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At A Loss

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  • At A Loss

    I'm an Aussie, in my mid sixties with a Japanese wife. I'm retired but have a farm producing organic, free range eggs in Oz. My wife and I drift in and out of Japan on a regular basis, but are looking to move back there permanenly. My problem is that I'm at a loss what to do when we get there. I have an MBA (so not a total dummy), am financially comfortable and have a spousal visa.

    In previous posts, I've asked about doing the Eikawa entertainer thing again (I spent 7 pointless but fun years with Nova in the 90s). I've also posted about being a marriage celebrant. That sounds like fun, but not a regular gig, I'm told. My thanks to those of you who gave me good advice in those posts. Both of those involve working for someone else, which I'm not good at. We're considering the Inaka, self sufficiency thing, but I'm a bit farmed out and my wife, being an Osaka lady, misses the bright lights.

    So, my question, to all you enlightened people, is what can you suggest as a start up business in Japan? And no, I'm not interested in buying or taking over a mobile dim sim stall!

    I look forward to well thought out, intelligent responses.

  • #2
    A good investment is food and drink. People love to eat and drink, if you do it right you can have a moneymaker and your wife can get the licenses no sweat.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oxymoron View Post
      So, my question, to all you enlightened people, is what can you suggest as a start up business in Japan? And no, I'm not interested in buying or taking over a mobile dim sim stall!

      I look forward to well thought out, intelligent responses.
      The biggest growth industry in Japan will be old people. Japan is rapidly aging, in 10 years 30% of the population will be over the age of 65. Old peoples homes. Home helpers, rebuilding houses to accommodate the elderly.

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      • #4
        If you're financially stable, why not just take it easy and raise chickens? Open an omelette shop.

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        • #5
          Being a private English teacher lets you set your own hours and rates...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BackDoor_Man View Post
            A good investment is food and drink. People love to eat and drink, if you do it right you can have a moneymaker and your wife can get the licenses no sweat.
            That's how I made my money, possibly what I'll do again, but hard work if you want to be successful.
            Thanks for your input.
            Same response to hml. Thanks.
            Last edited by oxymoron; 2012-01-04, 11:20 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
              The biggest growth industry in Japan will be old people. Japan is rapidly aging, in 10 years 30% of the population will be over the age of 65. Old peoples homes. Home helpers, rebuilding houses to accommodate the elderly.
              I agree! It's the largest growth industry in the world! If you want to make millions, open up-market retirement villages.
              Thanks for the input, KB. Always good posts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Call_It_Like_Eye_See_It View Post
                Being a private English teacher lets you set your own hours and rates...
                Thanks.
                Thinking about it, but concerned that I'm too old to appeal even to obasan, although I still cut a damn fine figure for an old fart, or so I tell myself.

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                • #9
                  Start an online business in Japan

                  Well, there has never been a better time in the last hundred or so years to start a business.
                  Thanks to the internet you dont need bricks and mortar and all the other overhead as I am sure
                  you are well aware.

                  There are a few companies in Japan that can help foreigners set up a website geared to
                  selling goods or services to/from Japan.

                  You just need to figure out your niche. A bit of research into things you can import/export
                  should yield plenty of ideas.

                  Just do a search on "japanese english web design company" to get started.
                  This blog has a few more ideas http://tinyurl.com/7a3z2hv

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by beavis View Post
                    Well, there has never been a better time in the last hundred or so years to start a business.
                    Thanks to the internet you dont need bricks and mortar and all the other overhead as I am sure
                    you are well aware.

                    There are a few companies in Japan that can help foreigners set up a website geared to
                    selling goods or services to/from Japan.

                    You just need to figure out your niche. A bit of research into things you can import/export
                    should yield plenty of ideas.

                    Just do a search on "japanese english web design company" to get started.
                    This blog has a few more ideas http://tinyurl.com/7a3z2hv
                    A good idea. My wife is a graphic designer and we both make websites. Just need a niche market. I have some good ideas for the food industry, just need to check it out more thoroughly when I next come over. No dim sims, though!

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                    • #11
                      If I was looking to do a semi-retirement gig in Japan, I'd opt for a little village by the sea down in Wakayama. Somewehere a short walk from a train station so you can take the Nankai line into Osaka for the day. You could run a half-assed combeni or an oden joint, or something like that. A placed that doesn't open until late & closes early. If you wanted to live in the city, I'd have a retro goods store on Tachibana & live above it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spacetiger View Post
                        If I was looking to do a semi-retirement gig in Japan, I'd opt for a little village by the sea down in Wakayama. Somewehere a short walk from a train station so you can take the Nankai line into Osaka for the day. You could run a half-assed combeni or an oden joint, or something like that. A placed that doesn't open until late & closes early. If you wanted to live in the city, I'd have a retro goods store on Tachibana & live above it.
                        I've never thought about a retro goods store. Sounds interesting. We have a house in Ikoma, Nara, so handy to Nara, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe. Lots of empty shops that can be bought quite cheaply in all those areas, except maybe Kyoto.
                        Just mentioned the idea to my wife. She raised an eyebrow. That's a sign that she likes the idea. Being the person that she is, this is going to cost me a bloody fortune in phone calls to her family, gathering info. Thanks a lot! lol.
                        Last edited by oxymoron; 2012-01-04, 10:56 PM.

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                        • #13
                          why not keep doing what you doing now, organic eggs? Not that easy to find in Japan, at least Osaka anyway, and for the right price could sell quite well! (first big customer, me!) Oh, and yes, selling freezer burnt dimsims won't get you very far, unless of course you are as stubborn as the dimsim man!

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                          • #14
                            You're not going to sell the farm or the golden goose in retirement .

                            Here's a little story .


                            Osaka was my old stamping ground and many times I would drive up into the hills and look down on the city lights, I had my favorite spots to brainstorm ideas and the monkeys were always fun to watch, I was living in Suminoe Koen area Nanko port town to be exact . The 95 Hanshin job changed my thinking when the connection to Kobe port altered my plans. Long story in between me leaving Oaska and eventually finding a place to settled in Saitama

                            Back on sound ground again in Saitama and able to put bread on the table I bought the family a second car and needed a parking space. Well, as luck had it I found a guy in my local snack (serve yourself snack) who had a field which the government was paying him for the ground to remain uncultivated .

                            He wouldn't accept any money and I dropped him off a case of Asahi Dry and he dropped me back a bottle of Four roses to my house and bought out my bottle keep bill at the bar. It was getting ridiculous to talk to this guy, All he wanted was for me to use the ground but never grow anything on it. Exact words Keep an Elephant or a horse on it or anything to keep the grass low and the field tidy. So another cultural lesson learned.

                            I also learned that about 20% of the Kanto plain is deliberately not used so that prices on veg ,fruit and rice hold their price. There's also some strange goings on during a bumper rice harvest that is never investigated , anyway that's another story.

                            Back to the field which I had now acquired rent free to park a kei car My mother in law gave me 20 Red Island chickens and a couple of ____erels , These birds look after themselves all they need is a coup for the night ,a bag of pellets and a play ground.

                            I always bought my meat from Jason the meat guy in Nagoya , my daughters 16th birthday was coming up and old dad here was going to splash out on a sweet sixteen birthday bash. I had the field , catering is not a problem in my trade. I built the BBQ. All I needed was the Marquee , and a couple of extra generators and got clearance with the local copper who was also invited.

                            The biggest hit with the food on that day was the Ostrich , children kept coming back time and time again asking for gdachoh I quickly realized i had to ration it out and hold back as adult guests were still arriving . The kitchen plan was to change the menu a little with the children and we put out a mixed bbq grill on a stick for that mob.

                            Ostrich is still a great conversation piece in my circle of friends . I know for a fact that Jason the meat guy would be interested in a supplier , the skins are worth big money and the feathers ? just ask a taxi man a silly question like . gDo you have a feather duster in the trunkh

                            I have looked at the idea and it's very doable with a return on investment with a breeding pair producing birds for slaughter in three years ... .......... Just a business idea,

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AW1 View Post
                              I have looked at the idea and it's very doable with a return on investment with a breeding pair producing birds for slaughter in three years ... .......... Just a business idea,
                              Raising Ostriches? Sounds like an excellent idea,
                              But wouldn't that violate some zoning or public health law?

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