"Come unload your troubles," reads the tiny cardboard sign in Japanese. "Will listen. No charge." And here in the middle of Tokyo's busy Ginza shopping district, people actually sit and talk.

An hour after Judit Kawaguchi opens shop, five Japanese men and a woman wait huddled in the cold for their turn with the Hungarian native. "I have mountains of troubles," is the typical opener.

"If you keep everything pent up inside, you become blocked. You start thinking in circles. You just rot there," said Kawaguchi, who had a brief bout of depression when she arrived here 10 years ago after marrying a Japanese. "I know that feeling."