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1st time Japan - solo female

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Hi, I'm totally new to Fodor, so please be kind!

I've just booked flights to Japan and am trying to get my head round coming up with an itinery, which is proving harder than with any other trips I've done for some reason. Maybe it's because I'm usually travelling in a car/rental car and will be using public transport this time.

I'll be travelling from July, 10th - August, 7th. Not the best time of year to go to Japan, I know, but the only time I can go, so I'll just have to deal with the heat and humidity.

I'll be starting and finishing in Fukuoka as I'm visiting friends who live there. I am planning to travel solo for two weeks in the middle of my stay, roughly from the 17th-30th, but I can add a night or two if needs be. I was thinking 14 days because of the JR pass availability.

I have read guides and looked on many forums and people seem to be spending a lot of time in Kyoto and Tokyo, but I'd like to fit something a bit more rural into the trip as well.....but maybe mainly as day trips from the cities?! Open to better ideas.

This is what I am thinking so far:

Fukuoka --> Kyoto 4 nights, including a day trip to Nara and somewhere else I haven't decided on yet (open for suggestions) -->travel to Koyasan and spent the night -->Tokyo, 6 nights, with day trips to Nikko, Hakone and Mt Fuji Lakes --> this is where I become very vague and have three nights left, maybe on to the Kiso Valley, is it worth staying there for two or three nights?? Has anybody got any suggestions?---> Day 14: return to Fukuoka. I have considered spending the three nights somewhere and then returning to Tokyo for a final night and flying back to Fukuoka if my rail pass has run out. I've found cheap flights with Jetstar.

I realise that the Koyasan to Tokyo day will involve 7 plus hours of traveling, so if there is anywhere en route that is worth stopping off for a night, please let me know.

Also is it worth getting a 14 day JR pass for this, or do I have too many static days, keeping in mind that I'll also possibly be travelling back on my last day to Fukuoka? Would it make more sense to buy individual or regional passes?

I do also want to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima, but thought I might do that as an overnight trip during my two weeks in Fukuoka. That as well as Yakushima. I'm not so worried about finding an itinery for the time in Kyushu, as my friends will be able to help with that a lot, but of course if there is somewhere you think I must see in those two weeks, let me know!

I'd also really love some suggestions for accomodation in the various places. As I said I'm a solo female traveler and I prefer private rooms rather than sharing dorms, but I'm on a bit of a budget and would like to save some money in some places, so that I can treat myself to a few nights in a nice ryokan.

Any suggestions and tips will help greatly!

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