MY JAPAN ITINERARY
Here's how I did Japan over a 16-day trip.
Sunday, November 10 - Arrive Tokyo (Narita Airport) in the late afternoon, find my hostel, join my friends for dinner and a few drinks before catching up on some sleep.
Monday, November 11 - Exploring Tokyo by foot and by subway.
Tuesday, November 12 - Activate my two-week Japan Rail Pass in order to take a day trip to Kamakura to see the big Buddha. Return to Tokyo to walk around the Electric Town with the friends.
Wednesday, November 13 - Off on a solo venture to the historic mountain town of Takayama. Stroll around the rows of homes and businesses preserved from the Edo period.
Thursday, November 14 - Take a tour of the traditional villages of Gokayama and Shirakawa-go, known for their gassho-zukuri style of home building.
Friday, November 15 - Catch a morning train to Hiroshima. Catch my first glimpse of the A-Bomb Dome, but also spend a fun evening in the stylish and fun city that has rebounded around it.
Saturday, November 16 - A sobering visit to the International Peace Museum in Hiroshima, then spend a few more hours exploring the city before catching a train to Osaka to rejoin my friends.
Sunday-Monday, November 17-18 - Explore the sights, sounds and nightlife of Osaka, Japan's second-largest city.
Tuesday, November 19 - Day trip to Kyoto to see the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine with its row upon row of torii gates, then gorge on the street food at the Nishiki Market.
Wednesday, November 20 - Another day trip, this one to Nara to visit the infamous Deer Park, where the wild deer bow at you while you feed them.
Thursday, November 21 - Another train, this one to the quiet coastal village of Nachikatsuura.
Friday, November 22 - Catch a bus to hike a small portion of the Kumano Kodo trail and see the shrine and the scenery of the area around Nachi Falls.
Saturday, November 23 - A long day of train rides to Yokohama. Roam around the city's Chinatown, and have my first experience in a Japanese capsule inn.
Sunday, November 24 - A series of trains to the Fuji Five Lakes area, then a wonderful stay at an inn with a crystal-clear view of Japan's biggest and most sacred mountain.
Monday, November 25 - Back to Tokyo for one last day. A little souvenir shopping and a glance at the world's busiest intersection in the Shibuya neighborhood.
Tuesday, November 26 - Up early to get back to Narita for flights to Dallas, and then Raleigh.