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Japan Itinerary Critique and Suggestions

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Hi, we are going back to Japan with a couple who has never been. Our interests are medieval and traditional Japan. We like temples, shrines, castles, onsens, and little restaurants off the beaten track, used by the Japanese mainly. We have no interest in seeing Hiroshima.. Here's my initial stab:


Depart 4/23 Arrive 4/24 – have supper with friend also on tour.
25Mar – bus tour of Tokyo
evening rest
26Mar – day trip to Nikko Ntl. Park
Geisha dance show that night
27Mar – day trip to Hakona Ntl. Park/Mt. Fuji
evening rest
28Mar – Tour on our own (Imperial Palace, Shinjuku shopping district, Tokyo National Museum)
evening walking night tour of Shinjuku
29Mar – Kyoto by bullet train
evening another Geisha dance show
30Mar – Hire private tour guide for Kyoto tour (Imperial Palace and Stone Garden)
evening rest
31Mar – Day trip to Nara
evening rest
01Apr – Day trip to Osaka Castle (or transfer to Osaka hotel)
tour castle
evening ??
02Apr – Day trip to Himeji Castle from Osaka or spend night at Himeji
evening rest
03Apr – Make way (somehow) to hotel on Shikoku Island
evening - dinner with our Japanese friend
04Apr – Rent car (Japanese friend will drive) and tour island
??
05Apr – more island touring
evening ??
06Apr – return to Tokyo
evening ??
07Apr – Depart Tokyo
08Apr – Arrive Houston

This is only 15 days and we could go up to 21, so I'm looking to see if there is something really great we are missing. I also forgot to schedule an onsen. We did one at a resort in Hakone last time and would like to try a different one this time (although that one was very nice). We also enjoyed the little hike they allowed us to do on our trip to Nikko to see a waterfall. Any time spent driving through the forested hills, maybe taking the occasional hike, stopping at a country restaurant -- all that would be idyllic. I'm also thinking about extending the trip to include Kanazawa.

Any advice or comments would be welcome.

Rob

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