What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?

Suica is one of major IC cards in Japan. (C) suica card
by bitmask

If you do not intend to purchase any rail passes, you may think about using IC card. This card makes your trip be much easier.

IC card is a rechargeable smart card which is issued by the railway companies. It is getting very common ways to ride a train in these days. Once you have this card, you do not have to buy a ticket one by one. As long as you have some fund in your card, you can tap it at the ticket gate and tap again when you exit the station. The fare is deducted automatically. It gives you convenience. But there are many types of card available. And it is so hard to find which train and bus are covered by these cards.

In this post, I will show you the list of major IC cards, the difference of these cards, and coverage area.

Continue reading What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO
Osaka castle, icon of Osaka (C) Osaka Government Tourism Bureau / JNTO

There are many deals for sightseeing in Osaka. I would like to show you the deals for the tourist who stays in Osaka and want to visit the places in Osaka.

By the way, if you intend to have a day trip to Osaka from other cities, such as day trip to Osaka from Kyoto, please see the link below:

Continue reading How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

Sample itinerary of Kyoto, Hakone, Fuji and Tokyo classic route

Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Ashi in Hakone ©JNTO
Mt. Fuji from the shore of Lake Ashi in Hakone ©JNTO

I have received many inquiries about Osaka-Tokyo one way trip plus Hakone and Fuji. In this case, Japan Rail Pass is too expensive for Osaka-Tokyo one way trip. So I would like to show you a classic itinerary for this trip. I want to share with you about how to combine several deals and single tickets. Continue reading Sample itinerary of Kyoto, Hakone, Fuji and Tokyo classic route

ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai One Pass and Haruka, and Haruka discount ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai.

Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station
The Limited Express Haruka at Kansai Airport station

You may travel in Kansai area only and not travel throughout Japan. You may have one way trip from Osaka to Tokyo. For these travelers, Kansai One Pass/ICOCA and Haruka gives you a good deal for the transfer from Kansai airport to Osaka or Kyoto, and the local sightseeing in Kansai region.

This deal gives you access to Osaka or Kyoto by the limited express Haruka and some preloaded e-money in ICOCA or Kansai One Pass.

I will tell you what this deal is and how to use it in this post.

Continue reading ICOCA and Haruka, Kansai One Pass and Haruka, and Haruka discount ticket. Very flexible and good deal for tourist who stay in Kansai.