* * * * * * * * 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, June 13, 2004 Issue No. 012


- What's new
- Frugal news
- Frugal tips
- Credits

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========= Humans Evolve, So Does the Securitization Market =============
Keep Abreast of Developments in the Japanese Real Estate Market

The publisher of the Real-Estate Securitization Handbook 2003,
TP Publishing, has just released J-RED. This English language monthly on
the real estate sector in Japan is produced from a selection of translated
articles appearing in Property Management and Leisure Industry Data, both
industry leading publications from Sogo Unicom with a combined Japanese
readership of 43,000. Articles for J-RED are selected and edited in
consultation with current participants in the Japanese real-estate market,
focusing on the most relevant articles for foreign investors.

Order your subscription or request a free sample copy at


Dear Frugal Readers,

Greetings Frugal Friends!
As the third week in June approaches, the thoughts of many women (and
some men, perhaps) turn to that most frustrating of shopping holidays,
Father's Day. Just for a reminder, Father's Day is Sunday, June 20th
in Japan, the same as in the United States. Despite the fact that Japanese
stores are filled with Father's Day ties, handkerchief sets, jimbei-style
Japanese pajamas and beer-and-nut party sets, Father's Day remains a
tough holiday to successfully (and frugally) weather.

If like most ex-pats you are shopping for a father outside of Japan
this Father's Day, you will probably find your potential gift selection
a bit slim. Family members tire of traditional Japanese gifts after
a few years, as I've found to my dismay. What are some frugal gift
ideas, then?

Handmade presents are always a favorite. A handmade card or photo album
created out of old photographs (which can easily be digitized these days
for more creative applications) is always a good idea. Ask your mother
or grandmother for some photos of Dad when he was a kid and get creative
with your word processor. A collection of funny or inspirational quotations
can be effective, especially if written by hand in a new daily planner,
sketchbook, or nicely-bound spiral notebook.

Does the Dad in your life have any quirky hobbies or collections?
My father loves toothpicks and was extremely happy to recieve several
packs of unique Japanese toothpicks with the 'carved' ends. A rare book
or video about his favorite sports team can often be found on eBay or
Amazon.com's used bookstore listings, and can be delivered overseas.
A several-month subscription to your father's hometown newspaper is both
nostalgic and fairly reasonably priced. These can usually be ordered over
the Internet as well. For the truly frugal, nothing can top a book of
handmade coupons.

Finally, the Y100 shop has yielded some treasured Father's Day gifts.
My father is also fairly frugal in his tastes, and greatly enjoys Y100
shop ties. He loves receiving complements on them, and telling people he
found them at the Japanese version of the "Dollar Store." Dad also likes
the small, bound notebooks sold at the Y100 shop -- they fit perfectly
in his shirt pocket. These and a few pens usually round out the annual
"Y100 shop sampler" part of his present.

Just remember: In the end, it's the thought that counts. A simple
card, phone call or expression of love is often enough for the man who
has "too much" already.
Happy savings, everyone!
Wendy J. Imura

========================= ICA Event ===================================
ICA June 17 Event - Special Double Header

PRESENTER: Greg Ascolese Principal, ABeam Consulting
TOPIC: Case Studies and Approaches for Implementing Customer
PRESENTER: Jenny Sutton Partner, ABeam Consulting
TOPIC: Extending the Life of Legacy Systems

RSVP required, complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
Date: Thursday, June 17
Time: 6:30 Doors open, sit down dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members), Open to
all Foreign Correspondents' Club



-> Smart Money Japan Workshops a Success!
First, thanks to those who attended the first ever Smart Money Japan
workshops on Tuesday, June 8. A total of eleven people attended (not bad
for the first event), and both talks lasted beyond their scheduled ends,
with plenty of questions and audience participation. We'll be scheduling
more Smart Money talks in the future, and I'm also happy to travel to
speaking engagements anywhere in the Kanto region if a large enough
group is assembled. Please send an email to frugal-editors@japaninc.com
for inquiries.

->Thomas Stanley and William Danko (authors of The Millionaire Next Door)
have come out with a fascinating sequel: The Millionaire Women Next Door,
which shows that women millionaires are even thriftier than their male

According to Stanley, "the typical female millionaire is 49 years old,
works 49 hours and 18 minutes per week, has a household income of $240,217
per year (she earns 71 percent of that), spent less than $300,000 for
the most expensive home she's ever purchased, and has a household net
worth of $2.9 million."

Millionaire women are, by most stardards, also apparently pretty frugal.
Most millionaire women spend, at most, $139 on a pair of shoes, and
$400 on a suit. Instead of buying new clothes, 52 percent of millionaire
women are more likely to have their clothes mended or altered.
Wnat to read more? Check out:


================= Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar ======================
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 12 start-up companies in Japan will be
giving a 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.

Time/date: 10:30am, June 26th, 2004
Place: 7-8-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107
Price: 15,000 yen prepaid, 20,000 at the door
Included: Lunchbox, refreshments, handouts

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

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Online Shopping Tips

Many foreigners find themselves shopping online a whole lot, both out of
necessity (Japanese sizes seem designed for extremely skinny Lilliputians)
and for a greater variety of familiar choices. Here are two favorite
shopping sites from members of the Frugal Japan online community.

*Frugaling with Froogle!

"Google, my favorite search engine, has a great price-comparison
service called Froogle.com (gotta love the name!). The Internet
URL is:


Just type in the name of the item you want (the more specific the better)
in the query box, and Froogle will find sites selling the item on the
Internet and list the prices, usually with a picture included. The
"Advanced Froogle Search" will also let you set a price range. If I know
I have to do a little overseas shopping for a specific item (books, tape
sets, gifts to send directly to family), I use Froogle tell me roughly
what prices are out there."

* Can't Make it to Costco? Try the Flying Pig

"A friend of mine recently told me about a Web site
called The Flying Pig (http://www.theflyingpig.com). The site offers food
from Costco shipped to anywhere in Japan for a fairly reasonable price --
definitely cheaper than Foreign Buyers' Club. They have a lot of great stuff
like bagels, tortillas, instant oatmeal, candy, et cetera. You can't use a
credit card on the site, but you can pay at the post office via a bank
transfer. I paid for my order at my local post office on a Wednesday and
received my order on Friday. I was very happy with the whole process."

Thanks! The Flying Pig has actually been reported on in J@pan Inc
magazine ("Shopping for the Nation"):


========================= Tennis in TOKYO! =============================
Want to play tennis but don't know how to find a court in Tokyo?
JINJI TENNIS CENTER provides the ideal tennis environment for foreigners
living in and around Tokyo. For info on tournaments, summer camps for
kids, tennis equipment and much more: Contact US! :)

**SPECIAL OFFER for JAPAN INC: the first 30 new players that
contact us can save 15,000yen. Want to know how?

click "English" for details.




Written by: Wendy J. Imura (frugalwatch@japaninc.com)
Edited by: JI

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Copyright 2004 Japan Inc. Communications Inc.