Tokyo has always been an otaku’s paradise. The sprawling metropolis hides gateways into whatever interest one can have, whether they’re just taking their first steps into this world, or want to take their experience to the next level.

A lot has changed, as you would expect, over the past few years. With the country virtually closed off for two years due to the pandemic, familiar spots have vanished, while new ones have emerged in the capital’s landscape for a new generation of overseas visitors to enjoy now that borders are back open. There’s no need to settle for the zany cafe experiences and copyright-dodging street karts of the 2010s — this decade is about sinking into the many niches Tokyo accommodates.

Part of this reimagining requires a change in perception. The word “otaku” traditionally sparks stereotypes of nerds, but that’s not quite right. An otaku can be focused on any number of things — video games, baseball, the works of Steely Dan — but they know that one topic inside and out. It’s not a simple obsession, but rather a knowledge built over years of focus.