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First trip to Japan end of March. Suggestions please.

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My wife and I will be going to Japan for 11 days in the second half of March 2013 (18-29). It's my wife's first time in Japan, and I've only been to Tokyo. We have to end the trip in Tokyo for business. We want to see the countryside, stay in at least one ryokan, and hope to enjoy cherry blossoms (I know we're a little early). We're flying to Japan from Shanghai, so we can fly into either Fukuoka or Osaka.
Does it make sense to land in Fukuoka, and spend a couple days somewhere in Kyusho where the cherry blossoms come a few days earlier and then train to Kyoto? Or will that take too much time away from Kyoto, Nara, etc.
With the exception of a day or two of meetings in Tokyo, we're totally open and hoping some of you experienced Japanophiles can help with both the itinerary and suggestions for the best experiences.
Thanks in advance.

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