Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

How blogging is changing Public Relations in Japan

How has social media and blogging affected the way companies market in Japan? In this article, I take a look at Consumer Generated Media (CGM) and the way blogs have been utilised by several companies to improve their public relations and then go on relate it to the wider context of marketing in Japan.
Posted in Japan | 9 Comments

Sea Anemone Accessory Holder

This week’s Omoshiro Zakka (Interesting Item) is the sea anemone named ‘Harry’ (seemingly named after its designer). A fun-filled desk item that allows you to stick just about *anything* into its tentacles. I recommend accessories, though…
Posted in Other | 12 Comments

Top 5 free online Japanese English dictionaries

Free Japanese resources are plentiful on the internet, but have you ever wondered if you are getting the most out of them? While studying Japanese and working as a translator I’ve found a lot of great tools. So here’s Gakuranman’s top 5 picks for the best online dictionaries for Japanese-English translation!
Posted in Japan | 40 Comments

CGM Night 6 – Otaku Version

On 3rd December I shot up to the COSPA offices in Tokyo on the Hikari Shinkansen to attend the 6th CGM Night – Otaku Version, organised by Danny Choo. Among all the self-acclaimed otaku were many fellow Japan bloggers, and the small venue meant conversations positively bloomed with success.
Posted in Japan, Journal | 23 Comments

R2D2 Soy Sauce Bottle

Omoshiro Zakka (オモシロ雑貨) means something like ‘Interesting Miscellaneous Goods’ in Japanese and is the title of this new section on This week’s weird and wonderful invention is the humble soy sauce dispenser, with a Star Wars twist! R2D2 comes to the rescue for all your flavouring needs.
Posted in Other | 8 Comments

Decaying Volcano Observation Deck

Alrighty. Here’s the second part of the huge volcano museum explore here in Japan. This time I’m focussing on the upper levels and the crumbling observation deck. Also included is a video compilation of the footage I took while visiting. Enjoy!
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 38 Comments

Mysterious Abandoned Volcano Museum

A decaying observation tower and a haikyo museum blanketed in shadows rest at the foot of one active Japanese volcano. Patches of snow cover the surrounding countryside and the ominous gong of a pinprick temple in the distance drifts into my ears on an early winter wind. Here’s my recent visit to these ruins.
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 49 Comments

Autumn Networking 2009

I’ve been pretty busy during the last few weeks, hoping back and forth between Tokyo and Nagoya, stopping off at Hakone and infiltrating numerous haikyo. And in the crevices between all that? Networking with some of Japan’s finest j-bloggers, adventurers and musicians. And hey, Autumn isn’t even over yet!
Posted in Japan, Journal | 33 Comments