General information

 

ICOCA (TRANSPORT) CARD

<- ICOCA cards are electronic cards that can be used for riding trains without purchasing tickets by touching the card to the automated ticket gate.

ICOCA cards can be used all across Japan for railways and buses with some exceptions, e.g., Nakanoshima loop bus.
<- JR Ticket office at Kansai International airport

Cards can be purchased from JR-station ticket vending machines (also English language) or at JR-ticket offices.
Click here for howto movie

Costs: 2.000 yen (including 500 yen deposit / to be returned after returning the card at a JR Ticket Office)
-> Please note that ICOCA card can only be purchase IN CASH

Climate
Please refer to the following link for information about the climate in Osaka: Japan Weather Forecast for Travelers

Currency and Money Exchange
The unit of Japanese currency is the Yen (¥). You can buy Yen at foreign exchange banks, major hotels, and other authorized money exchangers. At international airports, currency exchange counters are usually open during normal office hours. The exchange rate fluctuates daily depending on the money market.

Banks, Credit Cards, and ATMs
Banks are open from Monday to Friday, 9:00-15:00 (closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays). International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club, and MasterCard are widely accepted at hotels, department stores, shops, and restaurants.
Foreign credit cards and cash cards can be used to make withdrawals in Japan Yen at post office ATMs and Seven Bank ATMs throughout Japan:

Accepted credit cards are VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and China UnionPay.

Electricity
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, AC with frequency of 60Hz in West Japan (including Kobe, Osaka, and Kyoto). 2-flat-pin / type A plugs are used in Japan.

Tipping
Tipping is not common in Japan. Some restaurants and hotels include a service charge in the bill that you pay.

Telephones & Mobile Phones
The mobile phone protocol in Japan is different from that in other countries; it is best to check with your current provider whether or not you can use your mobile phone in Japan. Mobile phones are available for rental at airports. Public telephones can be found in hotels, the meeting venue, and throughout the city. International calls can be made from NTT grey public telephones and others that are marked as such.

Wifi
Free Wifi is available for participants at the International Convention Centre Osaka during the conference. Most hotels offer free wifi as well. If you however would like to have unlimited wifi, SIM cards and pocket wifi are available for rental at airports (can also be arranged before departure from your home country, to be picked up at the airport or hotel)

Time Zone
All of Japan is in the same time zone, 9 hours ahead of G.M.T.

Drinking Water – Tap Water
Tap water is safe to drink anywhere in Japan unless mentioned otherwise.

Taxis
Taxi fares start at approximately 680 YEN (Osaka) with additional costs depending on distance covered and time elapsed. Payment is made when you reach your destination and the exact fare is shown clearly on the meter, for transparency and assurance. Tipping is not necessary at any time when taking a taxi. Most taxis accept credit cards.

Consumption Tax
Consumption tax is now 8% on all purchases. It is scheduled to be increased to 10 % in October 2019.

Osaka Information