My wife and I will have 7 days in Kansai for our honeymoon in late July and want to focus our tour on the cultural (food, gardens, onsen) and spiritual side of Japan. I have drafted the following itinerary and would love any feedback experienced travelers in this area can give me on whether it is too hectic or misses cultural and spiritual highlights and advice around travel options (rail passes and feasibility of travelling by hire car without Japanese language skills)
Day 0: Arrive in KIK at 7.30pm so thinking express train straight to hotel in Osaka
Day 1: Walking tour in Osaka & Castle and evening in Donburri
Day 2: Mid morning train to Kyoto and Nishiki market and cooking class
Day 3: Full day sightseeing in Kyoto - finish with kaiseki meal in Ryokan
Day 4: Morning sightseeing/free then train to Nara with afternoon in Deer park
Day 5: Morning in Nara and then travel to Koya-san staying overnight in a temple
Day 6: Mediation & prayers in Koya-san and then travel to Hongu or Tanabe (is there a way to do this apart from hire car?) and do a half day walk along Kumano Kodo and overnight in Hongu/Tanabe
Day 7: A morning walk on a different part of Kumano Kodo before travelling back to KIK for a flight at 8pm (ideally going via Wakayama for a swim in the ocean)
I'm interested in overall thoughts on the trip but specifically on transport options from day 5 onwards as I'm currently thinking of hiring a car in Nara and dropping it off at the airport on Day 7 but not sure how smart that is. Also, do you have any advice about rail passes for the first half of the trip?
Any feedback/help would be much appreciated.