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Many Questions for 1st Japan Trip

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I have been reading the many posts and Trip Reports here as research for our first trip to Japan. We are 60ish couple with lots of experience traveling Europe independently, but our two big Asia trips (China & India) were organized by travel agents so details like travel between cities were taken care of for us. We are flying to Tokyo on May 1 and will have 16 nights. We plan to use trains for travel between the cities. Below is a tentative itinerary and several questions. I would really appreciate getting any help you can offer!

Tokyo - 4 nights including the day we land so 3 full days for the city
Hiroshima/Miyajima – 2 nights?
Kyoto/Nara – 4 or 5 nights?
Kanazawa/Takayama – 4 nights
Nikko? – or someplace else to use for our last night before flying out of Narita

1.What guide books(s) do you take with you or how do you decide what to see/do each day? Did you use guides or take any organized tours that you would recommend? When we travel to Europe we often just show up in a city and figure it out as we go. I don’t think I can do this here but don’t necessarily want to print a daily schedule before we go. I’ve got 2 books to use for research now, this forum, and japan-guide, but I think I should probably bring something with me as well.

2. I’d like to head to Hiroshima from Tokyo in the morning but stay in Miyajima. Will the luggage services I read about be able to transport luggage to Miyajima or should we just take our bags and store them at Hiroshima station? How can I find out what kind of luggage storage is available? We will each have a 22” roller bag so not sure if those are small enough to fit into a locker. Should we plan for 1 or 2 nights in Miyajima and will we be able to see enough of Hiroshima if we don’t actually stay there?

3. We are booked at Hotel Mume for 4 nights in Kyoto (and I’m already thrilled with how helpful they are being!) but also would like to see Nara. Should we extend our stay and do this as a day trip? Or travel to Nara either before or after Kyoto and spend the night?

4. Any input on the last 5 days of our trip? Stay 2 nights each in Kanazawa and Takayama or break it out differently? Would Nikko be a good place to spend the night and then travel from there to Narita? Or would you stay one more night in Tokyo or somewhere else?

5. Did you have any difficulty sleeping on the futons in ryokans? We are both sensitive when it comes to hard beds and I’m worried enough reading about the beds in Japan much less the futons. I’d love to hear your experiences. I’m particularly interested in staying in a ryokan in Miyajima.

Any other input or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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