Planning a trip for next summer (a bit early, I know) 2022 for three 18 year-olds and a 17 year-old. Planning on a fairly ambitious itinerary- 4 nights in Tokyo, 1 night in Takayama, 4 nights in Kyoto (with a day trip to Nara), 2 nights in Osaka and cycling the Shimanami Kaido over two days. Should we get JR passes and IC cards? If not, what's the best way to go about ordering train tickets etc.? Is this plan too ambitious? Any and as much detail on the best way to travel this route would be great, thanks.
None of us speak Japanese, but some of us know a fair amount of Chinese (so can read some kanji), if that's useful information.