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mrw Goes to Japan #8 (needs ideas)

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I have a ticket to Osaka, arriving the 18th and returning from Toyama on the 29th, first class on OZ via ICN.

I had planned to spend a couple of nights in Osaka and then Okayama, Kyoto, Takayama, the train ride from Takayama to Toyama,, and then the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, but a few things have made me change my mind:

- I think it might be too cold for the T-K Route at the end of November
- cant get the 25th on Hyatt points (I think I waited too long) because of the holiday, I suppose. I am still interested in visiting Kyoto on this trip - to have dinner with friends.
- ANA is selling seats on intra-Japan flights on their new Boeing 787 (see my post on the Air Travel forum for info).

What I've got so far is spending the first two or three nights (Nov 18 weekend) at the Westin Osaka on points. I definitely want to visit Osaka castle and I am guessing that the park will have fall colors. Will have to find out where Osaka-jin might go for 7-5-3 that weekend. I need a recco for a great sushi place. Am not sure about going to Spa World.

After that I figured that I would spend 4 or 5 days and visit Arima Onsen, Okayama, and Kurashiki, maybe Miyajima. Might base in Hiroshima at the Sheraton which is next to the station.

I have a 787 flight booked on the 25th from Okayama to Tokyo (HND). I hadn't planned on visiting Tokyo, but now that I HAVE TO fly there on the 787, I might spend the night. What is attracting me to Tokyo is the prospect of spending the night at the Westin (with the great cigar store) and going to a sushi place that the concierge reccommended the last time I was there and which I loved (it is near Ebisu station, but I forget the name).

kuranosuke, if you read this, I want you to know that over the last several years I have come to understand that sushi for breakfast is a great idea. So a visit to Tsukui might be on order. In other words, i am considering spending a night in Tokyo in order to eat fish and smoke a Cuban cigar or two.

At some point I have to get to Toyama to spend the night on the 28th. I have read that the Takayama- Toyama train ride is very scenic and this has been on my Japan bucket list for a long time. Also would like to go to Unazuki. But I think that the region would be better at another time of year.

There is an Edo-type parade in Tsumago on the 23rd that might be fun.

I am literally all over the map here, at least the part in a triangle from Hiroshima to Tokyo to Toyama, so comments on any of the above would be appreciated as they might help me nail this down (or decide to wing it). Thanks for reading.

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