I just finished selecting hotels for my first three weeks. I arrive in Tokyo on March 15 and stay for five nights, visiting several gardens in Tokyo and one of the “top three” in Mito, a day trip north and east of Tokyo. March 20, two nights in Atami, then one night in Okayama and on to Fukuoka in Kyushu, for two nights. My next stop is Kumamoto, also in Kyushu, for three nights, which will include a day trip to Kagoshima. My original intention to get to Nagasaki has been scrubbed because the time doesn’t work out and I’m not sure there is a garden I want to see.
From Kumamoto I return to Honshu and stop overnight in Hiroshima to see another garden. Then I will take a ferry across to Shikoku and stay overnight in Matsuyama to see another garden then across Shikoku to Takamatsu for another garden. That will be April 3, my 21-day railpass will be almost finished and my stay in Kyoto will begin.