Aside from renting a pocket wifi to stay connected and navigate the city easily, one of the most valuable tips I will give you is to get a SUICA card. Tokyo is widely operated by several train companies including Japan Railway, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. To get from point A to point B, it isn’t as easy as purchasing a single one-way ticket for riding the JR train and Toei Subway, because you’ll need to purchase another ticket for Toei Subway. Enter the Suica card, your ultimate lifesaver for all of your trips to Tokyo. While manufactured by the JR East company, with the Suica card, you can virtually go anywhere in Japan (yes, not only Tokyo!) and be fearless in riding trains.
The Suica IC card is a reloadable card and costs you at least 1500 yen – 500 yen for the deposit and 1000 yen as the minimum top up amount for your card. You can budget your trips easily by pegging them at 200 yen per ride on an average. There are no special discounts for trips using the Suica IC card, but with the ease of use with using the Suica IC card for your trips, it’s virtually inexpensive to riding with Suica.
How to Get Suica Card in Tokyo, Japan
To get a Suica card, you only need to visit any JR train station in Tokyo, because this is where the Suica card is available for purchase.
Step 1: Go to the machine at the JR train station, where the Suica logo is displayed.
Step 2: Press the Suica card
Step 3: Select the option Suica, and it says it costs 2000 yen.
Step 4: Insert 2000 yen to top up your Suica.
Step 5: Pick up your Suica and you’re all set!
If you ever need to reload again, it’s pretty simple. Just simply insert your Suica card into the machine, and follow the steps to top up your prepaid card.
With recent technology updates, the Suica card is interoperable in major prefectures in Japan. This means you can use the Suica for trips to Osaka, Kyoto and even Sapporo, Hokkaido. You don’t need to buy the PASMO or ICOCA card for your trip to Kansai region.
If you ever need to return your Suica (which I discourage because it’s also your souvenir), the Suica card can easily be returned through the machine and you’ll get your 500 yen deposit back! However, your remaining balance gets deducted 220 yen before the refund is returned to you, so I really discourage returning it. You can use it on your next trips anyway!
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