Would welcome some further advice for Japan trip. Itinerary is finalised and most accommodation booked but am looking for some help before booking the last few nights.
We'll spend the first few nights in Tokyo, then Takayama before training to Kyoto where we have just night on the first stop.
After that we head to Nara where we spend one night, and then back to Kyoto for 4 further nights.
From there we go to Mount Koya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima and back to Tokyo.
The reason I've split the Kyoto visit like this is because I think trying to do Takayama to Nara in one day is too much, especially as we may like to spend some of the morning there before leaving towards Kyoto. As we've got just one night in Nara, I want to be able to get there in the middle of the day, to be able to enjoy wandering around fully.
For the four nights in Kyoto, I've so far booked a ryokan in Gion for the first 2 nights. I'd have loved to stay there for the full 4 nights but a) it's a little above my planned budget and b) they're fully booked the last 2 nights.
On to my questions:
When we first come into Kyoto, I'm expecting us to arrive early evening, potentially a little earlier but mid-afternoon earliest. We'll likely leave Kyoto late next morning for Nara. I had initially thought we should look for a hotel as close to Kyoto station as possible, to minimise hassle of getting to/ from hotel and station but now I'm not sure. For example, I found a great place near Gojo subway which is easy from Kyoto station but a quick look on Google Street View makes me think this is not a great area to stay in that we could just enjoy a walk near the hotel that evening and find somewhere decent/ inexpensive for dinner. I'm guessing right by Kyoto station won't be any better, but maybe it would be...
So, is there a particular Kyoto location you'd suggest, where we could easily get to our hotel when we arrive to Kyoto station (preferably by public transport and as little walking as possible, due to mobility issues and budget), would be nice to walk around and have dinner locally and which maybe offers us something interesting to visit in the morning, before we leave to head to Nara? That could be a cool department store to explore, a local park, a particularly fascinating temple, or anything really...
Secondly, for the second 2 nights of the 4 night block in Kyoto, should I look for a second place in Gion area or somewhere else, and if elsewhere, any suggestions? Budget ensuite accomm, good local access to inexpensive eateries and something appealing about choosing it to stay in?
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