【TRAVEL Q&A】 What are Suica and PASMO? Q&As regarding transport IC cards

22.October.2017 | SPOT

1: What is a transport IC card?

Transport IC cards are IC cards which you can use to pay for your fare in mass transit including trains. You can make a payment just by placing the card on the reader of the ticket collector (the part which is lighted up in blue). You can choose either pre-paid cards or cards where the fare is deducted from your bank account. The types of IC cards differ depending on the area but the most common IC cards/electric money systems are “Suica” and “PASMO.” Since the system of using transit IC cards was established, users of the mass transit can ride on trains and buses with a single IC card.


2: Where can I buy a Suica or PASMO?

Suica cards can be bought at multi-functional vending machines at JR Higashi Nihon Stations and “Midori no Madoguchi” (ticket-selling counters). You can charge 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 4,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen at once. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. PASOMO cards can be bought at companies which sell PASMO cards located at train stations/bus stations. It can be bought at vending machines or commuter ticket selling counters too. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. The deposit can be received at the counter of each station and business offices.

PASMO operators should take a look at the URL below:https://www.pasmo.co.jp/area/transport/


3: Where can I use Suica and PASMO?

The cards can be used on trains and busses throughout Japan. These cards can be used as electric money at convenience stores and shops inside stations.


4: How can I charge the card?

Let us discribe the method of charging a PASMO card by looking at the photos.

Suica cards can be charged in the same way.


・Insert your PASMO into a vending machine which allows for PASMO (please note that there are some vending machines that sell tickets only).

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・ Press the PASMO button.

・Choose the amount you want to charge and insert the cash.

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・ Receive the PASMO. Press the issuance button if you need a receipt.



5: The balance is short and I can’t get out of the ticket collector! What should I do?

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In such a case, you can charge your card by using machines such as fare adjustment machines inside the station. The balance will be displayed after you place the card on the ticket collector.


How did you like our Suica and PASMO explanation? Let’s move around smoothly using these IC card systems.

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