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Last Minute Advice for my First Visit to Japan

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Hi There!

Thank you to all who have helped me over the past months to plan the perfect trip to Japan for my first visit! My husband and I leave in less than two months and I am getting so excited (and nervous - this will be my first time out of the US except for the Caribbean).

I have a few lingering questions... But before I get into that let me give a brief outline of my itinerary for reference:

Day 1: Flying
Day 2: Arrive at Narita Airport in late afternoon, check in at hotel in Tokyo-Shiodome (overnight Prak Hotel Tokyo)
Day 3: Full day Tokyo tour with guide (overnight Prak Hotel Tokyo)
Day 4: Evening Tokyo tour with guide (overnight Prak Hotel Tokyo)
Day 5: Day trip to Nikko (overnight Prak Hotel Tokyo)
Day 6: Lake Kawaguchiko (overnight in ryokan)
Day 7: Kyoto (overnight at 9 Hours Kyoto capsule hotel)
Day 8: Kyoto - explore Higashiyama (overnight at Hotel Mume Kyoto)
Day 9: Kyoto - explore Arashiyama (overnight at Hotel Mume Kyoto)
Day 10: Day trip to Nara (overnight at Hotel Mume Kyoto)
Day 11: Mt. Koya (overnight at Shojoshin-in)
Day 12: Fly out of at Kansai Airport

These are some of the remaining questions I still have:
1) What to do when we land in the airport? Is there anything we should plan on doing at the airport - exchange USD for JPY, pick up a SIM data card?
2) I'm nervous (and excited) about being in complete culture shock when we arrive. I'm worried we won't find our hotel which is located in a high-rise above the Shiodome station at the top floors if business building. Any advice? Will my phone GPS work?
3) Should we bring a gift for our guides?
4) I've read reviews that the staff knows very little English at the Ryokan we are staying at in Kawaguchiko. Any advice?
5) During our stay at 9 Hours Capsule Hotel Kyoto, my husband and I will be staying in separated male/female wings of the hotel. Has anyone ever done this before? What was your experience?
6) Do you recommend using takibahn luggage services? Is it eay and reliable to use? If I send our luggage from Hotel Mume to the Kansia Airport (so we dont have to carry around our large bags at Mt. Koya), will it be pretty easy to find?
7) What souvenirs do you recommend?
8) Carry around cash or use mostly travel credit card?
9) What is your number 1 Japan experience/activity that should not be missed?
10) How early should I check into Kansai airport before flight?
10) Any last minute advice, tips or recommendations?

I may come up with more questions in the weeks leading up to my trip and will post them here on this topic. Thanks again to everyone for your help!!

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