While at Kyoto we did a day trip to Arashiyama, that was worth it.
Beware of the bloody 105 bus, it is not logical, it has more than one start & end point & it doesn’t always travel to the same place even though it is pointed that way. (Bit like the bloody 400 bus at the airport in Sydney)
Don’t miss Nara for sure, it is closer to Osaka that Kyoto.
Osaka wasn’t worth 3 days unless you are into shopping & you can do that in Tokyo.
Osaka was good for the first point of call while we worked out stuff.
Here is a tip, (we have found that this works world wide,) find where the locals eat.
You we get a decent feed for less than what you will pay in the tourist traps.
In Japan in the cities, look underground in the big shopping centres & some of the big transit hubs.
There is usually a string of little restaraunts wedged away in some claustrophobic catacomb of tunnels & corridors. Pick the ones that the locals line up at.
If you are stuck & shit out of time, the prepackaged food in Lawson Station, 7-11, etc won’t kill you. It is also THE best & cheapest place to buy booze. If you drink red wine be prepared to be surprised at how cheap you can get stuff from all over the world.
We also use Trip Advisor to do our homework before we pick places.
This 3 day suggestion is a metric shitload to see in 3 days.
I’d try to work out which was the best Castle, Temple, Garden, historic building & point of interest in the city & just do them otherwise you get to spend a lot of time finding your way to more of the same.
We really enjoyed self guided walks, particularly the one in Nara.
You’ll also be amazed at how helpful & polite most people are, if you stand on a corner with a map in your hand, somebody will come & help & they will go out of their way to point you in the right direction or find somebody who can.
Most of the young ones can manage English & there are a lot of older ones who are learning English & talk to you just to practice, be prepared for some weird questions, they don’t really want to know the answer, they just asked weird questions to get you to talk to them. I had to get my iPad out & get onto bloody Google to answer some of the questions.
Have a basic map of Australia so you can point to where you are from, they will want to know.