|This is from my Washington DC trip back in April 2010.|
I missed DC! Maybe I will do some blog posts on past travels.
Originally, this was going to be another solo trip but 2 of my friends decided to join me. We started planning really early (I literally had a draft ready last November). Tickets were booked and rooms were reserved before 2012 was even over.
As promised, here's the final draft of my itinerary. Again, it's a very ambitious plan and let's see how much ground I actually cover this time!
Day 1 - Arrive at Kansai Airport around 05:25, clear custom and buy the round-trip Haruka+ICOCA (¥4,000) at the ticket counter. Take the first train departing 06:29 arriving in Kyoto (京都) at 07:59. Walk to hostel. Take Yamashina express bus (¥300) to Daigoji (醍醐寺). Check out Sanboin (三寶院) and Reihokan (靈寶館) (¥1,000). Take bus (¥300) to Daigo Station and take subway (¥280) back to Keage Station (蹴上站). Check out Philosopher's Path (哲學之道). Take bus (#203) back to Gion (祗園) and walk to Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) (¥400).
Day 3 - Take bus to Kokoyui (心結和服) (¥6,500) and change into kimono. Buy the Kenrokuen +1 value ticket and visit Kanazawa Castle (金沢城) and Kenrokuen (兼六園) (¥500). Check out the Nagamachi samurai residences (長町武家屋敷通り) and try the tea houses in Higashi Chaya (東茶屋街).
Day 4 - Take bus from Kanazawa (08:45) to Shirakawago (白川鄉) (10:00) (¥1,800). Check in at the gassho house and walk around town.
Day 5 - Take bus from Shirakawago (10:45) to Takayama (高山) (11:45) (¥2,400). Walk to hostel. Check out Old Town (古町) and Higashiyama Trails (東山步道). If time allows, check out Hida no Sato (飛驒之里) (¥700).
Day 6 - Buy Okuhida Value Ticket (奥飛騨まるごと・バリューきっぷ) (¥5,000) at any LAWSON convenient store. Take bus from Takayama (07:40) to Shinhotaka (新穗高) (09:13). Take ropeway to the top. Enjoy the scenery, soak in the onsen (¥480), walk the trail, etc. Take bus from Shinhotaka (13:55 / 14:55) Hirayu (平湯). Check out the Hirayu waterfalls (平湯大滝) (bus ¥100), try the onsen (¥400). Take last bus from Hirayu (17:30) back to Takayama (18:27).
Day 7 - Take bus from Takayama (08:00) to Nagoya (名古屋) (10:40) (¥2,900). Activate the Kintetsu Rail Pass (近畿鐵路五日周遊券) (¥3,700). Visit Atsuta Jinja (熱田神宮), Nagoya Castle (名古屋城) (¥500), and Yamazaki River (山崎川). Take train to Osaka. (Last train leaves at 21:30, travel time ~2 hours)
Day 8 - Take Kintetsu from Osaka to Nara (奈良), train leaves every 10 minutes, travel time ~40 minutes). Visit Kofukuji (興福寺) (¥800), Todaiji (東大寺) (¥500), and Katsuga Taisha (春日大社) (¥500) inside Nara Park (奈良公園). Leave Nara and head to Yoshinoyama (吉野山). Return to Osaka and check out the Floating Garden in Umeda Sky Building (空中庭園展望台) (¥700).
Day 9 - Take Kintetsu from Osaka to Akame (赤目). Visit Akame 48 Taki (赤目四十八淹) (¥300). If time allows, go to Iga (伊賀) and visit the Ninja Museum of Igaryu (伊賀忍術博物館) (¥700). Return to Osaka, do some last minute shopping and head to the airport (21:15).