And so the real planning begins.
It's hard, REALLY hard to come up with actual plans, and I'm quite afraid that I'll get it all wrong. The biggest issue for us is being able to accurately know when we'll be staying in each hostel.
Mike and I met up last night and spent a few hours discussing our itinerary. Mike has been to Japan before, and was against staying in Kyoto, but wanted to stay in Osaka instead. My reasoning for staying in Kyoto was having the feel of a calmer Japan as opposed to the city, but when I thought twice about it, I realized that we'd be going to Osaka every night to do stuff anyway (everything in Kyoto closes early), so it would be less of a pain to get back to the hostel in Osaka than to trek it all the way back to Kyoto after we're nice and sloshed. :)
So first we had to decide on hostels. I had found J-Hoppers hostel in Kyoto, nice and cheap with good reviews, but when I went to their site for Osaka, I realized that there might be better hostels to check out. Mike and I found this GREAT hostel in Osaka, located in Korean Town of all places. :D It's called Hiro's Guest House , and it had wonderful ratings and reviews on Tripadvisor.com . Although it's not set that we'll be staying there quite yet, it's one of our top choices.
The second thing we had to do was figure out how many days we would spend down in the Osaka area (including Kyoto and Hiroshima), and how many days we would spend in Tokyo and the surrounding area. We ran into a big problem with this. A JR Pass to freely ride at anytime on the trains in Japan is expensive. $337 for one week and $538 for two weeks. Trying to be as cheap as possibly we had first opted for one week, but now that the planning has really begun, a two week pass is probably our best bet. In order to see everything near Osaka we would need at least six days, and that's not including the things we wanted to see near Tokyo (like Mt. Fuji for example).
I'm not really too happy about the extra cash I'll have to spend on the trains (and because we're there 16 days, we'll still have to shell out money for a train ride to Narita airport), but it's probably our best (and cheapest) option after all.