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How to ride trains/busses cashless in Kansai

For local transportation, Kansai One Pass and ICOCA card are “IC cards” that can be used for almost all trains and buses in the Kansai area. SuicaEng is an iOS application that enables you to use Apple Pay to make payments on trains and busses as well as at stores.

Kansai One Pass is a useful physical “IC card” (chargeable card ticket); it can be used for almost all trains and buses (including Hankyu bus) in the Kansai area (which includes Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe/Nara/Nishinomiya/Takarazuka). It comes with some travellers’ discounts and benefits. This card is for non-Japanese nationals only and you need to show your passport in order to purchase it. It can be purchased at KIX JR station, Hankyu Tourist Center in Osaka/Umeda, and some other places. For more information, see https://kansaionepass.com/en/

ICOCA card is a versatile physical IC card which can be used for almost all trains and busses in Kansai and all other regions in Japan; it can also be used for making payments at many stores. The card can be purchased on ticket machines at almost all JR stations, or red ticket machines at most Hankyu stations. It does not come with the benefits you have from Kansai One Pass. See http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/howto/guide/movie04.html.

SuicaEng is an English-based iOS application to add a virtual “Suica” card to your Apple Pay. Adding Suica to your iPhone or Apple Watch allows you to do anything that you can do with an ICOCA card, i.e., for taking trains/busses and making payments, wherever Suica or ICOCA is accepted. See https://atadistance.net/apple-pay-suica/ for information. Download the app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/suicaeng/id1304852119?mt=8. Suica is the Eastern Japan equivalent of ICOCA, which is used in the Western Japan. The two are essentially regional variants and can be used interchangeably. Only Suica (and not ICOCA) is available as a virtual card. SuicaEng is currently not available for Android.

See also these 中文 pages. 1, 2, 3