Why IC Cards Like Suica Are a Must-Have for Travelers in Tokyo! Enhance Your Journey with Suica

Planning a trip to Japan? Have you heard of the Suica IC card? If you’ve been to Tokyo before, you might have noticed that hardly any Japanese people use paper tickets at the stations anymore.

Despite its convenience, many travelers are still unaware of Suica. In this post, we’ll delve into how to use the Suica card and the many benefits it offers.

Trust us, it’s incredibly convenient and a must-have for your trip! ★


Not Just for Stations! Suica: The IC Card for Shopping Too

Suica is a rechargeable IC card in Japan, commonly referred to as a “transportation IC card.” It’s not just for train and bus fares; Suica can also be used at convenience stores, vending machines, and many other places. For Tokyo residents, it’s indispensable—sometimes, we get through the day using only Suica for small purchases!

Similar transportation IC cards are available throughout Japan, each with different names depending on the region, but they can all be used nationwide.

examples of various names for IC cards in Japan!

Sure, here are the translations of the names of the IC cards used nationwide in Japan:

First, you need to purchase a Suica card and load it with money. You can easily add funds at ticket machines in stations or at convenience store counters. Once charged, simply touch your Suica card to the IC card reader to make payments. This eliminates the hassle of handling small change, making your travel and shopping smooth and effortless.

  1. Suica: Issued by JR East, Suica is an IC card widely used in the Greater Tokyo Area, primarily for trains and buses.
  2. Pasmo: Similar to Suica, Pasmo is widely used in the Greater Tokyo Area and is compatible with Suica, allowing users to access trains, buses, convenience stores, and more.
  3. ICOCA: Issued by JR West, ICOCA is mainly used in the Kansai region. It’s accepted on JR West trains, buses, some private railways, and at convenience stores.
  4. Kitaca: Used in the Hokkaido region, Kitaca is issued by JR Hokkaido, enabling users to access trains, buses, and shops in the area.
  5. TOICA: Issued by JR Tokai, TOICA is predominantly used in the Tokai region, offering access to trains, buses, and shops in the area.
  6. PASPY: Issued by JR Shikoku, PASPY is utilized in the Shikoku region, providing access to trains, buses, and shops.
  7. nimoca: Issued by JR Kyushu, nimoca is popular in the Kyushu region, allowing users to access trains, buses, and shops.

Benefits of Using Suica

1. Convenient Nationwide:
Transportation IC cards like Suica are extremely convenient in major cities across Japan, not just Tokyo. With a Suica card, you can easily pay for train and bus fares, make purchases at convenience stores, and buy drinks or snacks from vending machines.

2. Time-Saving:
Suica is a contactless IC card. Payments are completed with just a tap, saving you the time and effort of handling cash.

3. Convenient for JR Use:
Suica is accepted at JR stations. In major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, Suica ensures smooth travel on JR trains.

4. 残高払い戻し:

Where to Buy a Suica Card

Due to the global semiconductor shortage, sales of unregistered 【Suica】and 【PASMO 】cards have been temporarily suspended since June 8th. However, you can use Mobile Suica as an alternative.


  • Currently available only through the Apple Store.
  • The card cannot be used if your phone is turned off.

For more information, check here.


Suica is an incredibly convenient payment method for travelers in Japan. From paying train and bus fares to shopping at convenience stores and vending machines, it’s useful in various situations. As a contactless IC card, it makes travel and shopping during your stay in Japan hassle-free. Be sure to use a Suica card when you visit Japan!

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