SUICA and PASMO

Trains and subways are useful when you travel in Tokyo.
But you may feel awkward to buy ticket each time.
First you have to check the fair chart and buy a ticket at the vending machine.
Although the machines display in English, the chard is not written in English.
You may want to buy a day pass to avoid this hustle.
If you make a plan in advance, you can save some money by using day pass.
Without a plan, day pass is not always the best choice.

Today I’m going to explain about IC prepaid cards called SUICA and PASMO.
SUICA and PASMO are the same thing.
Just JR sells SUICA and other train and subway companies sell PASMO.
Functions are exactly the same and they are compatible, so you just need to buy one.

You can buy them at vending machines at any stations.
Minimum price should be 2000 yen which is including 500 yen deposit and 1500 yen of charge.
If you want to buy one for your child (under 12), you have to go to ticket office with your children’s ID.

Now, you just need to touch the automatic gate twice, when you get in and out.
Your balance will be subtracted from the balance.
You can add more money at the vending machines.

When you don’t need them anymore, you can ask for refund.
You can get whole 500 yen back.
However the balance is treated as “ticket”, so if you still have some balance you may have to pay handling charge maximum of 210 yen.
These are examples,

Balance Handling Charge Deposit Refund Total
1000 210 500 1290
150 150 500 500
0 0 500 500

You can use the balance for buying another ticket at the vending machines or even for shopping.

One last tip, when you leave Tokyo area, you’d better ask for refund because different area has different IC cards and they are not always compatible.

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