OWL Magazine Korea

Purchasing Subway Tickets in Osaka: A Guide

Japan is often nicknamed the kingdom of railways, as one can find various stations throughout the cities. Additionally, since the railways are privatized, multiple railway stations exist even in the same region.

While most places can be accessed by trains or subways, there is a drawback of higher transportation costs compared to South Korea and the inconvenience of limited free transfers between different companies.

Osaka Subway: Convenient Travel with Transport Cards

Osaka, much like Tokyo, has various subway lines, and with rechargeable transport cards like “ICOCA,” “SUICA,” or “PASMO,” you can easily navigate the subway system.

However, for those without such transport cards, purchasing tickets from the ticket vending machines in the subway becomes necessary.

Buying Osaka Subway Tickets: Using Ticket Vending Machines

Purchasing tickets using the ticket vending machines in Osaka’s subway is not an easy task. All instructions are in Japanese only, without any support for Korean or English.

Furthermore, unlike other ticket vending machines, these machines require you to insert money first before they operate, which can be confusing for first-time users.

Changing Routes: Selecting Route Buttons on the Machine

If you need to change your route midway, you must confirm the route on the subway map, then select the route on the vending machine to purchase a ticket for the desired fare. Unfortunately, the route information is also in Japanese.

Due to these challenges, I personally experienced difficulties purchasing tickets at Osaka Kita-Hama Station on the last day of my Osaka-Kyoto trip.

This unpleasant experience affected my mood on the final day of the trip, leading me to write about the unfriendly Osaka subway station staff.

Note: I felt that adding English, Korean, or Chinese to the vending machines could alleviate the need for station staff, making the process more accessible to travelers.