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Japan: 3 month countdown begins -- and many question ensue!

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Sorry to have been off the map for the greater part of 6 months--and I wish I could say it's because I've been traveling the world--but, alas, work has gotten the best of us for quite some time.

I've missed you guys!

So the trip countdown alarm has officially rung and the panic is starting to set in. Lots of work, unfortunately, hasn't translated well to trip planning. And, to those of you who know me well, you know my compulsive need to plan out every last detail well in advance is...well, compulsive. Well, that neuroses has just been shot to hell this year whether I like it or not.

We leave for our Japan/Thailand combo trip (or as I like to call it the 'Freezing Cold/Boiling Hot World Tour 2015') in just a 3 short months. So it's time to get down to brass tacks.

As you know, we've been to Japan once before...but, alas, on the main tourist circuit (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka). This time we get a bit off that circuit. I'm hoping to use this thread to enlist the help of you experts out there who have been so invaluable to us in getting this trip initially planned to help see us through some of the final, nitty gritty details.

So, first things first: our JR Pass. I've got to get that in order and I'm guessing a 7 day pass would make the most sense. To recap, here's the Japan portion of our itinerary:

DEC 16 Depart from LAX
DEC 17 Arrive Tokyo
DEC 18 Tokyo
DEC 19 Kanazawa (train from Tokyo)
DEC 20 Kanazawa
DEC 21 Kanazawa
DEC 22 Osaka (train from Kanazawa)
DEC 23 Naoshima (train/ferry from Osaka)
DEC 24 Naoshima
DEC 25 Kumamoto (ferry/train from Naoshima)
DEC 26 Kurokawa Onsen (bus and/or train from Kumamoto)
DEC 27 Kurokawa Onsen
DEC 28 Fukuoka (bus and/or train from Kurokawa)
DEC 29 Fly to Bangkok

I'm guessing--but really need validation here--that getting the 7 day pass makes most sense. I'm thinking, for the most value, maybe it makes sense to buy our tickets outright from Tokyo to Kanazawa, then activate on 12/22 on the way to Osaka? That should, theoretically, carry us all the way through to Fukuoka and the end of our Japan portion of the trip. Or am I thinking of this wrong?

Anyway, look forward to your input...and so happy to back in the land of the living! ;)

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