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Startups

How a Chinese entrepreneur caught the 'minpaku' wave

Clever technology and an eye for market gaps help budget travelers in Japan

Yuyu Japan operates 45 private lodging facilities in Osaka generating monthly sales of around 6 million yen. (Photo courtesy of Yuyu Japan)

BEIJING -- Four years ago, just as Japan's foreign tourism boom was igniting, Tan Xueting, and a few friends hit upon a bright idea.

They bought a private house in Osaka, in western Japan, for about 22.5 million yen ($210,000) and started renting rooms to Chinese travelers as a side business. Now their company, Yuyu Japan, is riding Japan's growing wave of minpaku -- private lodgings offered in homes and apartments to cost-conscious travelers.

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