Price, Where to Use: ICOCA IC Card in Japan
Budgeting for your Japan trip? Check the price of the ICOCA card here.
The ICOCA IC card in Japan is a prepaid smart card that’s designed for convenient trips in the Kansai area, particularly in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara. It can be used to pay for your fares for JR West trains, subway lines, and buses, as well as purchases in convenience stores, vending machines, and coin lockers.
You can easily check the price and buy your ICOCA card here. Customer reviews are provided below for reference.
In case you’re wondering, IC stands for integrated circuit, which means that the card has a pattern of metal materials that enable it for public transportation and retail use. (Just another term for a smart card!)
If you’re looking to save money, get this attraction card for Osaka that’ll let you visit up to thirty (30) attractions!
This feature is part of our BEYOND ManilaxSeoul series, which provides tips and recommendations to travelers going beyond Manila and Seoul.
Also read: BEST OPTIONS: Japan Pocket Wifi
Where to Use the ICOCA Card in Japan
First things first — what is an IC card? Similar to the T-Money in Korea and EasyCard in Taiwan, IC cards in Japan are stored-value cards that can be used to pay for transportation fares and small-value purchases in select convenience stores, restaurants, and vending machines. The term IC stands for integrated circuit, which Investopedia.com defines to be a ‘type of payment card that has an embedded circuit, such as a computer chip.’ For easy recall, IC card is just another term for a smart card or a chip card.
Do you need to buy an ICOCA IC card, though? Fair question — there’s a lot of travel cards in Japan and knowing which one to get can be a little tricky. It is recommended to purchase an ICOCA card if you’ll be spending some time in the Kansai or Kinki region, which includes the Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara prefectures, among others. This will make your commute in the area hassle-free and you’ll even get to use it for small-value shopping in 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Entree Marche, Lucua Osaka, The Cube, Porta, and Lawson, among others.
For easy reference, if you want to visit Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Nara Park, Universal Studios, Osaka Castle, or Dōtonbori, then you can make your way conveniently to these tourist spots and other locations when you buy an ICOCA card.
Price: ICOCA Card Osaka Pick-up
🏷 PRICE of ICOCA Card Osaka Pick-up: around ₱1,100 or $21.4
ICOCA card that’s preloaded with ¥1,500. Deposit of ¥500 already included in the selling price!
You’ll get automatic discount on your Haruka rail ticket for the Kansai Airport Express (including Tennoji, Shin-Osaka and Kyoto) upon presenting your booked ICOCA card (valid for temporary visitors with foreign passports only).
Pick-up at any of the following: Osaka Kansai International Airport Terminal 1, Osaka City Air Terminal (JR Namba Station), or EDION NAMBA Tourist Information Center.
ICOCA Card Reviews: Klook
To help you decide if the ICOCA card is for you, here are some reviews that we’ve found:
If you’re unfamiliar with using Klook, which is the leading booking platform for in-destination tours and travel essentials, here are the steps for buying:
Sign up for an account here.
Go to the ICOCA Card Osaka or ICOCA Card Kyoto booking page. Here’s the link.
Select your pick-up date, booking option, and quantity.
Proceed to check-out and pay with card (credit, debit, and prepaid) or cash via DragonPay, if you’re from the Philippines.
Wait for your confirmation and your ICOCA card voucher.
How to top up the ICOCA card
To reload your ICOCA card, you can go to a convenience store like 7-Eleven or use the top-up machine at the subway. Here’s a nice video that’ll show you how to reload your ICOCA card:
How to use the ICOCA Card
Just take out your stored-value transport card and swipe! It’s that simple. (For a list of areas, convenience stores, and shops where you can use ICOCA IC card, you can check out this map here.)
How to get a refund for your ICOCA Card Balance
You can get a refund for your ICOCA card balance at any JR West Ticket Office located inside JR West stations. Note that an amount of ¥200 will be deducted from your ICOCA card balance for this service. Furthermore, after getting a refund, you’ll have to surrender the ICOCA card.
Other Japan Travel Passes Worth Booking
Aside from the ICOCA card, you may also want to check out the following items to make your Japan trip more memorable:
Only foreigners may use and avail the ICOCA card and discount on Haruka.
ICOCA card is a smart card designed and produced by JR West.
If unused, your ICOCA card will expire in 10 years.
If you’ll buy the ICOCA card Osaka pick-up option, here are some notes from Klook:
The date you select when booking is the date you estimate to redeem your voucher for the ICOCA Card. You may exchange your voucher for the ICOCA Card on any date within 3 months from the booking date, and there is no need to inform us prior to redemption.
If you’ll redeem your ICOCA card at Osaka Kansai International Airport Terminal 1:
Location: HIS counter 1F (next to the Northern Exit in the Arrival Hall)
Opening hours: 8:30am-10:00pm
If you’ll redeem your ICOCA card at Osaka City Air Terminal (JR Namba Station)
Location: Japan Holiday Travel OCAT Tourist Information Center 1F
Opening hours: 8:30am-6:30pm (until 6 Jun 2019)
Please note that OCAT counter will be closed 7 Jun 2019 and onwards
If you’ll redeem your EDION NAMBA Tourist Information Center
Location: 1/F Edion Namba-Bldg, 3-2-18 Namba Chou-Ku,Osaka 542-0076, Japan.
Opening hours: 10:00am-9:00pm (starting from 7 Jun 2019)
Please note that EDION NAMBA Tourist Information Center counter will be open 7 Jun 2019 onwards
If you’re wondering if there are other ICOCA Card designs, you can refer to the official website here. (Don’t think other designs are available though!)
That’s all, folks!
Enjoy your Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara trip with your ICOCA card! Oh, and don’t forget to like ManilaxSeoul on Facebook and Instagram for more Japan trip tips as well as travel guides for Seoul, Manila, and beyond!