Train (and other) travel made easy in Japan
published: June 07, 2018
When traveling within mainland Japan, the two most common transportation cards are PASMO and SUICA. Both cards allow you to use most of the trains and buses within Japan. Picking up one of these cards will make your traveling life that much easier in The Land of the Rising Sun. The alternative to using one of these cards is purchasing a ticket from the machine each time you take the train. This can take time and often is confusing to someone new to Japan travel.
Either of the cards can be purchased at most train stations and require a 500-yen deposit. When you make the initial purchase of the
card, you choose how much you want to put on it. Once you run out of your initial deposit, you just recharge the card you’ve already purchased. Recharging is as simple as inserting your card, pressing the amount you want to put on it, and inserting the matching amount of yen. While the process may seem intimidating at first, it is actually very simple and easy to understand. There is even a button to change the language to English.
Both cards also can act as money at vending machines and at some stores, as well as some taxis. They work the same as a credit card that you just place over a reader.
As a note, although the vast majority of rail lines and buses will accept one of these cards, it is not 100%.
For more information, visit:
STEP BY STEP
1. Press the PASMO/SUICA button
2. Press Purchase new PASMO/SUICA
3. Select the type of PASMO/SUICA you want to buy
4. Select the initial deposit amount to put on your PASMO/SUICA
5. Insert the selected amount into the machine
6. Take your PASMO/SUICA and receipt