I knew the prices were going to be bad, but this is worse than I thought. The hotel closest to the convention center is the Intercontinental (the highest end hotel in the IC Group, which contains Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express). Rooms in that hotel for July 2007 are running as low as JPY13,333 through IC's web site. That's the price per room, not per person. Rooms in that hotel through the booking agency during the convention (I booked the maximum stay allowed -- August 28 through September 3 -- are JPY15,500 per person per night. JPY31,000 per night is about USD272 per night!
Rooms are only available from the Tuesday before the con to the Monday of the final night. That's an awful narrow booking window, it seems to me. It works okay for me, assuming I get the flights I want, but I would have thought they'd want more rooms around the shoulder nights. On the other hand, at those rates, I'm not sure I'd want to say any more days than that.
Adding to the burden is that the booking agency required full payment in advance. That is, my credit card was charged about $1800 today, while I'm still dealing with the charges from this year's Worldcon trip. It appears this charge is refundable up to 14 days pre-con, although the web site isn't very clear about that.
When I first submitted the charge, it declined. I decided to leave it alone for a while and went to take a shower and have breakfast. When I got out of the shower, I found that my credit card company had contacted me about what looked like a fraudulent charge to them. I called them back and reassured them that the Japanese charge was legitimate. They told me I'd have to re-submit it, which I did, and it went through.
I guess the good news is that when I get there, the room will be paid for. I just wish I could get to work on booking the airfare; however, I don't think I'll be able to do that until late October, on account of the last day of one's travel needs to be at least 330 days in the future, it seems. There appears to be such a thing as planning too far in advance.