FW-58 -- Frugal Aichi Expo

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:

* * * * * * * * 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, May 30, 2005 Issue No. 58

- What's New (Frugal Aichi Expo)
- BARGAIN ROUNDUP: (Frugal Aichi Expo Travel Plans)
- Frugal Tips (Additional NTT Service Tips)
- Credits

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+++ WHAT'S NEW (Frugal Aichi Expo)

Dear Frugal Readers,

If you're like me, you might be a little late to clueing in
on what all the fuss is about the Aichi Expo.
Apparently, some 80,000 visitors a day are
expected at this multi-national/technological experience,
which is purported to consist mainly of waiting in long
lines and traveling on robot-driven buses. Yet, despite
the warnings of crowds and hot weather, I've found
myself checking out some frugal ways to both get to,
and attend, the Aichi Expo.

The first thing to consider is, of course, tickets. An
explanation of the types of tickets available can be
found here (in English):
The most common type of same-day use ticket is
4,600 yen for adults, 2,500 yen for ages 12-17, and
1,200 yen for ages 4-11. Seniors can attend for
3,700 yen. Family discount packages, season tickets,
and other discounts are available.

Another option is the good ol' kinken shop, or
discount ticket shop. A survey of local Osaka
shops indicated that tickets were available for
4,160-4,200 yen for adults, and 2,300 yen for
children, although some shops did not carry the
tickets. Ask for "Aichi Banpaku Maeuri Ken"
(Aichi Expo advance tickets.) Remember to
use the advance registration system to
help eliminate long waits for choice attractions:
Note there is a special postcard lottery system
for viewing the Mei and Satsuki House in
the Nagakute Park area (from My
Neighbor Totoro).

Transport and accommodations are, of
course, another concern. If you are a
foreign student in Japan or have ties to an
international exchange organization, you might be
able to use a free homestay program for overseas
visitors. Independent travelers are not eligible,
but foreign students or persons sponsored by an
independent organization can take advantage of this
free program. Check here for extensive information
in English, Chinese, and Korean:
Note that the program registration deadlines are
June 10th and June 30th, so hurry to sign up!

The best option for travel and accommodations
booked within Japan are the numerous holiday
tours offered through Japanese travel agencies.
These plans usually offer a combination of bus/train
transport and admission ticket, or transport/
accommodation/and tickets. An outline of various
plans is listed in the Bargain Roundup, but various
brochures can be found at train stations
and travel agencies. Just look for the familiar
green mascots for the Expo, or ask the travel
agent for "aichi banpaku puran no chirashi"
(handouts/info for the Aichi Expo travel plans).

Finally, for useful information about touring the
Expo in English, visit the extensive Japan Guide
site (http://www.japan-guide.com/expo/), or a
good article from a recent Metropolis issue:
Both of these sites offer better, more honest
information than the official Expo English site.

Frugally yours,
Wendy J. Imura

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+++ BARGAIN ROUNDUP: (Frugal Aichi Expo Travel Plans) +++

*JR Tokai Tours Shinkansen Packages (EXPO TICKET
These tours include round-trip shinkansen (bullet train) fare,
one night's accommodation, and transport to the Expo itself
using the less-crowded Expo Shuttle bus. As train departure
times are limited, you can get round-trip bullet train and
hotel accommodations as low as 23,000 yen per adult
from Tokyo (Hikari Plan), or 18,700 from Osaka, should you
stay, for example, in the Royal Park Inn Nagoya.
Check out these online travel brochures (in Japanese)
for information: http://www.jrtours.co.jp/aichi/

*Travelroad Japan All-Night Bus Tours (EXPO TICKET
Not for the faint of heart, these tours allow you the
maximum time at the Expo for the minimum amount
of money. For as little as 9,800-13,800 yen
for adults, you get a full day's admission to the Expo
(ticket included), plus round-trip overnight bus fare.
The bus leaves from three Tokyo area locations
(Hamamatsu-cho Nishiguchi, Tokyo Disneyland, and
Tokyo Marunochi Stations), travels all night, and arrives
at the Expo site at 8:00 AM. You spend all day at the
Expo, leave that night, and arrive in Tokyo the next day.
You even, it reports, get a free toothbrush (!?!).
See here (http://www.travelroad.co.jp/bus/busbanpaku.php)
for information.
(PS: This tour guide also offers cheap tickets from other
Japanese cities, such as Nagano and Sapporo.)

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Michael Korver, Daiwa Securities Group Chaired Visiting
Associate Professor International Business Strategy for the
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Date/Time: Tuesday, June 7th 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
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+++ FRUGAL TIPS (Additional NTT Service Tips)
One Frugal Watch reader wrote to respond to last week's
issue: "I don't remember all the details of how I went
about it, but by signing up to NTT's My Billing and
receiving details of my bill by email and via the NTT
website, I get a discount of 100 yen per month and also
get to save paper/space in my filling cabinet etc.
Signing up for "Ichiritsu 1" also amalgamated and reduced
my basic fee. The signing up process was all in Japanese.
A few months back a leaflet about these discounts was
included with the phone bill.

You are probably also aware that by using OCN
and NTT 'My Line'
when using Fletz ADSL, you get a discount on both
the NTT phone bill and OCN provider bill. "

Subscribers: 934 as of May 30, 2005


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

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