The JR Pass is a special pass available only to those entering Japan on a tourist visa. It allows for unlimited travel around Japan on JR lines usually at a price much less than purchasing individual tickets.
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Suica is a pre-paid IC card issued by JR East to travel around Tokyo and also other major cities in Japan. It also can be used for shopping at registered shops including major convenience stores, shopping malls AEON, electronic stores BIC Camera and Yodobashi Cameras and many more.
Pasmo is also a prepaid IC card issued by the Tokyo Metro which can be used to travel on the Metro, JR and other trains. Just touch the card on the card reader when you start and end your journey.
Both cards can be purchased at stations in Tokyo. In other major cities (Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya Sapporo) also offer similar IC cards such as ICOCA, Kitaka, Sugoka, Manaca, Nimoca etc. which can be used throughout Japan.
Suica / Pasmo FAQ
How to buy Suica / Pasmo Card?
Suica can be purchased at Major JR East station, JR Ticket Offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) and Travel Service Centers in Tokyo including at Narita and Haneda Airport.
Pasmo can be purchased at participating private railway and subway stations including Narita and Haneda Airport station and bus depots.
When you buy a Suica / Pasmo card, a deposit of 500 yen is automatically included in the price
(e.g. if you purchase 2,000 yen card, its including 1,500 yen credit + 500 yen deposit).
The deposit can be claimed back ONLY in Tokyo, at by JR East stations for Suica, and participating private railway and subway stations for Pasmo
How to use?
You will just touch in with your Suica / Pasmo card on the card reader at the ticket gate when you start and end of your journey to pay the correct fare.
If you don't have enough credit then the gates won't open. You will need to top up your credit at ticket machine near the gate before you enter or at fare adjustment machine after you go through the gate.
The remaining credit will be displayed when you touch out, or you can use the ticket machines to check the balance also the usage history.
How to top-up?
You can top up your Suica / Pasmo card in stations at ticket machine or fare adjustment machines.
The minimum amount is 1,000 yen and maximum is 20,000 yen can top up at once.
Suica and Pasmo card can be used at major convenience stores, vending machines, coin lockers, restaurants and taxi if they are displaying Suica / Pasmo logo.