IC Cards / 交通系ICカード

As an advocate for and daily user of public transportation, I collect (and catalog) transit cards, also called IC cards here in Japan. That term technically refers to all integrated circuit smart cards, though, so the more precise word for what I’m talking about is 交通系ICカード / koutsuu-kei IC kaado, literally “transport-type IC cards”. While my collection comprises cards from various places I’ve lived and traveled to around the world, this page lists my Japanese ones.

Briefly, my “rules” for my collection are that:

  • I must travel to each location & collect all cards myself 1Except for Japanese cities I’ve lived in prior to when I started collecting transit cards (pre-2019), i.e. Sendai and Tokyo – in which case I’m allowed to get these missing cards via trading or buying them online. However, for any card not acquired entirely by myself, I must replace it with a new one that I personally obtain when I next travel there, if possible.
  • I must attempt to register each card in my name, which usually results in my name being printed on the card (記名 kimei) 2I opt for my name in romaji if possible, otherwise katakana. This almost always entails going to a counter and filling out a paper form rather than buying the card from a machine or aboard a vehicle. Registering cards is not possible with all issuers/agencies.
  • Any intentional variation in the front design or back text qualifies that card as different, i.e. not a duplicate of another card
  • Only for places I’ve lived, I may collect former default designs or previously-released commemorative (記念 kinen) or limited-edition designs of cards usable in that city/region via trading or buying them online

eli’s Japanese IC cards

NameGen.Kinen?Kimei?NotchesBackCodeIssuerObtained inObtained atObtained on
Suica·SilverJEJR EastShibuya, TokyoShibuya Sta. TVM2017-06-11
manaca (DO!)·SilverTPNagoya Municipal SubwayNagoya, AichiTsurumai Sta. TVM2023-10-30
manaca (μstar)·SilverTPMeitetsu (MIC)Nagoya, AichiNagoya Sta. TVM2023-10-31
TOICA·SilverJCJR CentralToyota, AichiToyotashi Sta. TVM2023-11-01
ayucaWhiteGBGifu BusGifu, GifuGifu Bus Terminal2023-11-05
emica·WhiteMTMie KotsuNagoya, AichiSakae Bus Terminal Oasis 212023-11-06
PASMO PASSPORTWhitePBPasmoToshima, TokyoIkebukuro Sta. Commuter Pass Sales Counter2023-11-11
Randen IC Card·SilverKFKeifuku Denki TetsudoKyoto, KyotoShijō-Ōmiya Sta.2023-12-02
ICOCA·SilverJWJR WestKyoto, KyotoHankyu Omiya Sta. TVM2023-12-02
hanica·SilverHHHankyu Bus; Hanshin BusMuko, KyotoHankyu Bus Muko Branch Office2023-12-02
Tsukica⦿WhiteTKTakatsuki City BusTakatsuki, OsakaJR Takatsuki Sta. City Bus South Info. Center2023-12-03
itappy⦿GreyITItami City BusItami, HyogoHankyu Itami Sta. City Bus Info. Center2023-12-03
Natch··WhiteBNNankai BusSakai, OsakaNankai Bus Sakai Office2023-12-03
CI-CAWhiteNKNara KotsuNara, NaraNara Kotsu Kintetsu Nara Bus Info. Center2023-12-03
HarecaWhiteRBRyobi BusOkayama, OkayamaOn the bus (Okayama Sta.)2023-12-30
HarecaWhiteUNUno BusOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. Stop #11 Info. Center2023-12-31
Uno Bus Orig. Hareca (brown)WhiteUNUno BusOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. Stop #11 Info. Center2023-12-31
Uno Bus Orig. Hareca (blue)WhiteUNUno BusOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. Stop #11 Info. Center2023-12-31
Uno Bus Orig. Hareca (green)WhiteUNUno BusOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. Stop #11 Info. Center2023-12-31
Uno Bus Orig. Hareca (pink)WhiteUNUno BusOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. Stop #11 Info. Center2023-12-31
HarecaWhiteSDShimoden BusOkayama, OkayamaShimoden Head Office (Ōmoto Sta.)2023-12-31
IC I~Card·SilverIYIyotetsuMatsuyama, EhimeMatsuyama-shi Sta.2024-01-02
SHIKOKU ICOCA··SilverJWJR WestTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Sta. Midori no Madoguchi2024-01-04
IruCa (Free)⦿··SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu-chikko Sta.2024-01-04
IruCa (School)⦿··SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu-chikko Sta.2024-01-04
Sma IruCa-Do··SilverKDOkawa BusTakamatsu, KagawaOkawa Bus Takamatsu Office2024-01-04
Takamatsu Kanko IruCa (ja)SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Airport 1F Info. Center2024-01-04
Takamatsu Kanko IruCa (en)SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Airport 1F Info. Center2024-01-04
Takamatsu Kanko IruCa (zh)SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Airport 1F Info. Center2024-01-04
Takamatsu Kanko IruCa (tw)SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Airport 1F Info. Center2024-01-04
Takamatsu Kanko IruCa (ko)SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Airport 1F Info. Center2024-01-04
Takamatsu Kanko IruCa (fr)SilverKDKotodenTakamatsu, KagawaTakamatsu Airport 1F Info. Center2024-01-04
HarecaWhiteODOkayama Denki KidoOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. East Info. Center2024-01-06
Hareca - Ryobi IC launchWhiteRBRyobi BusOkayama, OkayamaOkayama Sta. East Info. Center2024-01-06
NicoPa·SilverSHShinki BusAioi, HyogoAioi Info. Lounge2024-01-06
Nice Pass·SilverETEntetsuHamamatsu, ShizuokaHamamatsu Sta. Bus Terminal Ticket Center2024-01-14
LuLuCa PASAR Card⦿SilverSTShizutetsuKikugawa, ShizuokaShizutetsu Store Kikugawa2024-01-14
kinocaWhiteWKWakayama BusWakayama, WakayamaKii Sta. Commuter Pass Sales Office2024-01-21
ICOCA - KANSAI ONE PASS··SilverJWJR WestOsaka, OsakaTravel Service Center SHIN-OSAKA2024-02-10
nolbé⦿·SilverJEJR East*Takasaki, GunmaTakasaki Sta. Bus Info Center2024-02-17
totra⦿·SilverJEJR East*Oyama, TochigiKanto Transportation Oyama Office2024-02-17
IbappiWhiteIBIbaraki KotsuMito, IbarakiIbaraki Kotsu Mito Sta. Info. Center2024-02-17
Welcome SuicaWhiteJEJR EastOta, TokyoHaneda Airport Terminal 3 Sta.2024-02-18
PASMO·SilverPBPasmoMinato, TokyoRoppongi Sta. (Toei Oedo Line) TVM2024-02-18

Supplemental cards (old designs & those not obtained alone) – click to expand

NameVariant / GenerationKinen?NotchesBackCodeIssuerNotes
icscaDefault·SilverSKSendai KotsuAvailable
Suica·SilverJEJR East
Suica ("Suica IO-Card")··SilverJEJR East
SuicaMonorail Suica·SilverJETokyo MonorailSales suspended
SuicaRinkai Suica / ·SilverJEYurikamomeSales suspended
SuicaSuica & N'EX Yōkoso Japan··SilverJEJR East
SuicaSuica & N'EX Endless Discovery··SilverJEJR East
SuicaTokyo Station 100 Years··SilverJEJR East
manaca·SilverTPNagoya Municipal Subway
manaca·SilverTPMeitetsu (MIC)
manacaTamarun ↔ ANA Miles exchange commem.·SilverTPMeitetsu (MIC)
manacamanaca/TOICA Mutual Use commem.·SilverTPMeitetsu (MIC)
manacaNationwide Mutual Usage commem.·SilverTPMeitetsu (MIC)
manacaMeijo Univ. Alumni Association·SilverTPMeitetsu (MIC)
TOICA·SilverJCJR Central
TOICADebut··SilverJCJR Central
TOICA1st Anniversary··SilverJCJR Central
TOICAShizuoka Debut··SilverJCJR Central
TOICASuica/TOICA/ICOCA Mutual Use commem.··SilverJCJR Central
TOICAShizuoka Service Area 1st Anniversary··SilverJCJR Central
TOICACharacter design card··SilverJCJR Central
TOICATOICA/manaca Mutual Use commem.··SilverJCJR Central
TOICAJR Central 30th Anniversary conventional train type·SilverJCJR Central

Vocabulary

  • 交通系ICカード / koutsuu-kei ai shii kaado transportation IC card
  • 記名式 / kimeishiki registering a card in one’s name, lit. ‘signing ceremony’
  • 記念デザイン / kinen dezain commemorative design
  • デポジット / depojitto deposit (cost of the card itself, refunded if returned)
  • チャージ / chaaji – to (re)charge a card; alternatively, the money loaded onto a card
  • SF / esu efu – abbreviation of “stored fare”, another term for a card’s stored value
  • 手数料 / tesuuryou handling fee
  • 全国相互利用 / zenkoku sougo riyou Nationwide Mutual Usage Service, the system of 10 major IC cards with e-money functionality being interoperable & mutually compatible; more info here & here
  • 地域連携ICカード / chiiki renkei ai shii kaado – regional cooperation IC card, a 2-in-1 card which combines “region affiliate” operator needs with Suica functionality, officially called “Multi-function Card for Regional Transit” in English; more info here

Wall of shame

The vast majority of IC cards are sold for a ¥500 “deposit” + a minimum load of ¥1500. At sales windows, most companies will let you immediately refund the loaded value while still retaining the card, minus a ~¥220 handling fee, making most cards cost ~¥720 in practice. Even when an issuer disallows refunds, if part of the Nationwide Mutual Usage Service, a card’s loaded value can easily be spent as e-money at stores and restaurants (not solely on transportation). The following companies meet neither of the conditions above, in effect making each card cost an absurdly high amount to obtain:

  • Nankai Bus (¥3000)
  • Uno Bus (¥2000)
  • Mie Kotsu (¥2000)
  • Iyotetsu (¥2000)
  • Kotoden (¥2000)

If you found the information on this page useful or interesting, please do consider leaving a tip! (I’m always happy to chat with other collectors & transit fans, too – click on the ‘About’ page above for my contact info.)