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
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.