community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-bookmark-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-tours destinations-town interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter social-youtube ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-confirmed-outline ui-confirmed-solid ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-video-play ui-x user-avatar

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

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Suica or Pasmo; which to buy? 2010/6/25 14:13
Hi from a couple of seniors in Canada.

We visited Japan for 11 days in 2008 and fell in love with it! We are returning for four weeks in October. We are taking the limousine bus directly from Narita to Shin-Yokohama.

We'll be based in Yokohama and Shin-Yokohama but will stay in Tokyo for a few days and a week spent between Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Can anyone advise the best choice between Suica and Pasmo cards? We will spend time on the various subway and local rail lines in Tokyo and Yokohama and plan to use the "boat" from Asakusa over to Odaiba and Aqua City.

Any advice will be appreciated!
by Tembo (guest)  

... 2010/6/25 15:15
They are both prepaid card valid on JR and metro subway lines in/around Tokyo, so it does not make any difference.
If you want to take advantage of a package deal, you could take (instead of the bus) JR Narita Express from Narita Airport to Yokohama (or to Tokyo and then take another train to Yokohama), then NEX & Suica package would give you some savings.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

suica 2010/6/25 15:37
While in Tokyo there is no difference, Suica ends up being a better option for you as it can be used on all JR networks that support IC cards (including Hiroshima and Kyoto), while Pasmo is limited to the Greater Tokyo Area (and some parts of Niigata and Sendai). I'd definitely consider getting the Suica-NEX package.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Flying into Narita? 2010/6/26 06:19
If you're flying into Narita, you can get a special Suica & NEX package. NEX is the Narita Express train, which is a quick but somewhat expensive way (usually around 3000 yen one-way, depending on where you want to go) to get into Tokyo. The Suica card is usually 2000 yen, with 1500 yen available for using the trains.

Together, the Suica & NEX package costs 3500 yen. If you want to look more into it, look here:
Or Google "Suica & NEX"
by RaikouNeko rate this post as useful

Thanks For All The Advice! 2010/6/26 10:56
Thanks Everyone! Looks like Suica is the way to go.

My apologies for not being specific enough in our question. Initially upon arrival we are staying at Shin-Yokohama Prince, which sort of puts the NEX out of the picture.

We travel independently and make all our own travel and accommodation arrangements.

After a few days at SYP we go up to Tokyo for three days before heading south to Hiroshima for three days, stopping in Kyoto for three days on the way down. From Hiroshima we return to Yokohama, this time staying in Minato Mirai for about a week. At some stage we will break away for a couple of days (1 night) in Hakone.

Because we want to use the Nozomi we shall not be buying the Japan Rail Pass.

While in Yokohama we plan on revisiting some previous stops, including Kenchoji Gate and the nearby Giant Budda.

Although shopping in touristy areas like Ginza we often found more of the ''real'' world in places like Himonya Daiei, the arcade at Musashi Koyama and even the area around Senzoku.

ANY advice or suggestions would/will be appreciated.

Thank you again to everyone!
by Tembo (guest) rate this post as useful

trip 2010/6/26 15:33
You can actually use the N'EX- Suica package. Next will give you a big discount to go from Narita to Yokohama.
then you use Suica from Yokohama station to Shin-Osaka. Only 10 minutes by train

The N'EX can only be used once but the Suica can be used as often as you want, but of course you will have to add more yen to it.

re the Nozomi: it really doesn't go that much faster than a Hikari and isn't any more comfortable so perhaps you should review your plan and bu ya JR pass..
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Definitely Suica Nex and JR Pass 2010/6/26 16:05
Absolutely definitely definitely go with Suica NEx and a JR Pass: it will absolutely pay off
by fmj rate this post as useful

Thank you; some more questions please 2010/6/27 10:31
Thank you everyone.
Suica+NEX it is then!

As to the JR Pass, can you please advise some more. We know that a 7 day pass is an excellent idea for our proposed trip to Hiroshima, stopping at Kyoto en route.

We are not concerned about the small speed differential between Nozomi and Hikari.

It appears that Nozomi goes through between Tokyo and Hiroshima while the Hikari require a change of train at Shin-Osaka in both directions. There also seem to be far fewer Hikaris than Nozomis. Looks like the Hikaris are less frequent than in 2008 when we researched this during our visit then.
Is the convenience and cost saving of using a JR Pass likely to worth the potential inconvenience of Hikaris?

We may appear to know a lot more than we really do, so please, any advice, no matter how trivial it may seem will probably be extremely helpful to us.

Thank you!
by Tembo (guest) rate this post as useful

hyperdia and think in yen 2010/6/27 14:16
Just did a quick check on Hyperdia:
ShinYokohama to Hiroshima; Hiroshima to Kyoto; Kyoto to Shin Yokohama:
total on NOZOMI: 42120Y
On HIKARI 41120Y: yes, only 1000Y difference
BUT with a 7 day PASS only 28300Y
That's a few hundred dollars difference between 2 of you:
all the more for shopping and eating!
The change of trains at Shin Osaka is no great problem, as it will no doubt be the same platform:just ask the conductor on the first train when your tickets are checked as to whether there will be a platform change. If there is it won't be far away at all, maybe just over the platform island.
Depending on how you plan your time in Yokohama, it may even be worth buying a 14 day pass: 45100Y: that's only another 4000Y worth of travel in 7 days...may use that up on day trips maybe around Tokyo?
If, for example, you were going to Nikko, about 12000Y return from Yokohama, even a 21 day pass could pay off.
SO: check all costs etc with Hyperdia, and think in YEN: if the trips add up to the value or more of a pass then they are worth their weight in gold for the ease of use, and ability to reserve seats at no cost.
Also, if you activate it at Narita when you arrive you get the trip from Narita to Yokohama included, then just have to buy a prepaid Suica card for the subways etc: just depends on how you plan your time.
OR have it so you get the trip BACK to the airport included, and start with a Suica NEx.
I always plan so as to maximise the JR Pass for all its worth.
Good luck!!
by fmj rate this post as useful

reply to this thread