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Tuesday, July 1, 2003

LIFELINES

Auto English, penguin suits and frugality


Driving in English

Dear Lifelines: I would like information on driving schools in Tokyo that give instructions in English. -- Lalila

Dear Laila: You can take your instruction in English at the Koyama Driving School. They operate a "Foreigner Information Line" at 0120-090926 where you can get information on taking lessons.

For information on fees etc., and also for some background on obtaining a driver's license in Japan, check out their Web site at www.koyama.co.jp

It's a good one-stop info shop. The site's got plenty of info related to driving in Japan, including nationwide offices where you can apply, and on the rules and regulations governing license conversion in Japan.

Cashing checks

Reader Dale in Yokohama has written in to let us know about a great way to get a dollar check cashed in Japan without going through the usual infuriating rigmarole that you get in most banks.

If you can, find someone on one of the military bases that can take you to the credit union. You can cash your check there straight away as long as you have ID that matches the name on the check. And you don't have to be part of the military to use the service.

Many thanks Dale.

Penguin suits

Does anyone out there know where I can rent a tuxedo cheaply? All I need is one for a few hours so I can take pictures. I am 6ft 3, so I need a place that has big ones! -- Tuxedo Jason

You're in luck Tuxedo Jason. The one and only Ricky Sarani basically introduced the concept of renting tuxedos to Japan. He is the best and has been in Japan forever. Give him a call at (03) 3587-0648 and he'll have you suited up in no time at all.

Shoestring Japan

Reader Wendy has written in to let us know of a valuable new Internet group that might be off assistance in these straitened economic times.

Readers interested in reading or sharing advice about living frugally in Japan can join the Frugal Japan e-mail list on Yahoo Groups by sending an e-mail to frugaljapan-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

An occasional e-zine -- Frugal Fact File Japan -- is also included as part of the group membership.

Cheers Wendy!

Quickies

Need cheap e-tickets quick? Try Mr. Watanabe at info@gatewaylax.com.

Computer down and need to get online? Try Kinkos, all over Japan, where you can get online 24 hours a day. To find the one closest to you, check out their English information site at www.kinkos.co.jp

Need an English-speaking hospital that takes Japanese medical insurance? Try the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital at (03) 3392-6151.

Sending a package overseas but worried about it getting there? Try Fedex at 0120-003-200, or www.fedex.com.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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