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What Our Trip To Japan Cost

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What Our Trip To Japan Cost

Trip for two to Japan, flying from LAX, cost $7492.07 U.S. Total

I'm sure you've all heard about the "$600 melon"**. We had, and we were quite concerned about day-to-day expenses before we left. It turns out we shouldn't have worried. Since we got back September 10th from our 12-night tour of Japan the most frequent question people have had is "How much did it cost?" I thought it might be helpful to put down our expenses, in American dollars. These figures are based on an exchange rate of 114 yen to one American dollar. Your mileage might vary.

We went to Japan to attend the 65th World Science Fiction Convention in Yokahama, but we also wanted to see a little more of Japan while we were there.

Package tour through a Japanese Travel Agency. All transfers included. $6620 for two, roundtrip from LAX.

Meals, souvenirs and other things (below) $872.07 for two

Total: $7492.07

Not counted: Cost of catsitter, one day hotel in Los Angeles and parking near LAX, memberships for future conventions we bought while we were there, and the $320 we paid for this Convention membership. We did get some free food and drink at parties during the convention, but we did make contributions to the organizations giving the parties which are included under 'food and miscellaneous expenses' below.

The core of the tour***included round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Narita Airport. We stayed five nights in the Yokohama Grand Inter-Continental Hotel, and two nights in the Sunshine Prince Hotel in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo. No meals were included on the land portion, but we were fed very well on the plane both ways. This part cost $1760 per person.

Post Convention Tour added another five nights. We stayed a total of three nights in Kyoto at the New Miyako Hotel, one night in Hakone at the Palace Hotel Hakone, and one night at a traditional ryokan (Japanese Inn), the Misono in Kuroshiki. This part of the package included nine meals, and all the sightseeing and admissions. This was $1550 per person.

Cash and credit spent while in Japan: $872.07

Bring-home souvenirs: $270****

In-Japan gifts and charity: $15

Ten postcards and stamps: $18 (Estimate)

Trip to Studio Ghibli: $52.32

Flower arranging class and Tea Ceremony for one at convention: $17.53

Meals and snacks and miscellaneous: $499.22 (includes cost for converting currency, public transportation not covered by tour)

**yes, there are $600 melons, but these are special melons grown to be used as gifts

***Tour Plan B. Tour Plan A was less expensive and for hotels farther from the Convention Site.

****I kept a folder for receipts and a running list for Customs.

Four t-shirts(at Convention): $109.64

Craft items (fabric, calligraphy brush, pins): $16.07

4 'Hello Kitty' and one 'Totoro' netsuke or cell-phone charms, and a 'Snoopy' beverage container: $34.56

3 Manga: $12.36

Kyocera Vegetable peeler $10.13

Package of yatsuhashi (cinnamon-flavored cookies): $2.19

4 juice glasses $6.94 (they had sake in them when we bought them, but we drank it)

POINT AND SPEAK (English to Japanese) book $13.15

Small duffle-bag from 1000-yen store: $8.77

Miscellaneous items (socks, chopsticks, electrical items, 100-yen souvenirs, etc...) $56.21

Hope this helps someone. I know we aren't typical, but then, who is!

Note: I didn't get receipts for everything, but it was easy to calculate the total by checking our bank statements for how much we took out of ATMs, and then subtracting what we got back when we changed our leftover yen back to dollars at Narita.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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1. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

>>>Package tour through a Japanese Travel Agency. All transfers included. $6620 for two, roundtrip from LAX.<<<

Thank you for the report. Really interesting.

What airline did you take and the shinkansen fare to/from Kyoto included in the package?

Aoyama Dori and San...
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2. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

So, seven nights at decent hotels and airfare included costs $1760/person, double occupancy? I'm guessing about half went to airfare and the other half went to lodging if you break it down? That sounds about right.

<<<The core of the tour***included round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Narita Airport. We stayed five nights in the Yokohama Grand Inter-Continental Hotel, and two nights in the Sunshine Prince Hotel in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo. No meals were included on the land portion, but we were fed very well on the plane both ways. This part cost $1760 per person.>>>

Aoyama Dori and San...
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3. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

Did this include transportation to and from Tokyo? If so, then this also sounds reasonable.

<<<Post Convention Tour added another five nights. We stayed a total of three nights in Kyoto at the New Miyako Hotel, one night in Hakone at the Palace Hotel Hakone, and one night at a traditional ryokan (Japanese Inn), the Misono in Kuroshiki. This part of the package included nine meals, and all the sightseeing and admissions. This was $1550 per person.>>>

Aoyama Dori and San...
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4. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

Nice report. One question. Did you ever feel rushed or short of time or did the tour get your shuttled around nicely?

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5. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

In answer to the questions above.

The tour was coordinated through NTA America in Redwood City. The planes to and from the US, and from Osaka to Narita, were Japan Airlines. As an example of the thoroughness of the agency, on our return to Narita we were met by an NTA guide to direct us to the right terminal, and then there was another guide to show us to the right gate!

Yes, there were times we felt rushed and hurried during the guided tour! We could have spent much more time at every single place we visited, but there *was* free time to get lost in. But I'm sure there was a lot less stress and confusion.

We chose the guided tour for the second part of the trip for several reasons: we weren't able to wrap our minds around hiragana, katakana and kanji, we wanted to see as much as possible in a short time, and one of us has an allergy to shellfish and having to rely on the kindness of strangers.

We are in our 60's. Were we younger, I think it would be a great adventure to spend an unplanned month in Japan!

Aoyama Dori and San...
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6. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

Regarding the tour guides meeting you at the airport, this is a pretty nice feature of a guided tour. I've seen those guides before at airports and now I know why they are there. It sounds like you had a very nice experience overall.

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7. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

Excellent post, thank you. We leave on Oct 16th for ten days. Thanks for a rough price guess of what we'll be spending.

8. Re: What Our Trip To Japan Cost

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