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Help! Suica vs Pasmo, Wifi vs phone rental, Kanazawa hotel?

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I am trying to nail down some details for my upcoming trip and hope you can help me answer some questions.

I've read older threads about Suica vs Pasmo. I am not buying a JR Pass, so will be using one of these cards to buy JR train tickets (Nara-Kyoto-Kanazawa and Matsumoto-Tokyo) [we'll be taking the bus between Kanazawa to Takayama and Matsumoto]. My question: I think the passes are about the same, but people recommend getting the Suica pass. Is there anything I should be aware of before I commit? Or should I just get one of each?

Secondly, I keep wavering back and forth between renting a pocket wifi vs renting a smart phone. The costs are about the same, and I really don't want to do both as I could use my own U.S. smart phone (although there's a cost associated with that too). My concern is having access, particularly in the mountains. Does anyone have any recommendations on what makes the most sense? I would primarily want access for Google Maps, or looking up information. I doubt we'd be making too many phone calls. I have a iPhone 5 tentatively reserved with Global Advanced, but could switch it to pocket wifi.

Lastly, I have three hotels in Kanazawa booked (Crowne Plaza, Hotel Nikko, Hotel Trusty). Has anyone stayed at any of these places that could offer comments? The Hotel Trusty seems to be in the best location, so I'm leaning in that direction.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

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