Complicated train lines in Tokyo?Make it easy with suica



“suica” will save your time in busy transportation in TOKYO

Tokyo traffic is too complicated, even just to travel by trains? Exactly, there are more than 70 lines including JR, and metros. You want to make it much simple and easy? Then let’s go and get “suica” .

Suica is a contactless IC card that makes it easy to get through the ticket gate. Technically suica enables users to save time to buy tickets, to put the tickets into the ticket gate.

After reading this article, you will know quite a lot of everything about suica and how to manage your life with busy transportation of Japan.

What is suica? How to get it?

Suica is an contactless IC card that is mainly used in eastern side of Japan. Suica allows the users to pass through the ticket gate with one second touch to the specific machine. In order to use suica, you need to charge money to the suica card in advance. You can use as much money as you charged.

When you first come to Japan and want to get suica before getting anything, you can go to any JR station in eastern side of Japan.

There are 2 ways of acquiring suica card. In every station of JR in east Japan, there are machines to get tickets. By using these machines, you can get suica card easily. If you go to big stations such as Shinagawa, Shinjuku, and Tokyo stations, there usually are the description of how to get the card. If not, you can ask the staffs to help you out to buy it. Or simply you can do it by yourself since the machine has English explanation as well.

Another way to get suica, is to go to a counter called “midori no madoguchi (green counter)”. In this counter, you will just tell that you want to have suica to the staff, and the staff will issue your suica right away.

When you get suica card, you can choose the price that you put in suica from ¥1,000 to ¥5,000 or ¥10,000. As it is shown above, suica is the IC card you can use by charging money into the card. These prices include the deposit of suica-card itself, ¥500. /strong>If you choose ¥5,000 to buy the card, for example, your card will have ¥4,500 charged and ¥500 for deposit. The deposit of ¥500 will be returned when you give the suica card back.

How to charge money to suica with cards

There are several ways to charge money to your suica.

  • Charge with your cash through the machines in stations
  • Charge with VIEW cards (Credit cards)
  • Auto-charge
  • Use Suica application on your smartphone

Charging with your cash is just simple. You will put as much money as you want to. Then done.

However, if you are tourists, and don’t have much cash, it would be annoying to change money every time just for charging. In this case, you would think you want to use credit cards. It is possible to charge with credit card, but there are only limited cards eligible to charge.

The only credit card that you can charge to suica is VIEW card, which is issued by JR.

More details about the usage of VIEW card

If you are tourists and will not stay in Japan for long, sorry, you cannot use your credit card for transportation. You have to prepare for certain amount of cash to spend for transportation.

However, if you are long-term residents, like more than 3 months, you have chances to get VIEW card more easily. In order to get the VIEW card, it is recommended to buy VIEW card with suica facility attached more than just to buy single VIEW card. By using the VIEW card with suica, you can get the auto charge system, which allows your suica never runs out of money. When your suica has less money than the amount you have set, the money will be charged automatically from your bank account or credit card. As the auto charge made, you can acquire the certain points as refund. This VIEW card with suica can be used as the normal credit card as well.

On the other hand, there are, of course, the single VIEW card ready for you. You can charge with this VIEW card to suica manually as your suica cards run out of money. If you like to change the amount of money you charge every time, you better to choose the separated cards.

If you are seeking the way to use your iPhone to charge suica, it is also possible. There are a lot of restriction, but still you can do it. You need to download the specific application that allows your phone to be used as contactless card. For more details, you can refer to the article attached below. It is complicating, and it’s affordable for less people.

[Attention!] The usage of Apple Pay is limited in JAPAN

How to get VIEW card

Now you know how inconvenient to use suica without having VIEW card, then what do you have to do to use the convenient system?

You just register for the VIEW card as you do to the other cards. The conditions of people who can register for VIEW cards are below.

  • Living in Japan for long-term
  • Being able to answer to the phone call from the VIEW card issuing company
  • Over 18 years old
  • Have good records on use of credit cards

These are only the parts of conditions, but technically if you have good scores on your trust to issue cards, you can get the VIEW cards. Even though you are not the Japanese passport holders, you can register and have the chances to acquire the VIEW cards.

Over all, in order to overcome the complicated transport system of Japan (eastern Japan), you better to get suica. The longer you live in Japan, the better you get suica and save tremendous amount of time. The better way to use suica is to get the VIEW card, which is the credit card that is issued by JR. This VIEW card is the only way to charge to suica with credit cards. If you are travelling Japan for short-term, you better to prepare enough cash of paying transportation.


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