Traveling within Japan; Suica Smart Card is a must-have

To travel hassle-free and save time, you must get a Suica Card as soon as you arrive in Japan. It can save you time while dining, shopping or traveling within the country. The prepaid Suica smart card, issued by East Japan Railway Company, grants access to virtually any train, tramway, and bus system.

In the past, we have written extensively about the transport options in Japan, including an in-depth understanding of the JR Pass, this time we talk about the Suica smart card.

You can recharge the Suica in any denomination and use it to pass through turnstile, buy a meal or shop with just a tap. The card can be used in convenience stores and vending machines as well.   

Where to get a Suica card?

You can get the integrated circuit card from ticket vending machines in Suica section of the JR East stations and on any green ticket machine. A small security charge is maintained against each card, which is returned upon surrendering it.

There are two types of Suica cards: one is a regular Suica, suitable for residents and the other is special Welcome Suica for short-term visitors. Welcome Suica is non-refundable, but the regular Suica can be refunded at the Suica section of JR East Travel Centers. Refunds cannot be processed at stations outside of the JR East lines.  

If a tourist wants to use the regular Suica, they will need to process them at one of the JR East Travel Centers at a JR station or at the airport to get the deposit back. But, the Welcome Suica does not need a deposit, so you won’t have to waste your time to get a refund.

Benefits of Suica Card

Suica card is an effortless way to jump the queue. Without the card, you’d have to line-up outside stations to purchase a ticket, every time you’re venturing out. The Suica reduces this time to a simple tap of the card.  

Suica card works beyond the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Almost in all commercial parts of the country. The number of places accepting the card is only growing. Check with local authorities when you are heading outside of the greater Tokyo area.

The card can be used as an electronic wallet. It can facilitate brisk payment at convenience stores, vending machines, supermarkets, shopping centers, restaurants, and hotels.