The Variety Store “Nakano Ropeway”, A Huge Array of Strange Yet Super Cute Products are In There!
It just so happened that the day we dropped by, Nakano Ropeway was celebrating their 6th anniversary. Nakano Ropeway is a variety store that opened on June 10th in 2010 and offers everything from accessories, fashion items, stationary and more. The store is located on basement level 1 and is easily recognizable from its white, shaggy dog store sign labeled with the words “Bichon Frise”.
When we visited the store we were welcomed by the store manager Mr. Ito, who has a very easily distinguished way of talking. Seriko Hamazaki accompanied us on this visit and exclaimed with joy “The sushi is so cute~” as she hurriedly gravitated towards a variety of sushi key-holders and latched on to one of them. There’s a couple of things about these sushi key holders that you may find strange, including the size difference in the vinegar rice quantity and the sushi topping.
There are also care bear-themed dolls, T-shirts printed with lots of insects and retro hair pin sets that you can buy for 150 yen. The list goes on, and you can see that this store contains plenty of unique products that are fun even just to look at.
All of these peculiar products have been hand-chosen by Mr. Ito himself, with Mr. Ito traveling overseas (particularly in Asia) about once every two months. On top of that, as Mr. Ito handles everything from purchasing new stock to sales in the store by himself, he closes the store once a week to recuperate. If you’re coming from somewhere far away from Tokyo, be sure to check the store’s schedule to ensure that you don’t get disappointed if you visit the store on a day that it’s closed…
The type of customers that visit the store are varied – with anywhere from junior high school students to the elderly coming to visit, and even tourists from overseas stop by to by their fair share of knicks and knacks. There are certainly many things in Nakano Ropeway that can’t be found elsewhere.
Talking stuffed animals such as the Furby here are a perfect fit for people like Seriko!
Mr. Ito loves to talk, and seeing him standing in the store chatting with customers, including customers from overseas, is certainly not an unusual sight. As a result, it’s quite normal to see products without a price tag. You won’t receive a product without an explanation of its background and details. Be warned however, time is almost guaranteed to slip by so quickly while talking to Mr. Ito, who’ll answer almost any question you throw at him.
We had an absolute blast talking excitedly with Mr. Ito about the store’s products and about various idols. At the end of our visit we even received a set of “kawaii-ne” stickers, which were created by the junior high students who is a regular customer of this store and are sold at Nakano Ropeway only. The “kawaii-ne” stickers are rabbits that looked like they have been scrawled or graffitied that have the words “kawaii” written in a childish manner, making them that much more adorable!
Being surrounded by all these eye-catching products, you’ll find yourself being pulled into Mr. Ito’s mysterious yet exciting world, so be prepared for an adventure when visiting Nakano Ropeway!
Address : Nakano Broadway, 5-52-15, Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station : Nakano
URL : http://www.nakanoropeway.com/