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Planning First Family Trip to Japan - Advice Needed!

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Hi all.

It's good to be back on the Asia forum! After going to Southeast Asia for the first time two summers ago, largely influenced by the advice on this forum, we are heading back in June. Two years ago, we visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

At the request of my oldest daughter, we will head to Japan for her 13th birthday on June 28, where she wants to celebrate in Tokyo. Now I'm trying to figure out the rest of the trip in terms of other cities and what to see/do. I'm at the very beginning of the planning process. As mentioned, Tokyo is a must and I'm thinking about 5 nights, including a day trip or two. I have a desire to visit Kyoto and am thinking 4 nights is about right. I would love for it to coincide with one of the festivals. Since I think, at least right now, that we will only visit 3 cities total, the last one is up for grabs. So far, Nikko, Takayama and Matsumoto are choices for another 2-3 nights. With this info can you let me know if I've allotted enough days in each city and/or if I should be considering any other cities for side trips or longer stays.

The other thing I'm in need of is a private tour guide or private tour company. Based on my schedule, after I know what I'm looking for, I need to hire somebody to put together the nuts and bolts of all in-country transportation, activities, necessary reservations and maybe even hotels, if they get better rates. Does anybody have any recommendations?

Lastly, favorite hotels and/or restaurants in the cities mentioned would be great. And any recommendations of where we should celebrate my daughter's 13th birthday in Tokyo would be fantastic as well. I'm thinking a great dinner and some sort of cultural show/activity.

Oh, and just so you know, after Japan for my daughter, we will head to Bali for me! So I will be back for Bali questions because it's my first time too. And I know there are die-hard Bali fans on this forum!

Thanks in advance all. Happy Sunday.

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