Undoubtedly, trains are the most important means of transportation in Japan. For anyone who plans to visit Japan (especially Tokyo）, you might need to purchase one of the passes or IC Cards (Suica/Pasmo), which saves you the trouble of buying a ticket every single time you travel.
Now what is suica and pasmo, let us explain to you.
Here’s all you need to know to make your travels go smoothly
The most popular IC Cards in Tokyo: Suica and PASMO.
Suica and PASMO IC Card
These are prepaid IC cards which are convenient for use on any railway networks, subways and buses in Tokyo and other areas in Japan.
What is the difference between Suica and PASMO?
There is only one difference：the companies that sell the cards are different.
How it works?
Simply touch Suica /PASMO card to the reader at the ticket gate when out and about. The fare is automatically calculated at the station where you get off. If the balance is insufficient, however, you will need to add more money to your Suica/PASMO.
Where to buy?
The Suica can be purchased in major JR EAST stations at Multifunction Ticket Vending Machines, JR Ticket Offices (Midori-no-madoguchi).
On December 20, 2014, Japan Railway Company (JR) has released a limited edition SUICA to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Tokyo Station.
You can buy a PASMO at participating private railway and subway stations.
Please check this link for reference.
The main advantages of using Suica/ PASMO:
- Travel easily by train without having to worry about buying a ticket
- The ticket fare using an IC card is a little bit cheaper than using cash
- The balance on the PASMO card can be used to make purchases at street shops, shops in stations, and vending machines (basically you can use it instead of cash)
Tokyo Subway Pass
This pass allows you unlimited rides on the Tokyo Metro and Toei lines, which is in short, the whole Tokyo subway network!
The period of use varies between 1 to 3 days (consecutively).
You can reach most popular destinations in Tokyo using the subway. It is a cheaper and simpler alternative if your trip is within Tokyo. Remember, you can only use the subway pass on subway and Toei network. If you need to take a JR train, please buy a separate ticket.
For more details, please check our previous blog about Tokyo Subway PASS
**update 2016/03 : Tokyo subway pass has been changed to 24/28/72 hours pass.
Tokyo Tour Ticket (valid 1 day)
It allows unlimited rides on local and rapid JR East trains (excluding reserved seats) within the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo as well as on the subways, the Nippori-Toneri Liner, Tokyo Toei streetcars and the Toei Bus system. What a convenient way to travel around Tokyo for shopping, eating and even business.
Please click this link to check valid trains route
Price: 1,590 JPY for adult /800 JPY for children
If you would like to use JR East trains only,
Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass
This pass might be more suitable for your trip if you plan to travel using mainly JR lines.
It allows unlimited rides on local and rapid JR East trains (excluding reserved seats) within the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo.
Price for adult 750 yen, child -370 yen. It’s valid for one day only. For more details check this link
If you are confused about which one will be the best choice for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us via CHAT SERVICE.