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Japan first time April or May

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We are planning our first trip to Japan and are very excited. We are learning that there is much more to see and do than we originally realized and want to highlight those areas of interest for both of us and are seeking our fellow fodorites help. We will fly into Osaka and home from Tokyo-should we use all train transportation to get around or rent a car for part of the time? We are both interested in Japanese cuisine and have found a cooking class in Kyoto but are also interested in Samarai history and sword making and Geisha history and silk making. We plan to visit historical sites like Hiroshima but also want to experience old Japan. We do not need to see every temple and would like to learn which ones are must visits. We would also like to know about some ryokan recommendations. I have read conflicting reports on timing of cherry blossoms. Any and all information welcome. Thank you so much.

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