The Tokaido Line, and its continuation the Sanyo Line, provide a high speed link between the major metropolitan cities of Tokyo in eastern Japan, and Osaka and Hakata in the west.
For some years now JR Central and JR West have successfully employed a members-only ticketless service on these lines that required the use of the EX-IC smart card. Members of this express service have been able to reserve their seats online, using either a mobile phone or computer, and then have the booking registered to their EX-IC card. This card can then be used instead of a ticket on arrival at the ticket gates. However, up till now seat reservations could only be made with credit cards issued by either JR Central or JR West. [Read more…]