How to buy
and use an
IC Card

Why is using the
IC card convenient?

No need for a ticket

Purchasing a ticket in an unfamiliar place can be stressful. However, if you have an IC card you can pass through the ticket gate smoothly without stopping.

Easy line transfers

There are many different rail companies in Japan, and train line transfers can be confusing. However, with the IC card you can change lines with just one touch. It’s not only for trains — you can also use it on buses and in taxis.

Can be used for shopping

It can take time to figure out different coins when using cash overseas. However, if you have an IC card you can use it to shop at convenience stores and even at vending machines.

How do you
use the IC card ?

  1. 1Purchase

    The IC card can be purchased at the ticket machine or ticket counter at most stations. When purchasing it through the ticket machine, change the language to English and follow the directions. You will need to pay 500 yen as a deposit (the money will be refunded once you return the card).

  2. 2Use

    Tap the IC card against the card reader when passing the ticket gate. The fare will be deducted when you tap the IC card when exiting at your destination.

  3. 3Charge

    When the balance on the IC card is low, charge it by using the ticket machine. Be careful as you may not be able to pass the ticket gate if the remaining balance is too low (the amount left will be shown when you tap the card reader).

Where can you
use the IC card ?

IC cards can be used not only for trains, but also for other transportation such as buses and taxis, as well as at convenience stores and vending machines. Check with the driver or clerk if they accept IC cards.

  • Train

  • Bus

  • Taxi

  • Cafe

  • Convenience store

  • Kiosk

  • Fast-food restaurant

  • Beverage vending machine

  • Coin-operated locker

Are there different
types of IC card ?

Since each railway company issues its own IC card, the specific names and appearances vary according to where you buy it, but you are also allowed to use the different cards on different train lines. However, when you return your IC card, you may only do so at the ticket counter of the railway company where you first bought it.

  • TOICA

  • Kitaka

  • PASMO

  • Suica

  • manaca

  • PiTaPa

  • ICOCA

  • Hayakaken

  • nimoca

  • SUGOCA

"TOICA" is a registered trademark of Central Japan Railway Company. / "Kitaca" is a registered trademark of Hokkaido Railway Company. / "PASMO" is a registered trademark of PASMO Co., Ltd. / "Suica" is a registered trademark of East Japan Railway Company. / “manaca" is a registered trademark of Nagoya Transportation Development Organization and MIC Co., Ltd. / “PiTaPa" is a registered trademark of Surutto Kansai Association. / "ICOCA" is a registered trademark of West Japan Railway Company. / "Hayakaken" is a registered trademark of Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau. / "nimoca" is a registered trademark of Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd. / "SUGOCA" is a registered trademark of Kyushu Railway Company.

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