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1st Time to Japan - 14 Day Itinerary for May - Your Feedback Appreciated!!

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Hi Fodorites,

After reading many fantastic trip reports and guide books, I am considering the tentative itineary below, but would appreciate your feedback. For example, please let me know if you think if it might be more logically done in a different order, if it is over all too aggressive, or if another closer destination might be a better use of time to see a similar site. We are interested in seeing (not in any particular order of preference) castles, shrines, gardens, local culture, small villages, natural beauty, so I have tried to cover those bases within the bookends of Toyko and Kyoto. We live in LA so we are trying to limit time in big cities to no more than half the trip. My concern is that it might be too much moving around and not enough down time, but then again, we will have long spans of time sitting on trains, so that might not be as exhausting as it first appears. If you have suggestions for changes in which towns to overnight, or how long to stay in a location, please let me know. I will be sure to post a detailed trip report when I get back. Thanks in advance!!!!


1 Arrive 5am Haneda - Explore Tokyo - Overnight in Tokyo
2 Day trip to Nikko - Overnight in Tokyo
3 Explore Tokyo - Overnight in Tokyo
4 Hakone - Overnight in Hakone (option: do as day trip and overnight in Tokyo)
5 Visit Tsumago/Continue to Matsumoto - Overnight in Matsumoto
6 Matsumoto/Day Trip to Snow Monkey Park - Overnight in Matsumoto
7 Travel to Takayama/Explore Town - Overnight in Takayama
8 Day trip to Ogimachi - Overnight in Takayama
9 Travel to Mt Koya - Overnight in Mt Koya
10 Travel to Kyoto - Overnight in Kyoto
11 Explore Kyoto - Overnight in Kyoto
12 Day Trip to Nara - Overnight in Kyoto
13 Visti Himeji/ Explore Kyoto - Overnight in Kyoto
14 Kyoto morning/Depart ITA Osaka 2:30pm

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