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Japan itinerary thoughts please!

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Hi all - There’s two of us and this is our first trip to Japan. We fly into Narita on July 4 late afternoon (next Saturday!) and depart from Osaka Kansai on Monday, July 13 (afternoon). I am hoping to get some inputs on our itinerary and some general travel tips:

Day 0: Arrive at Narita later afternoon. Check into the hotel, check-out the neighborhood, relax.

Days 1 – 3 (Sunday – Tuesday): Tokyo

- We plan 2 full days in Tokyo and 1 day trip. What day trip would you recommend given the hot weather? I would have liked Hakone or Nikko, but will it be too hot for onsen?

Days 4: Tokyo to Kyoto (Wednesday)
- Do we need to book a train in advance, or can we just land up at the station and find a train?
- What more can we achieve on this “transit day”? I hear that the train journey is only 2 hours, but door to door can be closer to 4/5 hours.

Days 5-8 (Thursday – Sunday): Kyoto
- Two full days in Kyoto and 1 day side trip.
- What side trip would you recommend? Nara? I’d love to stay at one of those Buddhist guesthouses which I believe are close to Kyoto. Do you know any?

Day 9: Take train to Osaka Kansai in the morning to catch our afternoon flight.

Some other relevant information: (1) One of us is a vegetarian and this may bring about some limitations on deciding side trips. Need vegetarian food! (2) We are traveling with 2 carry-ons and 1 check-in baggage. (3) We both enjoy the outdoors. (4) While we’d like to soak in as much culture as possible, we want this to be a relaxing trip so don't want to pack in too much.

Thanks in advance.

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