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Kyoto versus Beijing for an 8 day trip

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Our set-in-stone yearly vacation is in mid September. We're taking advantage of some award miles and are flying over to asia. We've toured south asia (Thai., Siem Reap) last year. Our typical trips involve just hitting the highlights, 2-3 days in the major places then on to the next, then figuring out where to come back to.

We're trying to decide the most culturally interesting place for 8 days. We enjoy overall ambiance, history, and just wander. We are not foodies, but do like nicer hotels. The hotels I can figure out, it's just where to narrow our search! Our favorite activity is to see "must see sights" then wander streets and see something new (to us!). Again, we'd like to hit the highlights with the thought to returning in later years.

We're trying to decide between flying into PEK and spending 3-4 days, then venturing out for 3-4 days. Or flying straight to KIX, touring Kyoto for 4 days, then training to Tokyo for 4 days. Or (my favorite, but more hectic) combining 4 days in PEK and 4 days in Tokyo...

For the experienced travelers, any thoughts on what would be the best use of time for a first time trip to north asia?

Thanks!

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