Category Archives: FEATURED

Can Our Otaku Hoarding Be a Disorder?

Otaku reading manga in room filled with otaku goods

Around late August, I wrote about the guy who made the Guinness World Record for having the largest Dragon Ball collection and how good is it to collect things for the sake of our sanity.

Now I’ll discuss in some detail about the flip side of this because there are times to think about what it means to collect versus to hoard.

A much-needed episode of the Psych Central Podcast came out last week that focused on a problem that almost all of us can relate to – having clutter. While clutter is problematic, it might not be that big of a deal when compared to hoarding. Hoarding is basically buying and accumulating things with no regard to your own personal space.

I know there was a book about otaku rooms that opened up many readers’ eyes to the fascinating world of living spaces filled with anime and manga goods. Some of the folks who were interviewed in the book talk about their consumption being used as a way to cope with not feeling/getting the love they need from other human beings. I wonder if that means that they have hoarding disorder, which apparently is an actual thing.

There are 3 criteria that need to be met in order to be diagnosed with hoarding disorder. They are:

1.) Excessive accumulation.

2.) Not using living spaces for their intended purpose (i.e. using your kitchen as a storage room instead of a place to cook and store food).

3.) You’re upset and/or traumatized about something in your life or there’s an impairment in your daily functioning.

I sometimes look at otaku rooms (that are usually their bedrooms) and wonder how the residents manage to sleep. There’s so much stimuli. You have posters, screens, toys, etc. all over the place. Those kinds …continue reading


7 Terrifying Japanese Urban Legends That Are Based on True Stories

Source: Gaijin Pot
Red Room Curse Japanese Urban Legend

A haunted village in Kyushu, a doll possessed by a girl’s spirit in Hokkaido—these may sound like Japanese Horror movies, but they’re real-life stories based on actual events. Not only that, you can go and visit the origin of many of these creepy stories for yourself, if you dare.

While Japan’s yurei and yokai (ghosts and mythological spirits) are based on old superstition, the following stories are more than real. All we have to say is, whatever you do, don’t open the portal to Tomino’s Hell—no matter how tempting it may be. Some stories are better left on paper, without a second chapter.

Here are seven Japanese urban legends that are totally based on reality to tell in the dark this Halloween.

The lawless Inunaki Village

If you stumble upon the entrance to Inunaki Village, you will be greeted by signs to stay away, warning “the constitution and laws of Japan do not apply here.”

Sitting in the countryside of Kyushu’s Fukuoka Prefecture, this abandoned village is only accessible through a tunnel in which hundreds of workers were killed when it collapsed during its construction.

Photo: Wiki
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

The village was slowly abandoned for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Some say it was because of a widespread plague that wiped out the population. Others say it was just due to its remoteness, but the wildest story is that one of the villagers went crazy and murdered everyone with an axe.

Whatever the case, no one has actually lived here since the end of World War II and electronic devices reportedly don’t work inside. Are those the sounds of barking dogs, or the screams of dead workers that you …continue reading


Tweet of the Week #51: Apple Watch Users Told To Go For a Run During Typhoon Hagibis

Source: Gaijin Pot

We were warned: Typhoon Habigis was one monster of a typhoon; a hellish tropical storm of the likes Japan hadn’t seen for decades. Currently, the death toll stands at 74, with thousands of residents still without power or water.*

Days before its landfall, the Japanese authorities had urged the country to prepare for the worst.

From early Saturday morning, the Japanese Meteorology Agency (JMA) was in a frenzy issuing flooding and landslide alerts one after another, as deadly torrential rains poured over Japan’s central prefectures.

Calls for evacuation and for people to take appropriate measures to protect their lives were blasted across all of the areas in immediate danger of a disaster. And for the first time since its creation, a Level 5 “Heavy Rain Alert”—the highest in the JMA’s 5-stage scale—was issued for Tokyo.

Apple didn’t get the memo

Unless in an evacuation area, people were encouraged to stay indoors to avoid any life-threatening danger coming from the storm winds and rain.

Unfortunately, it seems like a certain tech giant’s AI didn’t get the memo as Apple Watch users reported receiving notifications suggesting they go for a run right in the middle of the typhoon.


— やちよ (@yatiyo_1) October 12, 2019

AppleWatchからとんでもない通知(つうち)が来(き)た = I received an unthinkable notification from my Apple Watch.

On the watch screen we can see a short motivational reminder that being more active is down to you and you alone.


= “The only person deciding ‘I can’t run today’ is you. You don’t need to listen to that voice. Let’s run today!”

Twitter users had a great time replying to this one.

どんな天気でも大丈夫。#AppleWatch と一緒ならね(震え声)#apple #CM

— 昇運さん@長身痩躯で手が大きい (@Get_RisingLuck) October 12, 2019

どんな天気(てんき)でも大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)。#AppleWatch と一緒(いっしょ)ならね(震(ふる)え声(ごえ))

= Whatever the weather. #With AppleWatch *trembling voice*

<p …continue reading


Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot
Skiing and snowboarding in Japan

The months of freezing temperatures, kerosene poisoning and bingeing series on Netflix, otherwise known as Japanese winter, have an upside: affordable, accessible and often outstanding skiing and snowboarding throughout the country.

A spine of mountain peaks runs almost the length of Japan, covering more than 70 percent of the landmass and offering about 600 ski resorts that average up to 14 meters of snowfall per year.

From December right through to April/May, you can find great conditions and friendly crowds across a diverse range of resorts – many within reachable distance of major cities. Add a generous helping of spectacular luxury resort accommodations to the mix, soak it with the country’s famous relaxing and rejuvenating natural onsen (hot springs), flavor it with a dash of regional food then sprinkle liberally with copious amounts of off-piste entertainment and local culture—and you have the recipe for an epic winter adventure you won’t soon forget.

From December right through to April/May, you can find great conditions and friendly crowds across a diverse range of resorts – many within reachable distance of major cities

When to go skiing and snowboarding in Japan

Online communities like SnowJapan provide regularly updated information on where the best snowfall is happening.

Most ski resorts in Japan generally open around mid-December depending on snowfall and can last up until late May when some resorts offer discounted lift prices for spring skiing. Peak conditions are usually found in mid-January until the end of February, though some higher resorts can have incredible snow outside of these times.

The peak season is obviously when the resorts will be most crowded, especially on weekends or national holidays. The best time to head to the mountains is on a weekday if you can—you might find you’ll …continue reading


8 Halloween Treats You Can Get at the Convenience Store in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot
8 Convenience Store Halloween Treats Japan Lead

While Japan isn’t big on trick or treating for Halloween, you can still collect a bucketful’s worth of spooky treats on your own thanks to the national obsession with seasonal, limited-edition products, or “gentei” in Japanese.

As usual, the big convenience store chains—7-Eleven, Family Mart and Lawson—are releasing a number of scary snacks to celebrate Halloween.

Also, as usual, they are mostly pumpkin-flavored.

Still, thankfully these nefarious nibbles are just decorated in cute bat or black cat packaging, and not actually scary like some nightmarish Japanese food we’d rather not mention.

Although there’s no shortage of Halloween parties in Japan for those who are ready to quit their day jobs and party instead, for the majority of us Halloween is just another workday. If you’re going to be busy this year but still want to get in the holiday spirit, here’s our pick of eight of the most interesting konbini Halloween treats for 2019.

1. Chocolate Cream Daifuku

The chocolate cream inside has a nice marshmallow-like texture.

There’s no tricks when it comes to this treat. Something sweet and chocolatey really is the best way to treat yo’ self. This powdery glutinous rice cake is filled with decadent chocolate-flavored cream fluff. That’s right—you won’t find any of that surprise red bean paste in here; it’s honest-to-goodness cacao all the way.

Store: 7-Eleven
Price: ¥127
Ranking: 4/5 (This is a classic Japanese sweet filled with chocolatey goodness instead of beans. Hooray!)

2. Sausage and Black Bolognese Burrito

…continue reading