The time is slowly approaching. Sometime next month I will get the results back from Japanese Immigration about my Certificate of Eligibility, and then I'll take that and mail it with my passport to the Japanese Consulate in Chicago and get my Visa! I'll buy my currency next month towards the end (because it'll take about a month for my bank to get it once ordered)
In anticipation of good results from Immigration, I've been slowly looking around about flight prices and the time frames for it etc. I've found a few good sites that compile lots of info and provide student discounts:
If you're looking for for price info for flights, I recommend these sites. The first two give flight prices for students, so there are actually some good deals because of student discounts. The last one is kind of a catch-all that takes lots of different flight searching sites and lets you see lots of different options and prices. In general, a flight to Japan is sort of pricey--not too surprising. I've seen ranges of $1100-1500, so you have to do a bit of searching to find yourself a good deal. Start looking early enough so that you don't pay last-minute fees, but don't book so far out from your travel date because sometimes they'll fine you for booking too early, as well.