How I travel in Japan? #Osaka and Kyoto

by - August 02, 2017

During my last trip in Osaka and Kyoto, I used ICOCA card to visit all the tourist areas in Osaka and Kyoto. For your information, ICOCA card is something similar to EZ link card, the one you used for mrt and buses in Singapore.

The main reason I used ICOCA card is because it can be used in all Japan Railways, subways and bus services as long as you are in West Japan. West Japan includes Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. I wouldn't recommend others to purchase Osaka 1 day pass or any other passes as those packages are not available for bus services. Some attractions in Osaka and Kyoto are more accessible and cheaper by using bus service. Bus fare for any one way trip costs 210yen for adults and 110yen for children. (Flat rate) Thus, I used bus service when I travel to further places like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Golden Pavillion. 

Where to purchase ICOCA card? It can be purchased at any JR or subway stations. I bought mine at subway station from a ticket machine. The ticket machine which sells ICOCA card is different from the normal ticket machine in terms of its color. I forgot what color the machine was but it definitely  has different color and located just beside the normal ticket machine. Their appearances are almost the same too and the main difference is their color only.

It costs 1500 yen for each ICOCA card with 500 yen deposit (refundable) and 1000yen usable credit. 

The other benefit of using ICOCA card is the balance and deposit (500yen)  in your card can be refund to you! How amazing is that?! With that, you don't need to worry that you might add too much or less value into the card as it is refundable in the end! I returned my card at the JR office in Kansai Airport. They will charge you a 220yen of handling fee for each card you return to them and then you can get your remaining balance back!

Besides, you can also purchase HARUKA discount ticket if you have an ICOCA card. Haruka train service travels between Kansai airport, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe area. 

I bought Haruka ticket at Kyoto station the day before I left Japan. I boarded the train at Kyoto station and it took 75 minutes to reach Kansai Airport. With ICOCA card, I bought the ticket at only 1600 yen instead of 2850 yen. I saved 1250 yen!

You can even reserve ICOCA and HARUKA online before you arrive in Japan! If you wanna know more about it, check out the link below! ⇙

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