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Nakano is a ward/district in Tokyo. In English it is referred to as “Nakano City” but this is inaccurate as the area is considered one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo. It has an estimated population of roughly 300,000 people, and the entire area of the Nakano ward is approximately 15.59 km2.

Nakano is the most densely population region in Japan. It is estimated that there are about 20,000 individuals per km2. It is more populated than the Tokyo Toshima district, which has an estimated 19,000 people per capita. It is, however, only the 14th largest ward in Japan out of the 23.

Nakano is surrounded by Shinjuku, Nerima, Shibuya, Toshima and Suginami. Nakano ward has a high number of students and young workers, making it one of the youngest per capita populations in Tokyo. Also, because it is such a highly population dense area, there are very few cities and not much to do in Nakano on a regular basis. It is mostly used for residencies.


Nakano became an industrial hub during the Edo period, especially with food and agriculture. During the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, the number of residents needing a place to go increased and many of these people moved to Nakano. This caused an enormous residential hike and by the 1940’s almost all of the agriculture in Nakano had disappeared in favor of more modern buildings and houses.

Nakano became a ward in 1932, but it wasn’t until the 1943 abolition of Tokyo City that Nakano became part of the Tokyo prefecture. Industrialization continued past World War II, with industry like animation flourishing in the Nakano area. By 1962, Nakano already had a subway station that made commuting easier. Now, Nakano is a technological hub, with several different computer companies, high rise buildings, and other signs of technological advancement commonplace in the ward.

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