EDIT : Oops, apparently this is not your
guide. Was writting this before your post.
I would consider myself a fairly good player, and although most of your guide is good, I disagree with several points you make.
Please note that I almost never play 2-player, and prefer 3, 4, and 5-player games.1) Do not underestimate Gastronomy bonus and high-cost meals. Even more so in 3-player games.
There are 3 cards for each 1-cost meal, 2 cards for each 2-cost meal, and 1 card for each 3-cost meal.
Buying an early 3-coin meal means that you will always have the possibility to buy another meal next inn (no redundancy), while you might end up being unable to eat next inn if you take a 1-cost meal (if your opponents are smart enough and you enter last).
This is also reinforced by the fact that entering last at the inn will often be an advantage as you leave first.
This is especially true with Kinko (the best character, obviously).
Finally, if you bought higher-cost meals, you can most of the time afford to have less coins at the last meal (pay attention to which meals are remaining by looking at your opponents board !), since you are unlikely to encouter meals you already have.
TL;DR : early higher-cost meal = less risk of not-eating (+ gourmet)2) Avoid villages unless you have a souvenir-related character or are rich
You did not mention anything about this in your guide (or I missed it maybe), but villages are a noob-trap (beginners tend to go there far too often).
If you manage to get a complete set, you get 16 points, and spent (without power) 6 to 8 coins, stopping at least two times.
Assuming the average stop is 2.5 (typical bath or average panorama if you finish it second. The average is actually better than that), you "spent" 5 points and 7 coins (average) to gain 16 points, thus a 7coins-11points ratio, which is as great as people think.
Of course, if you have money to spare because your opponents are dumb enough to let you spam farms, villages are a good way to spend your extra coins.
Which leads me to :3) In Crossroads, think a lot before buying souvenirs or legendary items
- The 3-coins 8-points items are GREAT if you never go to villages except once, ESPECIALLY with the devotion amulet. 3 coins for 8 points in 1 stop is better than a "regular" set of 4 different items (which are 16 points for ~7 coins in 2 stops) except for the Collector bonus. Definitely go for it if you have some money to spare and no souvenir near end-game. THIS IS EVEN BETTER THAN LAST MEAL, if you have 3 coins, and not much points possible in last panoramas, and even more if an opponent has lots of coins and want souvenirs, jumping to the last village might be a really good idea.
- The 1-coin item is often not that good. Ok, coin-to-points ratio is awesome, but it also costs you 1 stop, and the 2-coin item giving you 9 points in 1 stop is better than 2 1-cost item giving you 10 points in 2 stops (IF you can have both). Also note that those count OTHER items, and are worth 0 alone.
TL;DR : many options that can all be really viable means you should not go straight for what you gut says, as this stop is probably the most balanced one.4) About amulets in Crossroads
IMO, Tier1 friendship and devotion, Tier 2 hospitality, health, Tier 3, fortune, Tier 4 vitality.
Fortune gives you an average of 2.2 coins, minus the 1 you paid, thus it's a 1.2 coin stop. But, depending on the state of the game, it might be worth it if you are really short of cash, AND better amulets are not available.
Keep in mind that you do not know which amulets are available before you choose to pick one ! So fortune is often a backup plan if the ones you wanted are gone.
Hospitality is a 2-coin stop if you can buy a 3-coin meal, and should also be a backup plan rather than a go-to amulet, unless you are REALLY short on cash just before an inn.5) About calligraphies in Crossroads
I kinda disagree with you on Foresight and Perfection.
Foresight is good, but not necessarily that great. Opponents may understand that you have it, and block farms even MORE than before. And since you don't want to spend gold, they might leave village spots that would be useless to you.
Perfection, on the other end, is my favorite calligraphy. You should always get at least 2 achievements (if you plan to win), more in 3-player games, thus it is a garanteed 5 points + 1 for each other calligraphy if you buy any. Unless you have a character heavily focused on ONE aspect (souvenirs or panorama), perfection is often the best to get early.6) About characters in vanilla
IMO, you overrate zen-emon a bit, and maybe underrate hirotada.
Hirotada's power gives you 1 or 2 coins in most games, but also often garantees you temple 1st place, because players are afraid to try to compete. And if a player spend lots of coins to get above your head, well you don't care, he wasted tons of coins to lose you 3 points, which means he is probably gonna be behind on the rest.
Zen-emon is better that Sasayako, but not by that much IMO. And the risk that both are taken means that you are gonna have a bad time competing for cash and villages.
Mitsukuni is less good in 5-player games. In 3 player-games you get more achievements, and in 4 you get more baths. But overall a pretty good character.
Chuubei has a higher floor that Umegae (garanteed bonus), but Umegae probably has the highest ceiling (above Kinko's floor, on par with its ceiling). But I would generally not recommend Umagea unless you play against beginners, because you are often gonna get hard countered, and then it sucks (floor on par with Satsuki). Umegae with 4 stops at encounters is 9 gold + 4 points, which is on Kinko's 11 coins level, and you could
get even more, but 0 encounter stop means 5 coins and no power... Ugh.