Gachigori – ガチゴリ

Have you chomped down on Gachigori before? It’s made up of two onomatopoeic words combined together for maximum effect. Can you guess what?


A bit of a mystery at first, this unusual snack. But after a bit of research it all falls into place. Two words that mean tough or hard:

ガチガチ can mean rigid, stubborn, frozen solid or even the chattering of teeth. It’s more like a frozen image.
ゴリゴリ means scraping, raw food, hard, starchy or inflexible. In contrast this one refers more to the feeling one gets touching or biting into something (like carrots perhaps).

Stuff together then, how on earth should we interpret it as a product name? Perhaps something like:

Tough Crunch


はまる しょっかん! あとひく おいしさ!

An addicting sensation! A moreish taste!

A couple of colourful words here that can really help bring more life to your sentences. ハマる means to be ‘fit into’ or ‘get stuck’ into something, both in the literal and figurative sense. Here then, it has that feeling of being infatuated with something. あとひく comes from the phrase 後を引く and basically means the same thing – something that draws you back to it even after you’ve had it.

Another word very similar to this is ヤミツキ (properly written as 病み付き) and means to ‘fall ill’. However, more often than not these days it can be found being used much more under its second meaning – to get hooked on something (like gambling or food). One usage I’ve seen out and about in restaurants is やみつきキャベッツ – an additively tasty dish made of cabbage!

Finally, as a last bit of trivia, it appears that がち is also used by young people as an equivalent to マジで or 真剣に – meaning ‘really’ or ‘seriously’. マジで reportedly has become overused, so an alternative was sought and found in がち. Interestingly, 真剣勝負 (a serious competition which one puts all their heart into) can be called ガチンコ in slang.

For example:


In more regular Japanese:


This is really bad! / That sucks! / Amazing!

For example: 遅刻しそうで、がちでやばい! – Damn! I’m gonna be late.

※ やばい in itself is another young person’s expression with a wide range of uses. It can most often be loosely translated to 大変 or 困る – to be very difficult/serious or worrying – but usually is meant much more jovially.


So thinking of がち in this way, we can perhaps take ガチゴリ to be something more like 本当にごりごりしてる – really tough or really crunchy chocolate. It certainly was.


9 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

      • Lee Aloy October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am #


        I am sorry to ask this silly question. Are you Japanese?
        am hoping to find a Japanese friends here please shot me an email:

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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