i will be traveling for my first time to Japan from July 29 to Sept 15
total trip is 7 weeks, however I will also visit Korea (Pusan and Seoul) and China (Beijing, Shanghai, and perhaps some small town) for about a week and a half each so that leaves me with about 4 weeks in Japan.
I need some help in making a itinerary that is not completely touristy... I know its impossible to avoid crowds of tourists in Japan but I would like to at least see some small towns and go where other tourists are rare (unless its backpackers; they are ok
Here are my main priorities:
I would like to spend a few nights in one or two small towns so that i experience a little of country life in japan.
I would also like to spend a night or two in a traditional Ryokan house.
also an onsen
I also obviously want to see some ancient temples and castles and I know those will be very touristy but what can you do.
I bought a week long JR pass and will be using that to visit all the 'touristy' places.
should also add that im on a limited budget thats why i need to make the most out of the JR pass
after two weeks in Japan is when I will make my Korea and China detour (around the time of Obon) and after 3 weeks there I will take a ferry from Shanghai to Osaka which should be around early sept
I have a friend who lives in Osaka so from this point he will be my guide and we will visit Kyoto, Koyasan, Nara together, but it is the first two weeks of my trip that I need help with orientation and making the most out of my JR pass
the first 4 nights i will spend in tokyo (and do day trips to Kamakura and maybe Nikko from there)
but from there on im not sure how to go about it.
i was thinking maybe taking the JR train to some small town in Hokkaido (preferably not too far from JR station) and after spending some time there (2 days) i will then go to Takayama for couple nights, then hiroshima, then end in Kagoshima which hopefully will get me there on the last day of my JR pass.
from there i plan to take a ferry to Yakushima where id like to camp for a couple of days before heading back and taking a night bus to Hakata from where I can catch the 'beetle' ferry to Korea.
is the above idea possible?
is there a small town (perhaps near Hakodate) where I can stay at a Ryokan house (thats hopefully not too expensive) and maybe visit an onsen?