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Need ideas: Himeji? Osaka? Fukuchiyama area? Kinosaki

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I rather impulsively booked a four day trip to Japan using the new Air Asia flights from Hawaii to Osaka.
We arrive at Kansai (KIX) at 8:30 pm on 9/23. I have nothing booked for the 23rd or 24th, but have reservations in Kinosaki for the 25th and 26th, then we'll take a train back on the 28th and fly out of KIX at doubt 11:30 that night.

We've been to Japan many times, but for some reason, I just can't get focused on the planning for this trip. I've always wanted to see Kinosaki, but I probably should have done it on another trip, as it involves 3 hours of travel, when I really wanted just a short, relaxing four days!

I did get a super price on what seems to be a great Ryokan, so don't want to cancel that portion.

So, what to do for the first two nights and 1.5 days? Trains routes to Kinosaki seem equally good from Osaka, Himeji, and Kyoto. Have been to Kyoto many times, and visited Himeji Castle decades ago,

My first thought was to sleep in Osaka the first night, then possibly stay in Himeji the next night and go to Kinosaki mid-day on the 25th.

Another idea was is to travel further on arrival night or the next morning. Instead of Himeji, going closer to Kinosaki spending 2 half days in that town, breaking up the trip to Kinosaki on the 25th.

So does anyone have any ideas of great little towns in that area of Hyogo/Kyoto prefectures? or anything you loved from Osaka to Himeji or even Near Kyoto? We like museums (especially odd ones), riding bikes (if it isn't raining) , eating, gardens, taking cable cars up mountains, or just wandering interesting neighborhoods.

We'll probably have several hours the last day (a Wednesday) after we arrive in Osaka before heading to the airport. We'd go to Spa world again, but since sexes are segregated, not as much fun with my husband!
Never warmed up to the city in the past, but so would love to get your fave Osaka neighborhood or restaurant tips!

Thanks, Lucy

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