As I mentioned yesterday, trying to work Kyoto into the 9 day trip could be a little difficult. I want to make sure there is plenty of time to do all the things we want to while in Tokyo. It could be possible that if my sister decides to head home after the Tokyo part of the trip, I may take a few days by myself to visit Kyoto, but it could be a little pricey to do so.
To travel to Kyoto solo, here are some estimates on prices.
Hotel (3 nights) x $100 = $300
Bullet train to Kyoto = $300 (rough estimate)
Tourist = $45 (15 x 3)
Food = $225 (25 per meal, 3 meals a day, 3 days)
The hotel can differ, depending on where I stay (not looking for the 5-star, just a bed to sleep on) and the bullet train could be a little cheaper. Overall, it would cost nearly an extra $1000 to make the side trip to Kyoto, pushing my budget that is already at $3000 to 4K. The price tag is getting a little high.
However, they may be another option. There is a travel website, Japanican.com that has package deals that include 4 nights in a hotel (multiple to pick from) and round trip or one way train fare for around $500 (usually closer to $600). This seems like the better option for price overall and just for the simplicity of having something booked all together and not have multiple moving parts. I would still have to figure out if I wanted to return home via Osaka or travel back to Tokyo (figuring out the times for trains, etc.) and leave via Narita. I will have to dig more into Japanican and see how good or bad they really are.