My 30 second brief for Japan is: Get a JR (bullet train) Pass, and buy it couple weeks before you go. 10 days is enough time to see the major sights, but leaves you planning your 2nd trip on the flight home. English isn't everywhere, but it's still easy navigate solo without any Japanese. IDK about cherry blossoms but fall foliage is a pretty sweet backdrop! More knowledge of Buddhism would have made visits to the many temples even more meaningful. I liked Kyoto better than Tokyo - similar to how I like SF better than NYC. 7/11 in Japan has pretty damn good food - way more than your average snacks. Finally, staying in hostels and drinking sake are great ways to make friends (duh), and GO SEE THE SNOW MONKEYS!
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