so after my initial very vague (and to most people also confusing) plan, I've gone back to the drawing board and come up up with a new itinerary for my 14-day trip in July.
I'm starting and finishing in Fukuoka as I'm visiting friends there and the flights are booked, so that is the only part of the trip that isn't flexible.
Day 1 - Fukuoka to Hiroshima/Miyajima
Day 2 - Miyajima to Kyoto
Day 3 - Kyoto
Day 4 - Kyoto
Day 5 - Kyoto (day trip to Nara)
Day 6 - Kyoto to Nagoya
Day 7 - Nagoya to Matsumoto
Day 8 - Matsumoto to Takayama
Day 9 - Takayama to Tokyo
Day 10 - Tokyo
Day 11 - Tokyo (day trip to Nikko)
Day 12 - Tokyo
Day 13 - Tokyo (day trip to Hakone)
Day 14 - Tokyo to Fukuoka
I have taken Koya-san off the itinerary as I've spoken to two of my friends, who both said that whereas they enjoyed it, it wasn't as special as they had hoped (they both admitted that it might have had something to do with the fact that it was January and -10C and quite bleak up in the mountains). So I decided to leave Koya-san for another time and I have added Nagoya, Matsumoto and Takayama instead, which also means dropping Nikko or reducing it to a day trip from Tokyo.
I have thought about going Takayama to Odawara (rather than straight to Tokyo) and doing the Hakone visit with an overnight stay and then traveling on to Tokyo on Day 11, but that seems a lot of travelling for days 6-11 with one night stop overs?! Or should I drop the night in Nagoya and go straight to Matsumoto from Kyoto?
Any thoughts, tips, feedback and ideas would be very welcome! I hope this is less confusing!
Revised Itinerary - feedback please
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