Akihabara spreads "otaku" culture to the rest of the world.
Towards the end of the 1990's, as PCs and the Internet became more widely used, various computer games were developed in Japan. Among them, games featuring young beautiful girls as the main characters or the main theme caught the hearts of young people. Later, that began to be called "otaku culture." So-called "otaku" are geeky, nerd-like fans of specific areas of subculture. That trend led to the introduction of shops selling magazines and other goods featuring young female characters. Characters from comics and "anime" (animated cartoons and movies) joined the bandwagon as figurines shops and maid cafes were opened one after the other. With that kind of enthusiasm, the word "rnoe" became widely used among "otaku." The otaku culture of Akihabara has become famous around the world. With Japanese computer games, comics and anime highly appreciated abroad, talented creative people oversees pay a lot of attention to Akiba. That is, in short, how Akiba became known as the town of "otaku" in the present day.
However, Akihabara seems to be also popular among foreigners who have no interest in otaku culture. It is now one of the main tourist attractions in Tokyo, drawing loads of busses full of sightseers. The area is crowded even on weekdays nowadays.
The recent construction of the Akihabara UDX building has been followed by more new shops and buildings that are being built. Many experts say that Akihabara will become even more popular in the future.