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Japanese Alps, JR option, Kamakura - more advice gratefully accepted!

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Hello again,
Having completed most of our accommodation bookings in Japan, I have been neglecting my plans for there - but my thoughts are now returning to planning our 3 week trip in Japan October/ November:-
1) From Tokyo we are catching a bus to Matsumoto where we shall spend a night - with the bus being cheaper and taking about the same amount of time as the train. Any thoughts on that decision re the bus? We shall spend the rest of the day at the wooden castle and the 2 art galleries.
2)With having booked 2 nights in Takayama at a ryokan, the next day we want to stop over in Kamikochi spending time there going for a walk, taking in the sights. Later we shall catch a bus on to Takayama where we shall arrive in the evening - my question is - is it easy enough, without taking a tour, to get a bus to Kamikochi and then catch a bus onward later in the afternoon to Takayama? Where do I look for this? Also where is a good place to eat this Takayama beef?
3)We are spending about 6 - 7 nights in Kyoto: we shall take in Nara from there and maybe some villages to the east of the lake to the south of Kyoto. Then we travel to Hiroshima and Miyajima for 2 nights (stopping over at the Himeji Castle on the way) - this is when we are considering getting a 7-day JR pass using it for a day in travelling to Nara from Kyoto (so we shall visit Nara at the end of our stay in Kyoto before setting off on our trip to Hiroshima etc), also using it to get to Hiroshima, then after 2 nights in Hiroshima using it to travel from Hiroshima to Tokyo - would this be a good idea?
4) We have one spare night that we haven't yet booked accommodation - our last 2 nights we are staying in an hotel near Shinjuku, Tokyo - my next question is for the day after our night in Hiroshima and the 2 nights before we fly out of Tokyo, what about a night in Kamakura: I realise it will be a long train trip (4 hours?) from Hiroshima to Tokyo and then I believe Kamakura is an hour south of Tokyo - if so, any recommendations for accommodation there?
Thanks for all advice.

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