I'm nowhere near your guys level, but I'm givinbg it a crack!
I've been slowly starting to learn Japanese for the past few months now. And when I say slowly, I mean SLOWLLLLLYYY!!! Basically I don't know any words yet, but I can read, write and pronounce Hiragana and Katakana, I just need to learn what the words mean now haha! I wasn't sure whether or not this would be the best way to learn at first, I know generally that a language is learned first using phrases and stuff, but I just couldn't remember any of it. Then I tried an App on my Xperia Play called Human Japanese which starts by teaching the vowels and stuff, and surprisingly it started clicking into place so I stuck with it. I practise for around half an hour every night just doing the tests on the phone and stuff and practising writing the characters, once I'm 100% confident with all that I'll move on to learning what the words mean and a bit of kenji :).