* * * * * * * F R U G A L W A T C H * * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of how to be frugal in the world's most
expensive country to live (unless you read this!), written
and compiled by Wendy J. Imura.

Regular edition, Sunday, September 5, 2004, Issue No. 23

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- What's new
- Frugal Bargain Roundup!
- Frugal tips
- Credits

========================= EA Event ====================================
Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo: September Seminar

This September, Tokyo entrepreneur Mark Devlin -- CEO and Publisher of
Crisscross KK and Japan Today -- will be presenting, "Metropolis & Japan
Today: Past, Present and Future." Don't miss this great opportunity to
hear how Mark has created Japan's No. 1 English Magazine and the
world's leading source for Japan news.

Date/Time: Tuesday, September 7, 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room (Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language: English
Website: http://www.ea-tokyo.com
Email: info@ea-tokyo.com

=========================== NEWS =======================================
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Dear Frugal Readers,
Autumn, especially September, usually brings out in me an 'itch' for
travel. With several three-day weekends or holidays approaching, autumn
is a great time to get out and explore some nearby places in Japan.
Whether you're a long-time resident out to rediscover some favorite
spots or a newcomer on your first jaunt outside the big city, travel
within Japan can be a truly wonderful experience.

It can also, however, be a big expense!

Bus tours, a classic way to travel in Japan, offer a few advantages.
They cut down on transport costs ・ bus fares are often 30 to 40 percent
cheaper than comparable train tickets. Tours often include meals and
lodging, and admission to attractions along the way. Finally, while
touring as a group can be frustrating sometimes with the lack of privacy
and independence, bus tours are also a uniquely Japanese experience ・
where else can you meet so many older people and enjoy the pleasure of
being led around by a uniformed tour guide with a flag?

My favorite Kanto bus tour company is Hato Bus. Hato Bus tours generally
leave from major bus terminals in Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Tokyo, or Haneda
Airport. They offer day trips and overnight trips, with some
longer tours, to scenic areas in Kanto, Tohoku, and Koshinetsu. Of the
several tours I have taken with them, my favorite was an overnight tour
to the famous Minami Alps highland area Kamikochi. Our tour offered a
five-hour stay in the area ・ enough for a reasonable hike. We stayed
the night in a beautiful Nagano spa resort, and also toured the Kurobe
Dam. We enjoyed three delicious meals, and all transport (include trollies,
trams, and the bus) was included for about Y26,000 per person.

Highway tolls and a one-night/two-meal stay at onsen spa would have cost
at least that much, and a round-trip train fare alone was at least Y20,000.
Day trips to the region are even cheaper -- starting at around Y6000-Y7000
per day. Altogether, Hato Bus delivers great value for its services. Some
of the more popular bus tours include activities such as fruit picking,
all-you-can-eat soba or dessert parties, a sunset boat cruise,
a full-day's hiking trek in the mountains -- almost anything.

Are you interested? Check out Hato Bus's web site here to search for a
tour you might enjoy (in Japanese):


Alternately, pick up one of their distinctive yellow tour pamphlets at a
travel agency near you, and have a friend help you choose. Hato Bus has
offices right outside Shinjuku and Tokyo stations. Hato Bus also offers
a few English-language tours each season to local area attractions, as
well as sightseeing bus tours around Tokyo, which are always good for
visiting friends or relatives.


Happy Frugal Travel!
Wendy J. Imura

======================= Setting up a Company ===========================
Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar

Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 12 start-up companies in
Japan will be giving an English-language seminar and Q&A on
starting up a company in Japan. This is an ideal
opportunity to find out what is involved, and to ask
specific questions that are not normally answered in
business books. All material is Japan-focused.

Time/date: 10:30am, Saturday, September 11, 2004
Place: 7-8-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107
Price: 15,000 yen prepaid, 20,000 yen at the door
Included: Lunchbox, refreshments, handouts

Bookings: maria@japaninc.com, in English or Japanese.


(Today's theme ・Bus Tours in Japan)

*Hato Bus Top-of-the-Line Dynamic Tokyo Tour Full Day, Y12,000 per

Enjoy Tokyo Tower, the tea ceremony and bonsai trees at
Happo-en, the Imperial Palace plaza, a fully catered BBQ lunch,
drive-bys of the National Diet Building and Ginza, a Sumida River
Cruise, Asakusa Temple and Nakamise Dori shopping street. Air-
conditioned bus/English-speaking guide provided. Hotel pick-up

*Nippon Travel Agency Hakone Full-Day Tour, Y12,000 per person.

Enjoy a drive with a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and a stop at the Mt.
Fuji 5th station, lunch at a lakeside restaurant, the Hakone Ropeway,
Owakudani Boiling Valley and a boat cruise on Lake Hakone. Return to
Tokyo by bus or use the bullet train (an extra Y3000).

(Description from the website:

*Wendy痴 Frugal Half-Day Tour of Tokyo -- Total Cost, about Y1500 (Y960
for transport, the remainder for snacks). Time Needed: About 3 1/2 hours.

The day starts with a convenience store run to stock up on provisions,
then on to the revamped Ueno Station. Passengers board the scenic (?)
Yamanote Line for a 20 minute trip to Hamamatsu-cho, for Y160. A
fifteen-minute stroll to the Hinode Pier puts you in line for the Sumida
River Cruise (mentioned in Dynamic Tokyo tour above), which costs about
Y800. The tour is completed with a walk down to Asakusa Shrine and
Nakamise Dori. Enjoy!

===================== JOURNALISM INTERNSHIPS ==========================

Japan Inc. magazine is offering a limited number of journalism
internships to qualified individuals. This is a unique opportunity to
acquire hands-on experience in creating the content, developing the
design and shaping the vision of a major, independent business and
tech-oriented monthly English-language publication.

Qualified individuals seeking this opportunity must be Tokyo-based
and fluent in English. (At least some knowledge of the Japanese
language is a significant asset.)

Interested parties should send relevant resumes, samples and contact
information to Maria Deutsch at:

What better place to check out Frugal Tips than Frugal Japan's very own
home on the web, www.frugaljapan.com. Frugal Japan continues to grow and

*This month's updated Frugal Tips for September are all about HAIR!
Learn all about cutting your own hair, or some cheap salon tips.


*While you're at it, be sure not to miss Frugal Tips for August, an
amazing collection of information on finding cheap flights in Japan.
Find travel agent recommendations, advice on round-the-world trips,
finding cheap domestic tickets within Japan, and frequent flyer


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Written by: Wendy J. Imura (frugalwatch@japaninc.com)
Edited by: Roland Kelts (editors@japaninc.com)

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Copyright 2004 Japan Inc. Communications Inc.