A New Girls-Only Cafe Focused on Female 'Otakus' Opens in Japan
Otaku cafes are not a new thing—you're likely to catch a glimpse of one (or two) around every corner in Japan. But let's step back a minute with a little bit of background information: 'otaku' is a Japanese word for a person with obsessive interests—specifically in manga or anime within the culture. Up until the past decade, the word wasn't necessarily handed out in a positive manner (think: 'nerd' or 'geek'), but the surge in cafes and other retail spaces catering to the hobbies has given the term more mainstream appeal. Men have been more associated with the link and it's not uncommon to find the existing cafes filled with male fans.
Ataraxia Cafe is a new spot in Osaka with a little bit of a catch: only girls are allowed. This new cafe is aimed at giving lady otakus a place to comfortably indulge in their interests among peers. There's no membership fee required, but those interested will be asked to take an otaku test to keep the focus on diehard fans. Not only are there shelves-upon-shelves of manga from all genres, but there are also tables in the cafe where the women can create cosplay costumes. In fact, the space even has tools that can be rented for creating said costumes. The best part? There are outlets a plenty so no one is left solo with a dead device.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.