There are so many kinds of IC Card in Japan, like Suica (JR East), ICOCA (JR West), Pasmo (major private lines in Kanto). (C) Karl Baron

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

IC card is a rechargeable smart card which is issued by railway companies. It is getting very common ways to travel in these days. Once you have this card, ticket purchasing is not required. 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.

The list of major IC cards

There are many kinds of IC card in Japan. Please see the image below.

Major IC cards interoperation map (C) ButuCC [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons (Click to view large)

The major cards are 10 of those in the image above. If you have of these 10 cards, you can use it to take a train, bus, subway, using coin lockers and shop at a convenience store in major cities throughout Japan. Please see the list below to find 10 major IC cards.

Card name
(Issuer)
Major dealer
Suica
(JR East)
JR East
Tokyo Monorail
Tokyo Rinkai Line
Izukyu Railway
Fujikyu Railway
ICOCA
(JR West)
JR West
JR Shikoku
Osaka Metro
Nankai Railway
Kintetsu Railway
Keihan Railway
Osaka Monorail
Sanyo Railway
Kyoto city subway/bus
Kobe city subway/bus
Kobe Portliner
Ainokaze Toyama Railway
IR Ishikawa Railway
PASMO
(Greater
Tokyo
Private
Railways)
Odakyu Railway
Keio Railway
Keisei Railway
Keikyu Railway
Tokyu Railway
Tobu Railway
Seibu Railway
Hakone Tozan Railway
Tokyo Metro
Tokyo Toei subway/bus
Yokohama city subway
Yurikamome
Tokyo Disney Resort Line
Yokohama Minatomirai line
Enoshima Railway
Kitaca
(JR Hokkaido)
JR Hokkaido
TOICA
JR Central
JR Cetral
manaca
(Greater
Nagoya
Private
Railways)
Meitetsu Railways
Nagoya city subway/bus
Toyohashi Railway
Aonami line
SUGOCA
(JR Kyushu)
JR Kyushu
nimoca
(Nishitetsu Railways)
Nishitetsu Railway
Kumamoto City Tram
Hakodate City Tram
Miyazaki Kotsu Bus
Hayakaken
(Fukuoka
City
Subway)
Fukuoka city subway
PiTaPa
(Kansai
Regional
Private
Railways)
Not available for overseas tourist

In these 10 cards, PiTaPa is not available for the tourist. Because you have to apply this card online and the card must be connected with the bank account in Japan. Other 9 cards are prepaid IC cards but PiTaPa is postpaid IC card. It is like a credit card. Basically other 9 cards are available for the tourist.

Kansai One Pass

This is basically same as ICOCA. The difference are the following:

  • It is available for the short term visitor only.
  • 3,000 yen (2,500 yen fund + 500 yen deposit) is preloaded. 2,000 yen (1,500 yen fund + 500 yen deposit) is in ICOCA)
  • Discount offer available at many facilities. Please see the official site to get the details.

It is exactly same way to use as ICOCA. If you intend to use ICOCA, you may go for Kansai One Pass because of discount offer.

Interoperation coverage

Each cards have the coverage area. But these 9 cards are interchangeable. You can use Suica in ICOCA area, such as Osaka, Kyoto. You can use Kitaca in Kyushu, such as Hakata. I excluded PiTaPa. But you can use other IC cards in PiTaPa area too. I will tell you the coverage area later in this post. Anyway it does not matter which card in these 9 cards you use.

How to purchase and use IC card

Please watch the movie below by JR West. It shows you how to use and purchase ICOCA card. But it is same way to use other card too.

You can purchase a card at the vending machine in the stations. The vending machine is available at most of stations in the cities, such as Greater Tokyo area, Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe). You also can purchase a card the ticket window. When you get new card, 2,000 yen is charged in the card. But 500 yen of 2,000 yen is a deposit. You can use only 1,500 yen in the card. You can charge more fund into the card in units of 1,000 yen. Maximum amount in the card is 20,000 yen.

You can use IC card to take a train and a bus. When you take a train, you can tap your card at the automated machine gate. You can tap your card when you exit and the fare is deducted from your card automatically.

When you take a train in the country side, there is no ticket gate and no station staffs. But as long as you travel in the coverage area, you can use IC card. There is a machine which you can tap your card in the train. It is same procedure. You can tap your card to enter the train and tap when you get off.

You also can use IC card to shop. Many stores in the station, such as a convenience store and Bento (box meal) store take IC card. You can buy something to eat and drink by IC card. In the major stations, you can use IC card for coin locker.

IC cards can be used for a coin locker. (C) Tennen-Gas / Creative Commons

Child IC card

Children fare is 50% of adult fare. It is applied to child who is 6 years old to 11 years old. Child IC card is available for these ages. If child use adult IC card, adult fare is automatically deducted. Do no use regular IC card for children. Child IC card is available at the ticket window only. In most of the vending machines, child IC card is not available and you cannot buy it at the vending machine.

Adult fare is applied to 12 years old or older. There is no youth or student discount.

You cannot use the card with other passengers.

As you watched the movie, you have to touch your card at the automated ticket gate. You cannot share your card with other passengers. One card is valid for one passengers only. However if you travel with child who is 5 years old or younger, you can travel with a child by one card because it is free of charge for small child. One adult passenger can take maximum two children without any extra charge. And also one child fare (6 to 11 years old) passenger can take maximum two children.

Shinkansen and limited express train ride

Basically you cannot use IC card to take Shinkansen. When you take Shinkansen, you may see some local travelers to use IC card at Shinkansen ticket gate. Technically IC card can be used to take Shinkansen ride. But the online registration is required and also these IC card is combined with commuter’s pass. This is not designed for overseaso tourist.

You can use IC card to take a limited express trains. But IC card covers only base fare. You must have limited express seat ticket beside IC card. IC card does not cover express train fee and seat fee.

e.g.
If you take Narita Express from Tokyo to Narita Airport Terminal 1, a base fare is 1,320 yen and a reserved seat fee is 1,700 yen. You can use IC card for a base fare 1,320 yen portion. You can tap your card to enter Tokyo station and tap to exit at Narita Airport Terminal 1 station. But you must purchase a reserved seat fee ticket before you enter Tokyo station. You cannot use IC card for this portion.

Validity period

It is valid for 10 years from the last usage. If you plan to go back to Japan after your trip, you can keep it. It is valid for next 10 years from your trip.

If you want to return your card, the issuer company refund a deposit in your card to you.

Lost, stolen and reissue

You cannot get new card if you lost. But if you register your personal information when you purchase a IC card, you can receive new card. If you want to register, you have to purchase a card at the ticket window. You cannot get a register IC card at the vending machine.

If your card cannot be read at the ticket gate or the store, you can ask to change a card.

How to choose IC card

As I mentioned, it does not matter which card you use. You can use whichever you like. But most of you will arrive at the airport. When you arrive there, your selection is very limited. Because IC card is sold in each regions.

e.g.
Suica is sold in Greater Tokyo area, Sendai area and Niigata area
ICOCA is sold in Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara), Hokuriku region (Kanazawa and Toyama), Chugoku area (Hiroshima and Okayama) and Kagawa in Shikoku.

Please see the table below to find which IC card is available in the major airports.

Airport Available IC card
Narita (Tokyo) Suica (JR East)
Pasmo (Keisei Railway)
Haneda (Tokyo) Suica (Tokyo Monorail)
Pasmo (Keikyu Railway)
Kansai (Osaka) ICOCA or Kansai One Pass
(JR or Nankai Railway)
Chubu (Nagoya) manaca (Meitetsu Railway)
New Chitose (Sapporo) Kitaca (JR Hokkaido)
Fukuoka Hayakaken (Fukuoka City Subway)

If you arrive in Chubu airport, you can purchase TOICA at Nagoya station if you do not buy it at the airport. But you cannot purchase TOICA at the airport.

In Fukuoka, you can purchase SUGOCA at Hakata station and nimoca at Tenjin station.

But as I mentioned a few times, it does not matter which card you use in these nine IC cards. If you need IC card, you can purchase the available IC card in the airport.

Major coverage area

I would like to show you the area where you can use IC card. But in Kanto and Kansai regions, many train and bus companies are covered. I show you major companies only.

Hokkaido

Sapporo (Kitaca area)

  • JR Hokkaido conventional lines (Sapporo – Otaru, Sapporo – Iwamizawa, Sapporo – New Chitose Airport, Sapporo – Tomakomai)

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “SAPICA”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But SAPICA cannot be used in other areas.

  • Sapporo City Subway (all lines)
  • Sapporo Streetcar (all lines)
  • Sapporo City Bus
  • JR Hokkaido Bus (Local bus in Sapporo and Sapporo to/from Otaru)
  • Joutesu Bus (Local bus in Sapporo and surrounding area)
  • Hokkaido Chuo Bus (Local bus in Sapporo, Otaru, Yoichi, Niseko, Furano and some more places)

Hakodate (nimoca area)

  • Hakodate Streetcar (all lines)
  • Hakodate City Bus (all lines)

Any JR lines are not covered in Hakodate area.

Tohoku region

Sendai (Suica area)

  • JR lines (Sendai city and surrounding area)

This area includes Sendai, Sendai airport, Ishinomaki, Fukushima, Koriyama. And also, Yamagata, Yamadera, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Naruko-Onsen, Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki are outside coverage area but you can use IC card to enter and exit at the station. Please see the link below to find the coverage map of Suica/Pasmo.

Pasmo official site, Suica/Pasmo coverage map (PDF)

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “icsca”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But icsca is designed to use in icsca area only. It cannot be used in other areas.

  • Sendai City Subway (all lines)
  • Sendai City Bus(all lines)
  • Miyagi Kotsu (local bus lines and express bus to Yamagata and Kamiyama)
  • Miyako Bus (local bus lines and some express bus lines)

BRT (Bus Rapid Transit system) are covered by local IC card, “odeca”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But odeca cannot be used in other areas.

  • Kesenuma BRT (Maeyachi – Kesennuma)
  • Ofunato BRT (Kesennuma – Sakari)

Niigata (Suica area)

  • JR lines (Niigata city and surrounding area)

This area includes Niigata, Nagaoka, Niitsu and Shibata. And also, Murakami, Sakamachi, Kashiwazaki and Naoetsu are outside coverage area but you can use IC card to enter and exit at the station. Please see the link below to find the coverage map of Suica/Pasmo.

Pasmo official site, Suica/Pasmo coverage map (PDF)

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “RYUTO”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But RYUTO is designed to use in RYUTO area only. It cannot be used in other areas.

  • Niigata Kotsu (most of local bus lines)

Kanto region

Tokyo and surrounding area (Suica area)

These following railways are Suica area. Of course you can take these line by other IC cards, such as ICOCA, Kitaca.

  • JR lines (Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and surrounding area)
  • Tokyo Monorail (Hamamatsucho – Haneda airport)
  • Tokyo Rinkai Line (Osaki – Shinkiba
  • Saitama New Urban Transit (Omiya – Uchijuku)
  • Izukyu Railway (Ito – Izukyu Shimoda)
  • Fujikyu Railway (Otsuki – Kawaguchiko)

JR lines area includes all JR lines in Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa. It also covers most lines in Chiba, Ibaraki, Gumma and Tochigi. These areas include Nikko, Nasu-Shobara, Ashikaga Flower Park, Katsuta (nearest JR station to Hitachi Seaside Park), Minakami, Yokokawa. Atami and Ito are in Shizuoka prefecture but these areas are covered. Chuo line between Tokyo and Matsumoto is also covered. Please see the link below to find the coverage map of Suica/Pasmo.

Pasmo official site, Suica/Pasmo coverage map (PDF)

Tokyo and surrounding area (PASMO area)

PASMO covers many train and bus. I show you the list of major train companies. Of course you can take these line by other IC cards, such as ICOCA, Kitaca.

  • Odakyu Railway (to Hakone, Enoshima)
  • Keio Railway (to Takao)
  • Keisei Railway (to Chiba, Narita Airport)
  • Keikyu Railway (to Haneda Airport, Yokohama and Uraga)
  • Tokyu Railway – Yokohama Minatomirai Line (to Yokohama, Yokohama Bay area)
  • Tobu Railway (to Tokyo Skytree, Kawagoe, Nikko, Kinugawa Onsen)
  • Seibu Railway (to Kawagoe, Chichibu)
  • Hakone Tozan Railway (Hakone-Yumoto to Gora)
  • Tokyo Metro and Tokyo Toei Subway (all subway lines in Tokyo)
  • Yokohama City Subway
  • Yurikamome (to Odaiba)
  • Tokyo Disney Resort Line (Monorail around Tokyo Disney Resort)
  • Enoshima Railway (to Kamakura, Enoshima)

There are many other railways which are covered. Please see the link below to find the coverage map of Suica/Pasmo.

Pasmo official site, Suica/Pasmo coverage map (PDF)

Chubu region

Nagoya, Shizuoka and surrounding area (TOICA area)

These following railways are TOICA area. Of course you can take these line by other IC cards, such as Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, Kitaca, manaca.

  • JR Central (JR Tokai) conventional lines (Sekigahara-Gifu-Nagoya-Shizuoka-Kannami, Nagoya-Nakatsugawa, Nagoya-Yokkaichi, Numazu-Gotemba, Obu-Taketoyo, Toyohashi-Toyokawa, Mino Ota-Tajimi, Gifu-Mino Ota, Fuji-Nishifujinomiya)

Takayama, Ise, Toba, Shiojiri are in JR Central area but those places are not in TOICA area.

Nagoya (manaca area)

These following railways are manaca area. Of course you can take these line by other IC cards, such as Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, TOICA.

  • Meitetsu Railway (all lines)
  • Nagoya City Subway (all lines)
  • Aonami line (all lines)
  • Yutorito line (all lines)
  • Toyohashi Railroad (all lines)
  • Linimo line (all lines)
  • Meitetsu Bus (most of lines)

Kanazawa and Toyama (ICOCA area)

These following railways are covered by ICOCA. Of course you can take these line by other IC cards, such as Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, TOICA.

  • JR West conventional lines (Daishoji – Kanazawa, Takaoka – Johana)
  • IR Ishikawa Railway (Kanazawa – Kurikara)
  • Ainokaze Toyama Railway (Kurikara – Etchu Miyazaki)

Basically this area covers Kanazawa, Toyama and surrounding area. JR Himi line is not covered. Fukui is not in the coverage area either. However this area will be expanded in September and it will be combined ICOCA Kansai region area. Fukui, Tsuruga and other major stations between Kanazawa and Osaka/Kyoto will be covered.

Shizuoka)

  • Shizuoka Railway (all lines)
  • Shizutetsu Just Line Bus (local bus lines)

These above transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “LuLuCa”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But LuLuCa cannot be used in other areas.

Mie

  • Mie Kotsu Bus (local bus lines)

Mie Kotsu bus is covered by local IC card, “emica”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But emica cannot be used in other areas.

Kansai region

Osaka and surrounding area (ICOCA area)

  • JR West conventional lines (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Kobe, Himeji and surrounding area)
  • Keihan Railway (all lines)
  • Kintetsu Railway (all lines)
  • Nankai Railway (all lines)
  • Sanyo Railway (all lines)
  • Kobe Railway (all lines)
  • Kobe Portliner (all lines)
  • Nankai Railway (all lines)
  • Osaka City Subway and Bus (all lines)
  • Kyoto City Subway and Bus (all lines)
  • Kobe City Subway and Bus (all lines)

Osaka and surrounding area (PiTaPa area)

As I mentioned, PiTaPa is not suitable for overseas tourist. But you can use other IC card in PiTaPa coverage area.

  • Keihan Railway (all lines)
  • Kintetsu Railway (all lines)
  • Hankyu Railway (all lines)
  • Hanshin Railway (all lines)
  • Kintetsu Railway (all lines)
  • Nankai Railway (all lines)
  • Sanyo Railway (all lines)
  • Kobe Railway (all lines)
  • Kobe Portliner (all lines)
  • Nankai Railway (all lines)
  • Eizan Railway (all lines)
  • Randen – Keifuku Railway (all lines)
  • Osaka City Subway and Bus (all lines)
  • Kyoto City Subway and Bus (all lines)
  • Kobe City Subway and Bus (all lines)
  • Kansai and Itami Airport Limousine Bus (Some lines are not covered.)
  • Honshi Kaikyo Bus (Osaka-Awaji island-Tokushima Express Bus)
  • Nishinion JR Bus (all local lines)

Chugoku and Shikoku region

Okayama area (ICOCA area)

  • JR West conventional lines (Okayama and surrounding area)

This area includes Okayama, Kurashiki, Bitchu-Takahashi, Fukuyama, Onomichi, Mihara, Kojima and Uno.

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “Hareca”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But Hareca cannot be used in other areas.

  • Okayama Tram (Streetcar)
  • Okaden Bus (local bus lines)
  • Ryobi Bus (local bus lines)

Hiroshima area (ICOCA area)

  • JR West conventional lines (Hiroshima and surrounding area)
  • JR West Miiyajima Ferry (Miyajimaguchi-Miyajima ferry service)

This area includes Hiroshima, Mihara, Kure, Miyajimaguchi and Iwakuni.

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “Paspy”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But Paspy cannot be used in other areas.

  • Hiroshima Tram (Streetcar)
  • Hiroden Bus (local bus lines)
  • Hiroshima Astram Line (local bus lines)
  • Chugoku JR Bus (local bus lines, sightseeing route bus “Meipuru-pu”)
  • Hiroshima Airport Limousine Bus
  • Setonaikai Kisen Ferry Service (Hiroshima-Kure-Matsuyama route)
  • Miyajima Matsudai Kisen Ferry Service (another ferry service between Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima)

Matsue, Yonago, Hakubi area (ICOCA area)

  • JR West conventional lines (Sanin line between Hoki-Daisen and Izumoshi, Hakubi line between Hoki-Daisen and Bitchu-Takahashi

Only major stations on Hakubi line are covered.

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “Hareca”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But Hareca cannot be used in other areas.

  • Okayama Tram (Streetcar)
  • Okaden Bus (local bus lines)
  • Ryobi Bus (local bus lines)

Kagawa area (ICOCA area)

  • JR Shikoku conventional lines (Seto-Ohashi line, Yosan line between Takamatsu and Tadotsu)

These following transportation companies are covered by local IC card, “IruCa”. You can use these by major 9 IC cards. But IruCa cannot be used in other areas.

  • Takamatsu Kotohira Railway (a.k.a. “Kotoden”)
  • Kotoden Bus (local bus lines)
  • Shodoshima island “Olive Bus” (local bus lines)
  • Shodoshima Kokurai Ferry (Takamatsu-Shodoshima island ferry service)
  • Uchinomi Ferry (Takamatsu-Shodoshima island ferry service)
  • Shikoku Ferry (Takamatsu-Shodoshima island ferry service)

ICOCA’s Chugoku Shikoku area will be combined with ICOCA Kansai region areas in September 2018.

Kyushu region

Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Saga and Oita (SUGOCA area)

  • JR Kyushu conventional lines (Mojiko-Kokura-Hakata-Kumamoto-Yatsushiro, Tosu-Saga, Kokura-Beppu-Oita, and some local lines around Hakata, Kumoaoto, Oita, Kurume)
  • Kitakyushu Monorail (all lines)

Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Saga and Oita (nimoca area)

  • Nishitetsu Railway (all lines)
  • Chikuho Dentetsu Railway (all lines)
  • Nishitetsu Bus (most of local lines and express bus lines)
  • JR Kyushu Bus
  • Saga City Bus
  • Kumamoto Tram (streetcar)
  • Oita Kotsu Bus

Fukuoka (Hayakaken area)

  • Fukuoka City Subway (all lines)

Nagasaki (SUGOCA area)

  • JR Kyushu conventional lines (Nagasaki-Isahaya-Takematsu)

Miyazaki (SUGOCA area)

  • JR Kyushu conventional lines (Sadowara-Miyazaki-Tano, Miyazaki-Miyazaki airport)

Miyazaki (nimoca area)

  • Miyazaki Kotsu Bus (all local lines)

Kagoshima (SUGOCA area)

  • JR Kyushu conventional lines (Sendai-Kagoshima-Kokubu, Kagoshima Chuo-Kiire)

Travel completion rule in a single coverage area

If you use IC card, you must complete your trip in same coverage area from departure to arrival.

e.g.
Travel from Yokohama to Shizuoka by JR train
Suica covers from Yokohama to Atami and Toica covers from Kannami to Shizuoka. Atami station is located next to Kannami station. You seem to continue to travel but you cannot. You cannot cross the border in the trip. If you use start to travel in Suica area, you have to finish your trip in Suica area.

e.g
Travel from Utsunomiya to Sendai
Suica covers both areas. But Utsunomiya is in Suica Greater Tokyo area and Sendai is Suica Sendai area. Both areas are covered by Suica but these are different areas. You cannot continue your trip.

In addition, ICOCA has 200km rule. You have to make a trip more than 200km in one trip. When you make a long distance travel in Kansai region, the distance may be more than 200km. You cannot use IC card to make a trip more than 200km. However if you take Limited Express train, you can use it for more than 200km travel by one ride of limited express train. You cannot change limited express trains in the trip.

e.g.
Travel from Omishiotsu to Himeji by Special Rapid train
Both stations are in ICOCA Kansai region area. But the distance is 229.8km. You cannot use IC card for this trip.
Even if you use other than ICOCA, you cannot make more than 200km trip anyway. As long as you are in ICOCA area, you have to follow ICOCA rule.

e.g.
Travel from Tennoji to Kii-Katsuura by limited express Kuroshio
The distance is 247.1km but you will make this trip by limited express train. You can use IC card. But please remember that you must have limited express seat fee ticket beside IC card.

How to refund a deposit

IC card includes 500 yen deposit. You can get a refund before you leave Japan. However you can get a refund by issuer only.

e.g.
If you use Suica, you have to get a refund in Suica area, such as Tokyo and surrounding area. You can use Suica in other areas, such as Osaka, Sapporo. But you cannot get a refund other than Suica area.

When you get a refund, handling fee is charged. Handling fee is 220 yen in most of IC cards. But if you do not have much fund in your IC card, handling fee may be waived.

e.g.
If your balance is 1,000 yen in your IC card, you will get 1,280 yen.
1,000 yen (fund) + 500 yen (deposit) – 220 yen (handling fee) = 1,280 yen

e.g.
If your balance is less than 220 yen in your IC card, you will get 500 yen deposit only.

If you want to get a refund, try to use all funds in IC card to save a handling fee.

Compare rail pass and IC card

IC card does not offer unlimited ride. IC card fare is a bit different from regular fare because 1 yen figure is rounded off in a regular fare for the customer’s convenience.

e.g.
Fare comparison of regular fare (cash payment) and IC card fare

Distance Regular
fare
IC card fare
1-3km 140 yen 144 yen
4-6km 190 yen 185 yen

As you saw, it’s almost same. If you use IC card, you will spend same amount of cash payment. It does not give you any discounts. You will get only convenience.

However Kansai One Pass offers a discount at many attractions. It is a bonus for the tourist.

By the way, there are many train passes available in Japan. If you make lots of trips a day or multiple days, you may use a train pass, such as Tokyo Subway Ticket, All Day Bus Pass in Kyoto, Enjoy Eco Card (subway pass in Osaka). Please see the links below to find more information.

Guide to take trains in Tokyo. How to choose the best deal and the best route by train to get the major spots?

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Kyoto

How to choose the best train pass for sightseeing in Osaka

I hope this post helps you to learn about IC card.

9 thoughts on “What is IC card, Suica, ICOCA, Pasmo? How to use these cards?”

  1. Takeshi sama

    So technically if i visit shikoku, i need to get their individual IC cards like :

    Kochi – Desuca
    Ehime – IC E-Card

    But for Takamatsu (Kagawa), i can use Icoca right? Means i need 3 different ic cards for their trams?

    Regards
    Marc

  2. These cards are still confusing to me after reading your post. I’ll be traveling for 10 days going from Tokyo (including Disney) to Hakone (via Romancecar) to Kyoto to Osaka. It seems like the Pasmo card will cover most of these areas. Does the Suica work too? Do I need the ICOCO card too for Kyoto and Osaka?

    Also, you mentioned how you need to return the IC card at the same region. Will I get my deposit back if I return the Pasmo or Suica card in Osaka?

    Thank you for any information.
    Jen

    1. Hi Jen,

      You can use any cards in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. So you can purchase either Suica or Pasmo and use it in these cities.
      You cannot return Suica or Pasmo in Osaka. Because these cards are issued in Tokyo area. You can return these cards in Tokyo area only. If you really want to refund the deposit, you have to return Suica or Pasmo before you leave Tokyo and purchase ICOCA in Kyoto.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi,

    I also had another question. How do I purchase the reserved seat part of the journey? Can I purchase from the ticket machine or do I have to buy it at the counter? Also, I did read somewhere that you can purchase it onboard the train from the ticket inspector, is that right?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Terena,

      You can use ICOCA for both trips. And as you probably noticed, you have to purchase a limited express train ticket beside ICOCA. You can purchase it at either ticket window or vending machine. If you are okay with non reserved seat, you can purchase a ticket on board. Please see the link below about non reserved seat and reserved seat:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/reserved-seat-vs-non-reserved-seat-how-to-get-a-seat-on-non-reserved-car.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi,

    Am I able to use an ICOCA card to travel from Osaka to Kii-Tanabe. Also from Shingu back to Kii-Tanabe?

    Thank you

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Can I check if the ICOCA card can be used on Nankai Express or Keihan Railway?

    KIX to Namba – by Nankai Express (not the Rapi:t)
    Keihan Railway – I saw a Keihan sightseeing pass, but if the ICOCA card can cover this, then I need not get it.

    I suppose the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Kyoto will need to be bought separately if we intend to use that?

    Thank you very much again.

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