Hello, I am Nick from Florida, USA!
I am planning my first trip to Japan, and I can’t recall the last time I’ve been this excited!!! I’ve done quite a bit of research in the last few days and ran into your site via youtube and I am so glad I found it! Thank you for all the helpful information!
I will be in Japan from the 23rd of November to the 3rd of December. I am planning on splitting my time between Tokyo and Kyoto with a stop in Takayama. I am trying to see as much as possible while hitting some of the more traditional areas known for their Autumn colors. I wanted to throw my itinerary out there and see if anyone would mind providing some suggestions/advice. I am assuming the Japan Rail Pass is the right one for me. I am also looking for any suggestions on the best mid range hotels that would be convenient for this rail pass and the places I am going to - Please let me know if the schedule looks like it is too much or if I should spend more time in one area over another or if there are spot you don’t think are worth going to!
Nov 23 (half day) - Arrive in Tokyo Evening - Explore
Nov 24 - Tokyo > Nikko > Tokyo - Day Trip to Nikko
Nov 25 - Explore Tokyo City
Nov 26 - Tokyo > Kamakura or Hakone (Day trip - suggestion on which of the two is better?)
Nov 27 - Tokyo > Takayama (train early morning, half day trip | half day to explore Takayama)
Nov 28 - Takayama > Shirakawago > Kanazawa > Takayama
Nov 29 - Takayama > Kyoto (evening exploration)
Nov 30 - Kyoto > Arashiyama > Kyoto
Dec 1 - Kyoto > Osaka or Nara> Kyoto (suggestion on which of the two is better?)
Dec 2 - Kyoto > Tokyo (Spend day on Kyoto, head back to Tokyo in late afternoon)
Dec 3 - Tokyo (all day, take off in evening)