You may wonder why I would recommend a shopping center that appears to be a little out of the way. Nagareyama Ootakanomori Shopping Center is a convenient pit-stop on the way to and from busy Akihabara and Tsukuba Science City. The shopping center which opened in 2007 is a great place to do some leisurely shopping and dining without the huge crowds of Tokyo, and a gateway to some other cities in the area.
The main building with its atria, skylights and lush indoor gardens satisfies Nagarareyama City’s requirements for preservation of greenery. Outside is a wide plaza shaded by tall trees. Inside, you’ll find popular clothing and household goods retail shops, a branch of department store Loft, Kinokuniya bookstore with a substantial foreign language section, and Foodmaison, a “depachika”, or deparment store basement food hall with a great selection. Pick up a bento box and drinks, and have a picnic on the plaza.
The shopping center is convenient for families. The center has stroller rentals, a children’s play area, child-size restrooms, and even a short-stay nursery minded by kindergarten teachers. Don’t be surprised if you see shoppers with their furry children. Pets are allowed in pet carts, and the shopping center provides rental carts for them, too. For busy people with their hands full, there are coin lockers, including refrigerated ones (which return your coins when you’re finished).
The dining floor has many familiar chain restaurants, international cuisine, and independent bistros. A local favorite is Scrop, a coffee shop with a terrace overlooking the Tsukuba Express line.
The station is at the junction of the Tsukuba Express Line and the Tobu Urban Park Line, and all trains stop here. Hop on the Tobu line for access to Kashiwa City to the south, Noda City and Omiya City to the north. The station is also served by buses to Nagareyama City’s picturesque old town center, Honcho. Drop by the visitor information center at the north exit to learn more about this attractive suburb.