Travel in Japan with ICOCA Card
Travelling around Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe is very convenient but purchasing train tickets might be a pain as navigating the ticketing machines take a bit of time and only cash is accepted as payment. To get around this issue, I highly recommend the ICOCA card.
The ICOCA card can be purchased at JR West train stations for ¥2000. The card is preloaded with ¥1,500 and ¥500 deposit. Refund of deposit and card balance can be made at JR-West Ticket office with a handling fee of ¥220. This IC-chipped card can be recharged and reused. It can be used on any JR, subways, private railways and buses in Japan as well as convenient stores and vending machines. The card will expire after 10 years of non-usage.
How to purchase
On arrival at Kansai airport, proceed to the Kansai train station and purchase the ICOCA card by paying ¥2000 cash at the ticket machine.
You might want to recharge additional amount to the ICOCA card as one-way journey from Kansai Airport to Namba station on the Kansai Airport Express will cost ¥930.