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10-12 Days in Japan - Outside the Norm...

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I have 10-12 days to kill in Asia in May and am thinking Japan. I've been a couple of times and done primarily Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, and Kanazawa. We will also be returning in November and doing some sort of "easy highlights" that will probably include Tokyo, Hakone, and Kyoto.

I'm wondering where everyone would recommend I try. On another thread someone had recommended Hokkaido. I had also thought about doing a whirlwind kind of thing and maximizing a JR pass. Maybe hitting Shirakawa-go? Maybe Itsukushima? Maybe Ise? Seto for modern art? Perhaps something in Kyushu?

In general, I prefer cities to country, but am not opposed to natural wonders. Love art and architecture. And food is a passion. I am more interested in a great food market than a museum. I do not speak any Japanese. For this trip, I really don't mind moving around, since I will be on my own. My wife hates moving on vacation, but I'm happy to stay in 10 cities in 10 nights if that is what it takes.

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