* * * * * * * * 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, July 11, 2004 Issue No. 016


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

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========================== EVENT =====================================
ICA July 15 Event - Red Hat, Enterprise Linux

PRESENTER: Ken Koike - Director, North Asia Channel Sales and
Development - Red Hat
TOPIC: The state of Linux from the Enterprise IT standpoint

RSVP required, complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
Date: Thursday, July 15
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



Dear Frugal Readers,

Greetings - and by the way, have you melted yet? Japan's 35C heatwave
might be good for the economy in terms of higher air conditioner and
beer sales, but frankly, all I want to do is stay indoors, run my air
conditioner, and eat lots of ice cream. Check out the Frugal Tips
section below for some cheap but practical tips on how to stay cool.

By the way, anyone been apartment shopping lately? The end of the
JET year, school contracts for teachers, and university sessions means
that summer is a time when many expats in Japan find themselves looking
for housing. As one possible option for short-term (one year or less)
stays, I thought I'd recommend a new and growing company as a good
source of furnished flats which require no key money and minimal
deposits: Leopalace21.

Leopalace21 has a unique business model: they contract with urban and
suburban landowners in 1009 local markets across Japan to build
apartments on the owner's land. They handle everything from construction
to management and leasing of the apartments, and provide a stable
rental income and a mutual benefit association for owners, while taking
a slightly larger than normal cut of the rent. Everyone wins: landowners
can build apartment buildings with minimum risk and a guaranteed
level of rent income, Leopalace can add to its building inventory
without adding to its fixed asset pool, and apartment
hunters benefit from the company's flexible and cheap rental

When are Leopalace flats frugal? When deciding on an apartment, its
important to first decide your budget (how much you want to spend
IN TOTAL for the year on housing, including key money and deposit),
and operate within that budget. This will help you decide
whether to rend a regular apartment (with key money and deposit
requirements) with a lower monthly rent, or choose (as did another
Center graduate I know) to rent a LeoPalace or similar furnished
monthly place (which has a higher monthly rent but no startup
costs, and is often furnished).

To illustrate this cost comparison (for a Tokyo suburban apartment):
Case A: Regular 2K apartment costing Y80,000 month with one month
deposit, one month key money, one month real-estate fee required (a
bit of a bargain, as most are "2-2-1"). Add roughly Y100,000 to
outfit your apartment with second hand goods (frugally). Total
yearly costs: Y1,300,000 for rent/12 = Y108,000/month. Utilities
are not included.

Case B: Monthly Leopalace or other flat. No key money or deposit
required, and as the apartment is usually furnished with bed, TV,
desk, air conditioner, light fixtures, et cetera. For good measure,
throw in a subscription to Leopalace 21's Leonet service, which
offers video-on-demand technology and high-speed internet access

Utilties are also included. Monthly rent: around Y100,000/month.
(small cleaning fee per month is often required)

In the end, you can see that in some situations Case A and B are about
the same, or B even cheaper, though on the surface the higher rent
figure is offputting. LeoPalace flats are a good first option to
look at, and do eliminate the worries of selling your goods off at the
end of your stay in Japan. Have a look at Leopalace21's Web site for
more information:


That's all for this week!
Frugally yours,
Wendy J. Imura

============================= EVENT ==================================
G-MAC's "2nd Annual BPM/BPO Forum 2004"
Date: July 13
Location: Aoyama Diamond Hall

This one day forum provides a better understanding of implementing
various BPM/BPO projects thru keynotes, dedicated breakout tracks, and
case studies.

Also, leading solution providers will be presenting free Workshop
sessions providing education and information on the latest technological
advancements, proven best of breed solutions and trends in Business
Process Management & Business process Outsourcing.

Conference Fees --- FREE of charge to the first 30 registrants of the
Japan Inc news letter. Pls. refer to this when registering.
Tel 81-3-5805-6070, email: info@gmacjapan.com www.gmacjapan.com



This issue of Frugal Japan brings the introduction of a new section:
the Weekly Bargain Roundup! We'll do our best to find you the best
selection of bargain products online and in real time in Japan,
updated every week for your shopping pleasure (or just plain

Store Item Price

TheFlyingPig.com Einsten Brother Bagels-12 pc. Y794(Y66.2/bagel)


Amazon.co.jp DVDs (Buy Two, Get One Free) Varies
(The MOVIEST 1800 Series)
Bidders.co.jp Disneyland Festa Pair Pass Auction (Y5000 bid)


Rakuten.co.jp Capilio G4 Wide 3.4 MegaPixel 61% off (Y19,039)
Digital Camera Free shipping

TheFlyingPig.com Region-Free DVD Player Y9,160
"by d:sign" Brand d:1070
Progressive Scan
All-Region DVD Player


Got any suggestions? Email us at Frugal Watch!

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Also, check out www.frugaljapan.com, updated monthly!



Melting? So are we. Check out FrugalJapan.com's latest tiptionary
collection on Keeping Cool for Summer.

Some highlights:

*"Set the air conditioner at 26 degrees or higher to save energy.
This is also less shock to the system.

I never use the AC at home. For this reason my electric bill has never
surpassed 2,400 yen in either winter or summer. I think that by not
using it, your body seems to adjust better to the heat. I prefer
a simple fan to keep me cool. I use one with a timer that shuts
itself off. If I'm hot during the night I turn it on again."

*"When I am cooking I shut the doors to the kitchen so as not to heat
the other rooms. Also, I have reasonably heavy curtains on the south
side, which I keep shut during the day when I am at work."

*"Buy a plastic pool. I installed one on my balcony, filled it with
cold water, and dove in. Naturally, I feel like a kid again, but I am
also cooler than I have been for a couple of days. You can save water
by waiting for the inevitable rain, but if you fill it the water
will be fine for a few days (just don't let the kids in!). I may
have a pool party next week!"


When I come in from the heat, or in the morning after sleeping
with the windows lightly open, I turn on my dehumidifier and in
about 10 minutes maximum I feel cooler, and comfortable again --
and turn it off! For most of the summer I can get
by with just my dehumidifier and electric fans, keeping air
conditioner use to a minimum except on the hottest days. That's a
definite savings in electricity use!"

Stay cool and frugal!

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

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