Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Suica card 2020/1/15 12:37
Hello.

We'll be traveling to Japan this coming February and we are planning to avail the 7 day JR pass. For trains and buses not covered by JR pass, can we SUICA in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Nagoya and Hiroshima?

Also, which is better to use in these areas: SUICA or ICOCA?

Thank you.
by jEnnycAt (guest)  

Re: Suica card 2020/1/15 14:43
I would go with Icoca. It's used almost everywhere and much easier to manage.
by Motti15 rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/15 16:18
All are the same.
There is a IC inside which is accepted by every machine.
You can charge your money on stations, or other places.
Cards like Icoca, Suica and Pasmo are valid across Japan, so don't worry about which one you buy.

I do not know why the previous said it is easier to manage.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/15 16:40
Which IC card to get depends on where you buy it. If you first arrive to Tokyo your only choices are Suica (JR) and Pasmo (everyone else). If you arrive first in Kansai then your choices are ICOCA (JR) or Pitapa (all other companies). BUT all those cards are valid on all trains and busses in Kansai and Tokyo (broadly speaking. In very rural parts IC cards are not accepted but unless you go to some quite remote areas around Tokyo or Osaka thatfs not an issue.

This page explains the different IC cards and also special options for tourists.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

Not getting back a refund sounds bad, but actually you can use the card in many shops to pay. So unless you load it up with huge amount of cash, to can empty it by simply buying some stuff at the airport.

You can check the remaining balance at ticket gates or ticket machines.

Enjoy your trip to Japan.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/15 21:08
Hello Jenny,

You can use the SUICA in the areas of Tokyo, Sendai, and Niigata, including transport by train, subway, monorail, and bus, but no bullet trains or airport transfers. Instead, the ICOCA card services in the regions of Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, and Okayama. 

My recommendation is the ICOCA because it covers a slightly larger area than others and is also compatible with some minor local cards, such as the Paspy Card in Hiroshima.

More information about prepaid IC cards: https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/using-japanese-ic-cards
by Mike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/15 22:33
Mike's information is totally out of date. The major IC cards can be used in the areas where the other cards were issued. There is no difference between a SUICA and an ICOCA nowadays. The only difference is where you can purchase them.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/15 23:11
You can use the SUICA in the areas of Tokyo, Sendai, and Niigata, including transport by train, subway, monorail, and bus, but no bullet trains or airport transfers. Instead, the ICOCA card services in the regions of Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, and Okayama.

This statement is not true. You canNOT BUY a Suica in Osaka, Kyoto etc, but you CAN USE it. What you can't do is cash it in (e.g. get the deposit back) in the "wrong" region. Thus one of those special IC cards without deposit might be a good way to go if you e.g. arrive in Tokyo and depart from KIX.

Where will be the first place you arrive in Japan? Tokyo or Osaka? Depending on that get either an ICOCA or a Pasmo/Suica, which will then work for the entire rest of your trip.

by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/16 08:07
For information on IC cards, use the japan-guide.com link that LikeBike posted earlier. Ignore the link in the post two posts above this one - it's just a thinly-disguised advertisement designed to send you to a Spanish site selling JR Passes.
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/16 19:43
Hi, @LikeBike, we'll be arriving in Osaka, then we'll be traveling to Hiroshima, Nara, Kyoto, Nagoya, and depart in Tokyo.

Thanks everyone for your comments.
by jEnnycAt (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/16 21:01
As you arrive in Osaka, your only option is ICOCA. and this is a good option. I would suggest to get it as soon as possible after you arrive, so you can start using it.

As said above, you can fill it up at ticket vending machines and you can empty it by taking transport but also by buying things in many different shops and even restaurants. So you can empty it when you are the airport in Tokyo.

You cannot hand it back in Tokyo. So it will become a souvenir and you can use it again on your next trip to Japan :-)
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/17 06:30
When you say you are garriving in Osakah, do you mean youere flying in to KIX? If so, you may be interested in the ICOCA + Haruka package.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_icoca_haruka.html
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Suica card 2020/1/17 10:01
I usually have a mix of pasmo, suica and iocca cards on my desk at any one time as those are the ones I usually pick up. Sometimes the Tokyo monorail card (it's kind of cute) but I never worry about which one to use. The tiny differences I noticed a few years back have been removed from the system and they are more inter-operable and wider coverage now then even a couple of years back. Given the stored credit is valid for ten years, you can re-use it on a later trip or give/sell to someone coming to Japan in the future.

I do occasionally find myself outside of IC coverage areas, most recently last month in Kyushu when I didn't notice I had gone a bit far along a local line. A simple thing to pay in cash and get the card reset on the return journey.

That "mike" post is funny it is so wrong - not able to be used for airport transfers??? LOL
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

reply to this thread