My advice is this:
A. Learn your hiragana and your katakana.
B. Get yourself a decent book on Japanese. I have a few here, so I'll just recommend my personal arsenal:
1) Japanese for College Students: Basic (three books in the series),
2) Genki. An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (two books in the series),
3) A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese (this is nothing more than a kanji book).
C. Find yourself a Japanese native speaker and arrange an intercambio with them.
On point A, I would say, the best way to learn hiragana and katakana is not with flashcards. There's a danger of becoming good at recognising
them, but not being able to produce
them off the top of your head. Simply try writing words you know are Japanese in Hiragana or Katakana, and keep checking them off a sheet. I have the kana in my bathroom, and in front of my desk, along with the first few hundred kanji.
On point B, the first series of books I mentioned is especially good for grammar I think, and also drills you regularly on the kanji. The second tests you on your vocabulary, and everyday speech patterns. It's pretty decent I think. Finally, the kanji book. I believe that you should start learning kanji early on, so the kanji book is very very useful. It shows you the stroke order, and gives different readings and combinations, and is generally an important kanji reference. Actually, now that I think of it, another small and relatively inexpensive book I got was: "Write Now! Kanji for Beginners". It's like a test book. It presents about a dozen kanji per chapter, in a very controlled way (i.e. the order was pretty well thought out) and then tests you on them in extremely creative ways. If you can't find the book there, I could send it on to you. I really can't recommend it enough.
As far as C goes, in my honest opinion, A and B are completely and utterly without value if you cannot find a native speaker. Everything you learn has no real meaning for you. you need to start talking to a native speaker asap. Seriously!
Best of luck with it Prof. If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask.