My fiance and I have booked flights to Japan which arrive and depart Osaka, we are arriving on Monday October 26th 8.15am and departing on Friday the 6th of Nov at 11am.
What we have so far:
I am thinking we should use Osaka as a base for the first few days - we're coming in from Australia and departing the day after our wedding so I think taking the first day easy and just spending it in Osaka would be a good idea. It seems from reading other threads on here that for a limited itinerary Osaka is skippable so maybe we should just have the one day in Osaka itself? Any recomendations for must sees?
The following two days I think we will make a day trip to Nara and a day trip to Himeji. Are both of these full day trips? Is it better to take the daytrip to Nara from Osaka or Kyoto?
That takes us to Thursday- I think we will travel to Kyoto on Thursday morning and then spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Kyoto.
On Sunday we could travel to Tokyo, I would like to see the Harajuku getups on the Sunday since it's the day after Halloween so I've been told it will be particularly spectacular. Then if we spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Tokyo, and travel back to Osaka on Thursday, we will be ready to fly home on Friday.
Does this sound reasonable? Does it leave too long in Tokyo? I am wondering if we would be better off to spend an extra day in Kyoto and miss out on Harajuku.
I think that we can buy a 4-day Kansai region local JR pass for much less than the all-Japan pass and use that for the first four days and then get the all-Japan pass for 7 days and activate it when we are in Kyoto. Does that sound reasonable? I'm assuming that we can use the JR pass in tokyo for local travel as well, is that correct?
My parents went to Japan a couple of years ago and stayed in comfort inns where possible - I am wondering about doing that too - we have family friends who live in tokyo who are able to book us into a ryokan which is an actual authentic one, until my parents stayed there they had never had foreigners visit at all and it's only about 6000 per night. I don't want to get ripped off staying in a tourist ryokan so if we were to stay there a couple of nights then I'm happy to stay in "ordinary" hotels for the rest of the time.
Any recommendations besides the comfort inns?
Where would be the best place to be based in Kyoto and in Tokyo?
Thanks in advance for any recommendations and advice!
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