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Japan Winter Itinerary - 3 weeks

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Hi all,

We're planning our first trip to Japan for winter 2016. We'll be travelling between the 19th January and the 6th of February.

I just wanted some input on our current itinerary since we're first timers. There will be 4 of us travelling, myself, my husband, our 16 year old son and my sister in law.

Our current itinerary is as follows;

Day 1 - Fly Brisbane to Tokyo - arrive 7.30pm (spend 1 night in Tokyo)

Day 2 - Travel Tokyo to Hakuba - Shinkansen to Nagano and then bus to Hakuba
- Spend 5 nights (skiing/snowboarding, visiting onsen)

Day 7 - Travel Hakuba to Kyoto - Bus to Nagano then catch the Shinkansen to Kyoto via Kanazawa.
- Spend 7 nights in Kyoto with side trips to Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima and Miyajima.

Day 14 - Travel Kyoto to Tokyo by Shinkansen.
- Spend 5 nights in Tokyo with day trip to Nikko.

Day 18 - Fly Tokyo to Brisbane - Depart 8.55pm.

Day 19 - Arrive Brisbane 7am.

We wanted to try and minimise changing hotels as much as possible which is why we've chosen 3 'home bases'. We want to end the trip with our time in Tokyo as we want to do some shopping while there and don't want to have to carry purchases for the whole trip.

We originally included stays in takayama/shirakawa-go/kanazawa in our itinerary but decided we didn't want to be moving around that much.

We're not sure if we really need 5 nights in Tokyo. Perhaps we could add a night to Kyoto? We're also not sure if it's possible for us to get to Hakuba the night we arrive (either via airport transfer or public transport) considering our flight doesn't land until 7.30pm which is why I've included 1 night in Tokyo at the start.

Any suggestions would be great!

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