratulations?! Now you can legally drink? You’re old enough to have carnal relations with adults? Could that hair be any bigger? The husband suggested I say nothing, and I obeyed.

I did have a fantasy of spotting in the crowds Mickey Rourke, with his bloated plastic surgery face, dressed up as a coming-of-age 20 year old. Are there other ojisan and obasan who take advantage of the holiday to pretend they are coming of age? I guess I have a few more years to plan my holiday outfit.

Coming of Age, 成人の日

Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway

Ah, Nakano Broadway! You have your own mascot Pipi, just like the Police, the Post Office, and every other institution in this lucky nation. While your showing your age, more or less the same as this author’s, your low-ceilings, lack of windows, and hundreds of tiny shops catering to local, national and international otaku (nerds) make me happy to call Nakano home. You never fail to provide an abundance of shopping, from boy-band memoriabilia to fujoshi comics, costume shops, and the home-roasted coffee from the always immaculate sisters. And the crowds you attract make me feel down right understated.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? My number 1 resolution is to get fat. I’m also trying to improve my Japanese, learn some more about ceramics, and explore the many charms of Nakano.