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15 days in Japan in March/April

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Hi there,
My cousin and I (mid-late 20's, female) are traveling to japan at the end of March for 2 weeks. We are starting and finishing the trip in Tokyo(about 4 days), we already have our accommodations for tokyo covered. We booked accomadtions for Kyoto for in the middle/end of the trip for 4 days. I am coming to you for help/insight/advice on what to do in between Tokyo and Kyoto and what to do for a few days after Kyoto. We know we want to stay in a temple on Koyasen and have done a ton of research of small towns such as: Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Nara. Also, a little bit about us- we are both very into seeing the authentic culture rather than overly touristy things, we are traveling on a budget(that being said we don't mind spending money on going to see shows or must-see things even if they are more expensive- we just want to spend little on where we stay, as we probably won't be there long). We both work with antiques and jewelry for living, so we are creative types who would love to see some antique shops or outdoor markets(looked up some although it seems none will be happening when we are there)?

What towns would you recommend, and which would you pass? We are both fast moving people, meaning we get bored staying in one place too long - and won't want to spend too much time walking around museums. Also, I wanted to get some advice on finding an onsen, I have three small-medium size tattoos and I understand this is not widely accepted in the onsen. I have read other forums on this topic and was just curious if there are any that are more geared towards travelers and may allow them(eek- pains me to go somewhere touristy over authentic but if this is the only way!)

We have about 4 days in between Tokyo and Kyoto- we are open to anything. Are there any smaller islands nearby that are easily accessible and relatively affordable to get to?

Thank you!

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