With the AA/JAL 50% off awards deal, we pulled the trigger on a SFO-HND flight that gets in late on December 28th, and we leave late on Jan 4th. We'll have Dec 29-Jan 4 to explore Japan. We understand that this is new year, and that many typical tourist attractions are closed from Dec 27 - Jan 3, give or take a day, and can work around that. I have several friends who have lived in Japan, mostly in Tokyo, and are offering advice on where to go and what to see, so I'm not too upset about missing some of the packaged experiences in lieu of actual Japanese culture and beauty. That said, one option I'd like to consider is three mini-vacations using a JR pass. Perhaps a few days around Hiroshima, a few in/around Tokyo, and a few elsewhere? Looking at that, I think I'd rather spend the money on a good rail pass vs. worrying about luxury hotels. I could be swayed either way, though, as we're definitely going to want to relax. Since we get into Tokyo so late, we'd probably consider spending time there FIRST, but again, I can be flexible in that thought. Leaving when we do, we can simply plan in train time from anywhere and ensure we end up at the airport. Thoughts? Ideas? Advice?