Cool, pleasant Kurashiki
I only had the pleasure of spending a few days in Kurashiki, but I was charmed. Kurashiki isn't quite the standard stop for people touring Japan, but this city has a lot of unique character. Only the center area, the old streets along the canal, are very touristy. And they are breathtakingly beautiful and deserve all the tourists they get. Outside of that, you get a very modern and friendly city packed with unusual shops and restaurants, as well as a recreation of Copenhagen!
Here's my sister in one of the fairy-tale streets in Kurashiki's old town. They really are so charming, it's unreal. Take the time to feed the ducks, have a cold drink, and do some browsing in the many souvenier shops in the area.