I've now drafted a provisional itinerary for our October trip, which is as follows.
Day1 Arrive Tokyo early evening
Day3 -> Takayama
Day4 Takayama area
Day5 -> Nara
Day10 Kyoto -> Mount Koya
Day11 Mount Koya -> Osaka
Day12 Osaka -> Hiroshima & Miyajima
Day13 -> Tokyo
Day14 Nikko (day trip from Tokyo)
The reason we have 2 nights in Takayama area is that we're planning to combine seeing the town with an onsen experience, and there are a number of options in that area.
At the moment, we have Nara as immediately after Takayama, to keep all our nights in Kyoto together, but the other option is to first go to Kyoto, spend one night there, then head out to Nara for a night, and return to Kyoto for the rest of our stay. That may be better in terms of time available to spend in Nara, but may make Kyoto hotel booking slightly more complicated. Thoughts?
On day 12, we're currently planning to visit Hiroshima and overnight in Miyajima but a friend recently suggested swapping that to visit Miyajima and then visit/ overnight in Hiroshima. Her point was there is very little to do of an October evening in Miyajima. Any thoughts on this?
We will likely to do some short trips from Kyoto that I've not listed, but also take it easy and enjoy the city, and also do some shopping there too.
In Tokyo, I've listed the main day trip we're planning, the rest of the time is for the city itself.
If you have any recommendations for accommodations, restaurants and sightseenig please let me know.
Our plan is to splash out for a few nights, accommodation wise (probably onsen/ Nara and Mount Koya) and look to reduce spending elsewhere. We're torn because I like the idea of traditional Japanese accommodation but know that my hips will thank me for beds higher off the ground, and I really do like an ensuite bathroom. Will forego it for few nights, yes.
Likewise, on food, we're not able to spend the 20,000 yen kind of price tag that many good restaurants charge, so we'll splash out once or twice (in addition to the ryokan/dining option one or two nights) and welcome recommendations for those splurge nights, but looking to really spend far far far less the rest of the time.
We'll be buying a 14 day Japan Rail Pass, which is also why Nara is right after our arrival back in Tokyo.
Anything I'm missing or should take into consideration?
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