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Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/27 11:39
I visit Japan 2-3 times per year, with just long enough intervals between trips that my Suica card inactivates itself. Each time previous, I went to the ticket manned pass thru area of a JR station (where you might pass thru if you had a Japan Rail Pass) and the JR person placed the Suica card on a reader of some sort to reactivate, then it works fine for the duration of that trip. Previously, I have tried adding monies to the Suica card and then trying to use, no go, still needed to have the JR person "reactivate" the card.

Well, this time, I will be coming into Haneda on a flight that arrives at 5a. I expect to be out of customs and immigration by 545a to 6a as usual.

Does anyone know if I can "reactivate" my JR issued Suica card at Keikyu station manned area? Do I have to go to JR East Service Center or Monorail entrance?

I would like a response from someone who has definitely experienced reactivating their Suica card (preferably at Keikyu) but also if at JR East Service Center or Monorail entrance at Haneda.

Speculations are not necessary since I can speculate too! Thanks.

Stan
by USC4Ever  

Re: "Reactivating" my Suica 2020/5/27 15:07
I don't have a solution, but I'm confused about why your Suica inactivates in such a short time. IC cards are supposed to stay valid for ten years between uses! I have an ICOCA that I've been using on trips for six years, with two years being the longest time it went unused, and have never had to reactivate it. Have you ever been told why it deactivates?

If you have a phone that allows Apple Pay, you can use your Suica on that - that could be a workaround?
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: "Reactivating" my Suica 2020/5/27 16:21
Hi USC4Ever!

To reactivate your card, you will need the JR Travel Service Center.
At Haneda Airport you go to the left after you pass the Arrival gates and go in direction of the Monorail-Station-Signs.

The SUICA Card depends on JR. You can use most of the trains from other travel companies, but unfortunately not buy a new one or reactivate (or load new money on the card) at any other Ticket counters or machines like Keikyu.

As the other writer "/" above said, normally your SUICA donLt reactivate at a so short time after your last use. I use my SUICA for one travel trip a Year or after two years and had no problems to use the Card again.
So on your next trip it might be a good idea to buy a new card, because it sounds like your current card has a problem with its magnet strip. Or you can try to take your card separated from other cards or your mobile phone, so the magnet strip could not be damaged.

Hope this helps a little bit.
by Vio (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/27 19:35
My card has never deactivated itself. I've been using my current one for about 4-5 years. I visit Japan regularly, but once it was out of use for about 10 months without issue. I recommend explaining the problem to a member of staff at a JR station and seeing what they say, or simply buying a new card, because I don't think this is normal behaviour.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/27 21:01
I am curious.
can you use public transportation, when you enter Japan right now ?
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/27 22:03
Ken

no I dont think you can if you have been in one of the countries subject to the travel ban within 14 days of arriving.

You have to have a very special reason to enter and you have to stay in quaratine for 14 days in a place decided by the powers that be at the airport. You also cannot use public transport to get to this place, or any other during those 14 days.

this is currently in place until the end of June so I guess original poster will have to check before travelling

thats the info im reading online now anyway
by Chris (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/27 22:47
that's right.
very high possibility that OP can't enter Japan.
even when he can enter Japan in a rare case, he can't use public transportation.
so, please don't tell any suggestions by which he breaks the regulation.
this regulation continues in June, and probably more further.
if he comes from USA, it is very unlikely that he can come, until USA overcomes the virus.

since this is self-regulation, everybody can break the regulation easily.
but, if a new infection starts from incoming persons, people in Japan will blame the government and I am afraid that they may start to discriminate foreigners, by the reason that foreigners don't have any wisdom to follow the regulation. and it induces more confusions.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 00:36
Thanks all for the responses, I appreciate the insight.

Our cards (wife and I) work for all functions EXCEPT going thru ticket wickets at the JR stations the first time when we come back, so, that is why I need the JR station person to put the card on some reader to reactivate. I have been able to add monies, purchase at 7-11 and do other things, just not go thru the ticket wicket, until the JR person does their thing. I will head to the JR East Service center to get reactivated when I arrive.

BTW... this is for a late-September 2020 trip I am planning so will not go obviously if Japan does not remove restrictions from Americans entering the country...



by USC4Ever rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 02:22
I've never had an issue with the card I use on every trip. It's an ICOCA and the first thing I do is add funds to it at the airport. I've never had it deactivated in the 9 trips I've been using it since I got it 6 years ago. It has nothing to do with being able to get into Japan or anything others have posted, as the card is not attached to a passport number, lol!
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 05:17
I agree with others. I've had my SUICA card for well over a decade. I visit once or twice a year. Never has my card been deactivated.
by Taco Grande rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 07:28
Currently, nobody who enters Japan, including Japanese nationals, are supposed to use public transportation within 14 days of arrival.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 12:26
IC cards are supposed to have a 10 year life. Shouldn't deactivate unless it is a special commuter pass. But then you wont want that as a temp visitor.

So for other commenting on entry restrictions. These are well documented elsewhere and discussed elsewhere. Take the conversation there.
by h (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 12:31
Agreed - entry restrictions aren't relevant to this discussion. OP simply wants to know what the deal is with their Suica card.
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 16:24
It sounds like you never check out (correctly) on your last train ride.
Do you always use the same kind of transport upon leaving Japan? Which transportation do you use?

F.e. Enter the station with your suica but leaving the final station with a paper ticket or JR pass?
Or do you take a bus ride and maybe not using the card for boarding and embarking?

In Narita airport station you may have to check out twice (if I remember correctly Keisei has 2 ticket gates upon leaving their station)

by Lisa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/28 22:38
Unfortunately, the website links of JR-East website for a booklet about Suica card in English are broken.
Only I could find Japanese version here(https://www.jreast.co.jp/suica/pamphlet/suica/html5.html#page=1).
Q20 at page 41 says, you need to contact to ticket gate staff in "Suica Area" when the card seems to be invalid even it has remaining balances. "Suica Area" in Tokyo is specified on page 54 and Tokyo Monorail stations are designated there. Suica card are also valid for Keikyu line so their staff may reactivate the card for you, but I can not make sure.
by *** (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/29 14:41
After some research, I found a reliably sounding website that claims that personalized Suica cards (with a name on it) get locked if not used for 6 months. It seems that any company can unlock the card. It doesn't have to be JR East. It should also be possible at the manned ticket gates of Keikyu and Tokyo Monorail.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/30 03:44
Uji,
Makes perfect sense. My wife's and my Suica card are personalized with our names on it, so what you are saying is exactly what is happening to us. Thanks.
Stan
by USC4Ever rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/5/31 04:53
What does personalizing a Suica card do for you?
by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reactivating my Suica 2020/6/1 10:38
Personalizing does two things...

...looks nice with your name on the card and helps me to separate my wife's card from mine when we are traveling (or storing it in the safe). When it was my wife and two children and I traveling it was a challenge to keep track of who's card is who's. My kids would put their own monies on the card so they wanted to have their specific card since it was their money on their card.

...in theory, if you lose it, and it is turned in to JR, they will try to get it back to you if you put in a claim for a lost card that has your name on it.

S
by USC4Ever rate this post as useful

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