I fly into Osaka at 4:25pm Wed Sep 26, and must be in Tokyo for work the following Tue or Wed (Oct 2 or 3). Other than that, I'm on my own (literally! traveling solo).
The only Japanese city I've visited (briefly) in the past was Tokyo, and I loved my time in Japan. But now I'd like to spend some peaceful days away from blaring billboards.
It seems Kyoto should be the centerpiece of my free days, but for my ~6 days, I'm wondering:
1) Is it worth spending much time in Osaka? Maybe just the one night I arrive?
2) To experience a greater diversity of aspects in Japan, should I venture beyond Kyoto to Nara or Miyajima, or...? (Hiroshima would likely be fascinating, but seems fairly big-city-like).
3) To experience different living styles in Japan, what types of accommodations should I include beyond ryokans? Homestays? B&Bs? Hostels? Or are the categories increasingly meaningless?
Some more info to help you help me... :-D
- I'm in good shape, so I'm happy walking a lot. I also am patient with public transit.
- I'm on a "moderate budget" overall; that means I'm fine splurging on a nice ryokan for a night or two, paying for a railpass, etc... but not up for paying 30K yen for lodging every night :o.
- I love nature, gardens, parks, but I don't want to camp.
- I enjoy photographing nature, cities, people.
- I'm eager to learn more about Japanese culture and traditions... to experience onsen, eat authentic Japanese food, and ideally not get sucked into crowded tourist traps.
I have already read through some of the itinerary advice threads here, and I hope I'm not imposing by adding to the din. Thanks in advance for your suggestions :-)
P.S. -- I have discovered japanguesthouses and japanguide, and am still making my way through these amazing sites!