Semi-final itinerary set, as long as weather is ok for our Okuhida leg on Sep 12-13.
Fri Sep 2, leave on ANA to HKG, with a stopover at NRT for about 3.25 hours. Will likely not even leave security, since it isn't too long of a time.
Sat Sep 3, arrive in HKG late evening. Barely enough time to go to our hotel in Kowloon, the Panorama. Decent area, decent hotel. Not having been there for 25 years, I have no clue what it is like. Will do some currency exchange, purchase Octopi cards, and mainly concentrate on eating.
Sun Sep 4, full day in HKG
Mon Sep 5, Labor Day in USA, half day free, flight leaves mid afternoon to HND. Will likely EAT! Arrive early night (8PM) in HND. Take public transport to Four Seasons in Tokyo.
Tue Sep 6 to Thu Sep 8, three full days (4 nights) in Tokyo. Our group has enough experience to know what their priorities are. Mine are nice sushi and maybe Jimbocho Den, and Satou!
Fri Sep 9, take trains to Koyasan in Kansai. Buddhist community. Staying at an austere temple. Eat monk food. Chant and gassho at 6AM. Eat monk breakfast. See awesome surroundings there.
Sat Sep 10, take short trip to Kyoto. Actually 3 hours. Drop luggage off at Granvia at Kyoto Station and go to Nishiki Market, and also possibly to Arashiyama for Vegan Kaiseki Ryori. Rest of evening in Kyoto Station.
Sun Sep 11, full day in Kyoto (possible Nara, Fushimi Inari, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizu). Take advantage of Kyoto vegan ryori
Mon Sep 12, leave early to Shinhotaka, Suimeikan Karukaya. (Okuhida region). Via Nagoya, Takayama (unfortunately, after the morning market is closed), Shinhotaka ropeway (probably not since short on time), then to Ryokan. Really nice open air, riverside onsen. You'll note that our last 2014 intinerary had the Kiso valley (similar Japan Alps region) included, before torrential rains washed out the railway service in the area.
Tue Sep 13, leave after breakfast to Tokyo. Via Kamikochi, "Yosemite" of Japan, and Matsumoto, Nagano. Check in at Four Seasons.
Wed Sep 14, full day at leisure in Tokyo
Thu Sep 15, half day at leisure in Tokyo, check out is at noon, flight is at 5 PM from NRT to SFO