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How far in advance are hotels available to reserve?

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My husband and I are traveling to Japan in late September/early October. I've been trying to track down places for us to stay, but many the booking systems are saying that rooms are unavailable for the times I'm searching. Are they truly booked up already, or do I need to wait a few months for the hotels to have their fall calendars available? I'm particularly anxious to book places (whether they be hotels or ryokan) in Kanazawa and Takayama), but I'm not having much luck in Kyoto either.

We're also tentatively staying in Shirakawa, Matsumoto, Hakone and obviously Tokyo. We would prefer not to stay at large chain hotels, but based on our searches, that may be our only options.

Could you clue me in? If you've stayed any places that you absolutely loved, please share.

Thanks in advance.

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