Question for the floor: It has been pointed out that plane tickets are cheaper leaving on a Friday versus a Saturday. (There is a $50 surcharge for travelling on on weekends.) How would folks feel about leaving on Friday instead of Saturday?
Anyway, proposed schedule changes. This is still assuming that we take off on Saturday, land on Sunday. All changes are on the Kyoto loop of the trip. Jan and I are still planning on ditching folks in Tokyo for several days to go off in the middle of nowhere land and hunt for rocks of historical significance. So there will be several days when folks are on their own in Tokyo.
Saturday, March 30: Take off. No changes.
Sunday, April 1: Land. No changes.
Monday, April 2: Relocate to Kyoto. This is the first change. Jan and I are talking about leaving Tokyo with everyone, but hopping off the train in Nagoya. Everyone else will proceed with seshat to Kyoto where luggage will be dropped off. From there, everyone heads down to Himeji Castle for the rest of the day.
(seshat, I know that you said you were willing to lead the horde to Himeji on your own. I'm hoping that you won't mind leading the horde to Himeji on your own on the first day...? If so, we can talk. I just thought it made sense to slide it in here.)
Tuesday, April 3: Miyajima/Hiroshima. Miyajima is one of the "three scenic places" in Japan, and is one of my favorite places in Japan. It's an island just outside of Hiroshima, and features the famous "floating shrine", complete with the bright orange gate out in the water. Folks wanting to see the Peace Park will have enough time to catch both that and Miyajima provided that they just catch the main shrines on the island and don't linger overly much. It's easy to get to the Peace Park from the train station.
Wednesday, April 4: Kyoto. No change. We're still looking at doing Myoushin-ji, then, depending on time, doing Ryouan-ji and Kinkaku-ji. Folks who want to go adventuring on their own are welcome to do so.
Thursday, April 5: Osaka day. Jan and I are looking at going to Shitennou-ji, then leaving everyone to their own devices in Osaka while we go exploring. (We're talking about declaring it the day of Bishamon-ten and heading to Shigi-san, which was the first center of worship in Japan for Bishamon-ten.
Friday, April 6: More flailing around Kyoto. Since we really haven't spent a lot of time in Kyoto proper. Jan and I are looking at going to Seimei Jinja, dedicated to Abe no Seimei. We have to leave Kyoto by around 5 PM (or earlier) in order to transit to Tokyo.
So, that's all the changes for the moment. Yes, I know the trip isn't for another seven months. But for me part of the fun is the thinking and planning well in advance.