Services like these are bound to become more common, even in the west, as an increasing number are becoming issolated and lonely.


As in many cities around the globe, most people in Tokyo prefer anonymity when it comes to their wants, needs and vulnerabilities.

Urban citizens may be desperate to get advice from an older, wiser person, but they don’t want to turn to the guy they’ve worked with for years or the uncle who remembers the tears shed over a broken toy truck. Someone familiar might judge them.

It’s much better to pour your woes into a stranger’s ear, grab the good advice and run … or so goes the logic of Takanobu Nishimoto, 50, who founded an online Ossan Rental service in 2012.