We just returned from Tokyo. We also visited Narai, Takayama, and Kanazawa. We stayed at a minshuku (民宿) at Narai and we felt like we were back in Edo period. Kanazawa is absolutely gorgeous: it has well preserved historical areas Kyoto, but with few tourists because there is no English or Chinese guidebooks. We saw lovers wearing kimono while enjoying the cherry blossom, and it was very romantic. The seafood market (Omicho Market (近江町市場)) has very fresh sashimi with better quality than Tokyo Tsukiji Market (築地市場): one extremely fresh bowl of seafood don was only 1200 Yen. A new bullet train from Tokyo began running last month, making travel extremely easy.
In both Narai and Kanazawa, survival phrases lessons were extremely helpful. Because few tourists outside of Japan visited these places, their English is much more limited compared to the people in Tokyo.
I thank JapanesePod101.com and Peter for providing me excellent preparation for my first trip to Japan. Survival Phrases Season 1 allowed me to conduct usual tourist activities in Japanese. Being able to speak some Japanese made the trip to Kanazawa and Narai much more enjoyable.
(One minor issue: Peter was wrong about the Bento box on the bullet train: they were horrible!)
I also thank Naomi Sensei for her well prepared materials in Newbie Season 4. Her material gave me a strong foundation for further language study.