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Rail Pass noob Questions

I'll be arriving to Japan on the 19th of August and I'll be staying for 2 weeks. During those two weeks, I plan to spend a few days from the 23th to the 27th to visit the mainland beyond Tokyo, thus I want to buy a week of rail pass. I have a few of questions about the purchase purchasing and the procedure.
1. While I attempt to buy it, I'm prompted to insert my arrival date. What should I fill there? I don't plan to use it from day one, as I won't begin my in-land traveling until a later day.
2. Once complete the purchase, how do I activate it? As said, I don't plan on using it until much later on my visit.
3. I plan on using the bullet train where I have to book a ticket before hand. How do I make use of the Rail Pass? Should I book my seat before even getting it on my hands?

Thanks in Advance!


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