“Suica”, Fare Card on Train lines in Tokyo Area, Japan
Suica (Japanese: スイカ, Suika) is a rechargeable contactless smart card, electronic money used as a fare card on train lines in Japan, launched on November 18, 2001. The card can be used interchangeably with JR West’s ICOCA in the Kansai region and San’yō region in Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi prefectures, and also with JR Central’s TOICA starting from spring of 2008, JR Kyushu’s SUGOCA, Nishitetsu’s Nimoca, and Fukuoka City Subway’s Hayakaken area in Fukuoka City and its suburb areas, starting from spring of 2010. The card is also increasingly being accepted as a form of electronic money for purchases at stores and kiosks, especially within train stations.
Since Suica is completely interchangeable with Pasmo (see Interoperation for the complete listing of companies and lines that accept Suica) in the greater Tokyo area, it is supported on virtually any train, tramway, and bus system (excluding various limited and shinkansen trains, as well as a few local buses as the system is still in the process of being extended to all routes).
“Suica and Pasmo, Two Major Fare Cards on Train Lines in Tokyo Area”
There are two different fare cards on Train lines in Tokyo Area. One is called Suica, and the other one is called Pasmo. They are very similar to each other. However, one thing is different, for Pasmo card, you don’t need deposit, while you need a 500 yen deposit for Suica.
Here, I am going to talk about Suica Card.
“Suica, Fare Card on Train lines and can be used in Convenience store as well.”
You can use Suica here and there, if you are traveller, mainly you will buy this card for subway in Tokyo. However, you also can use the card for convenience stores as well.
“500 Yen deposit, you can get a refund when the card is returned.”
For Suica, you need to pay a 500 yen deposit. Thus, when you purchase the card with 2,000 yen, 500 yen is kept as a deposit, and the remaining 1,500 yen is charged into the card.
You can get a refund of deposit, when you return the card, however, it is returned excluding the fee of 220 yen. Here, one thing you need to remember, when you get a refund the remaining balance is 220 yen or less, the 500 yen deposit will be returned fully.
Thus, it is better to get a refund after spending almost all of the money in the card.
“Maximum Charge is 20,000 yen.”
You can charge up the card maximum 20,000 yen. In the past, they did not have a upper limit to charge, however, some Chinese tourist abused the fact that tariffs were not applied when they pay with Suica, the company made a limit to max-charge.
“Suica can be purchased at JR train stations.”
You can buy the Suica card at JR train stations. There are vending machines at the station. You can press the button and put the money into the machine and then easily can buy it.
They support multi-language including English. You can buy and get a refund of the card in the Narita international Airport station.
“Suica is Watermelon?”
In Japanese, “Suica” means “Watermelon”. Thus, some of the Japanese people play with watermelons at the subway station. Some of them put the Suica card into Watermelon and go through the subway ticket gate.