OWL Magazine Korea

Tokyo Transportation Card: “Suica”

When embarking on a free-spirited journey, acquiring a transportation card for use in each city is almost essential. Seoul and the surrounding areas in Korea are well-equipped with advanced public transportation. Similarly, Tokyo, Japan, boasts an extensive railway system, allowing easy access to most popular tourist destinations.

“Diverse Transportation Cards in Japan”

In Korea, you can find various transportation cards like T-money and Cashbee. Japan follows suit with a range of transportation cards available across its expansive archipelago. While Suica and Pasmo are commonly used in most regions, there are other unique transportation cards.

For detailed information, one can refer to the data provided by JR Hokkaido on their website.

“Transportation Cards in Tokyo”

In Tokyo, two major transportation cards stand out: Suica and Pasmo. These cards, despite being issued by different companies, function almost identically. They facilitate bus rides, subway journeys, and even payments at convenience stores. The only notable difference is that Pasmo doesn’t require a 500 yen deposit, whereas Suica does.

This discussion will focus on the Suica card, which necessitates a 500 yen deposit.

“Suica: Requiring a 500 Yen Deposit”

Suica is a rechargeable transportation card similar to Korea’s T-money or Cashbee. The key difference lies in the 500 yen deposit. When purchasing a 2,000 yen card, 500 yen serves as a deposit, and the remaining 1,500 yen is available for use.

Upon returning the card after usage, excluding a 220 yen fee, both the deposit and the remaining balance are refunded. It’s crucial to note that if the remaining balance is 220 yen or less, the entire 500 yen deposit is refunded. Therefore, it’s advantageous to minimize the balance before returning the card.

“Where to Purchase Suica”

Suica cards can be purchased at JR train stations. Dedicated Suica vending machines are available, allowing users to both buy and charge their cards. Additionally, local convenience stores also offer the service of charging Suica cards.

“Suica Charging Limit”

The charging limit for Suica is set at 20,000 yen. Initially, there was no such limit, but due to instances where some Chinese individuals exploited Suica to avoid tariffs when purchasing high-value items, a cap was imposed.

“Suica: Is it a Watermelon?”

In Japanese, “Suica” means watermelon. This linguistic coincidence has led to playful videos circulating online, with people attaching Suica cards to watermelons and humorously passing them through subway gates. You can find such playful videos on YouTube:

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