Otaku is a Japanese term that refers to people with obsessive interests, particularly in (but not limited to) anime, manga, trains or Japanese video games. A person interested in a recreational capacity in rail transport is called “densha-otaku” or railfan. The Japanese word otaku has become as well known overseas as is “karaoke,” and Wikipedia carries explanations of the word in 35 languages. In Tokyo’s Akihabara district, considered ground zero of Japan’s otaku, the elevated tracks of Japan Railway’s Sobu Line passes through rows of buildings. As it is considered a good place from which to watch trains, a hotel along the route has opened up well-received railway rooms, from which paying guests can enjoy a view of the passing trains.
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