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2 different itineraries-Comments requested

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I've come up with 2 very different itineraries for our second trip to Japan in Nov. Our first 3.5 week visit 3 years ago covered a week in Tokyo,a week in Kyoto, Matsumoto, Takayama Hiroshima, Miyajiima, and Kanazawa.

For our second trip I want to revisit 3 of the highlights of our first trip-Miyajiima, Arashiyama , and Fushimi Inari , as well as see some new places, including Nikko , Himejii., and Uji. We like culture, scenery, walking, being outdoors and Japanese food. We are not interested in shopping.

The 2 itineraries I have come up with are as follows:

1-Fly into Fukuoka.
2-Train Kumamoto to see the castle and Garden and continue to Kagoshima
3-4-Kagoshima sightseeing and 1 hour sightseeing train ride to Ibusuki (1 hour each way
5-Train to Hiroshima
6-Miyajiima the whole day
7,8,9-Okayama-visit Okayama garden,Kurushiki,Onomichi
10-Himejii
11,12,13-Kyoto-including Uji, one temple in Nara that we missed on the last trip, Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama
14, 15, 16-Tokyo with a day trip to Nikko
17-Fly home from Tokyo
or

1-Fly into Tokyo
2,3,4-Tokyo with a day trip to Nikko
5-Train to Hiroshima
6-Miyajiima
7,8,9,-Okayama-garden, Kuashiki,Omomichi, possibly adding a 2.5 hour train ride to Matsue-
10-Himejii
11,12,13-Kyoto-Uji, a temple in Nara we missed on the last trip, Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari
14-Fly home from Osaka

I would appreciate any comments about which itinerary would be best suited for us considering our interests.

Also, any recommendation for a mid priced ryoken at any of these places would be helpful, especially in Kurashiki.

And one travel question-If we leave Shinjuku station for Hiroshima at 8 am, do we have to travel part way on a regular train that commuters would use. Someone suggested that with a JR Pass we could reserve a seat on a NEX train and get off at Tokyo station, but I don't see this as an option on Hyperdia.

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