Where and How to Buy Suica Card In Japan?

by Erika Shinomoto
where to buy suica card in japan

Are you planning to visit Japan and want to know where and how to buy a Suica card in Japan? Read on for all the information you need!

Suica cards are useful for paying for transportation, food, and other items while in Japan, so having one is highly recommended. In this post, we’ll tell you where to buy a Suica card in Japan and provide instructions on how to use it. Let’s get started!

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, one of the things you’ll need is a Suica card. This card is a rechargeable fare card that can be used on trains and buses in Japan. It’s a convenient way to get around, and it can also be used for other purposes such as making purchases at convenience stores.

Where and How to Buy Suica Card in Japan

There are many places where you can buy a Suica card in Japan. Here are some of the most common places:

  • JR East Travel Service Centers: These are located in major train stations throughout Japan. You can find a list of JR East Travel Service Centers here
  • Ticket vending machines: These are located in most train stations and convenience stores. To buy a Suica card from a ticket vending machine, you will need to select the “Suica” option and then follow the instructions on the screen.
  • Some convenience stores: Some convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven and FamilyMart, sell Suica cards. However, not all convenience stores sell Suica cards, so it is best to check before you go.

To buy a Suica card, you will need to pay a 500 yen deposit. This deposit is refundable when you return the card to a JR East Travel Service Center or a ticket vending machine.

Once you have purchased your Suica card, you can add money to it at any JR East Travel Service Center, ticket vending machine, or convenience store that sells Suica cards. 

You can also add money to your Suica card online through the Suica website or app.

Here are the steps on how to buy a Suica card in Japan:

  1. Go to a JR East Travel Service Center, ticket vending machine, or convenience store that sells Suica cards.
  2. Select the “Suica” option.
  3. Pay the 500 yen deposit.
  4. Choose the amount of money you want to add to your card.
  5. Collect your Suica card and your receipt.

Your Suica card is now ready to use! You can use it to pay for train fares, bus fares, and even some vending machine purchases.

Here are some additional tips for buying a Suica card in Japan:

  • If you are planning on using your Suica card for a long period of time, you may want to consider purchasing a Welcome Suica card. The Welcome Suica card is a special version of the Suica card that is designed for foreign tourists. It has a higher deposit (700 yen) but it also comes with a free 1,000 yen travel pass.
  • If you are only planning on using your Suica card for a short period of time, you may want to consider purchasing a disposable Suica card. Disposable Suica cards do not require a deposit and can be used for up to 3 days.
  • You can also purchase a Suica card online through the Suica website or app. However, you will need to have a Japanese credit card in order to do this.

What is a Suica Card?

Suica cards are rechargeable smart cards used for electronic money payments on transport systems in the Tokyo metropolitan area, as well as for retail purchases in suica-compatible shops. You can purchase a suica card from ticket vending machines or ticket offices at train stations.

suica card in japan

The suica card can be used on trains, buses, and ferries operated by JR East, as well as on the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. When you exit a train station or other fare-controlled area, the fare is automatically deducted from your suica card when you tap your card on the gate sensors.

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suica at train stations

If you make a purchase at a suica-compatible shop, you just need to touch your suica card to the reader at the register.

How Much Does a Suica Card Cost?

You can buy a preloaded suica card from 1000 yen to 10000 yen with a 500 yesn deposit. The deposit is refundable if you return your suica card to a JR East ticket office.

You can buy a Suica Card in Japan at the Airport

One option is to purchase your Suica card at the airport. You can do this at the JR East ticket offices, which are located in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of Narita Airport. The cost of the card is 2,000 yen, and you can add money to it in increments of 1,000 yen.

You can also buy a Suica card at train stations in Japan

Buy a Suica Card in Japan at a Train Station

Another option is to buy your Suica card at a train station. You can do this at the ticket machines or ticket offices of any JR East train station. The cost of the card is 2,000 yen, and you can add money to it in increments of 1,000 yen.

You can also get a Suica card online

If you’re not in Japan yet, or if you want to save yourself a trip to the train station, you can also purchase your Suica card online. You can do this through the JR East website or the Japan Rail Pass website. The cost of the card is 2,000 yen, and you can add money to it in increments of 1,000 yen. You can also purchase a suica card via klook.com

Welcome Suica Card for Short Term Travellers

If you’re only going to be in Japan for a short time, you might want to consider the Welcome Suica card. This card is designed for short-term travellers, and it’s valid for 28 days from the date of activation.

The Welcome Suica card can be purchased at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, or any JR East train station.

welcome suica

Where can you use Suica Cards in Japan?

Suica cards can be used on trains, buses, and ferries operated by JR East, as well as on the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. When you exit a train station or other fare-controlled area, the fare is automatically deducted from your suica card.

If you make a purchase at a suica-compatible shop, you just need to touch your suica card to the reader at the register.

You can also use your Suica card to make payments at some vending machines and parking meters.

How do I add money to my Suica Card?

You can add money to your Suica card at ticket machines, ticket offices, or automatic fare machines in JR East train stations. You can also add money to your card at some convenience stores.

suica card charge 1

You will find the machines to charge your Suica card in the JR East Station on both sides of the gate.

  • Step 1: On the machine, select English as your language
  • Step 2: Select ‘Charge’
  • Step 3: Select desired amount
suica card recHaRGE
  • Step 4: Insert cash in yen

And done!

You can also add money to your Suica card online. To do this, you will need to create an account on the JR East website.

Once you have created an account, you can log in and add money to your card. You can also use this website to check your balance, view your transaction history, and report a lost or stolen card.

How to register a Suica card online?

If you want to be able to add money to your Suica card online, you will need to register your card on the JR East website.

To register your card, you will need the following information:

– Your name

– Your date of birth

– The number on your Suica card

– The 4-digit PIN number on your Suica card

You will also need to create a username and password for your account.

Once you have registered your card, you can log in and add money to your card. You can also use this website to check your balance, view your transaction history, and report a lost or stolen card.

How do I return a Suica card?

If you’re finished using your Suica card and would like to get a refund for the remaining balance, you can do so at any JR East train station.

To get a refund, go to the ticket office or fare adjustment machine and insert your card. Then, follow the instructions on the screen to get your refund.

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You will need to have your passport with you in order to get a refund.

The minimum amount that can be refunded is 500 yen, and there is a 220 yen service charge.

Suica cards for children

child suica card

Children under the age of 6 can ride the JR East train network for free.

Children aged 6-11 can purchase a Child Suica card, which gives them a 50% discount on fares.

You can get a Suica card for children at major Japan Railways service centers and JR ticket office at Narita Airport. You won’t be able to get a Suica card for children at the vending machines though.

You will need to have the child’s passport for proof of age in order to buy the Suica card for children.

Mobile Suica cards in Japan

What is a mobile suica card?

A mobile Suica card is a digital version of the Suica card that can be stored on your smartphone.

You can use a mobile Suica card to pay for train fares, bus fares, and other purchases in the same way that you would use a physical Suica card. The best part about virtual Suica card is that your phone doesn’t need to be ‘online’. It doesn’t need to be connected to any network. However, it needs to be switched on.

Who can use mobile Suica Card?

Both Apple and Android users can use virtual Suica card. Mobile Suica system is compatible with iPhone 8 and up and Apple watch 3 and above. If you have a iPhone 7s that is bough in Japan then congratulations you iPhone is compatible with the mobile Suica system.

For Android users, your phone will be compatible with the mobile Suica system only if it was bought in Japan. You can use it through Google Pay.

How to set up Mobile Suica card in Japan?

For Apple Users:

Step 1: First, you need to set the region on your device to Japan.

Step 2: Add Suica profile to your Apple Wallet

If you have a physical Suica card (before you decided to go digital), you can transfer the balance remaining on that card to your Suica linked to Apple wallet.

You get two options to pay from: Apple Pay or credit card. Depending on your preference, you can choose either cause it’ll cost the same anyway.

For Android Users:

You can add your Suica to your Google Pay profile and use the Suica on your Japan-bought Android phone. You’ll also find a Suica app on Google Play but it’s currently in Japanese and doesn’t have good ratings. So I wouldn’t suggest using that.

What happens if my phone dies and I can’t use my Mobile Suica?

The Mobile Suica only works when your device is on. If your battery dies while you’re on the train, inform the staff at your exit gate; they will give you a slip with fare details on it. The next time you arrive at a station, show the staff the ticket you were given to pay what you owe and to allow your Suica to get you through the ticket gate.

The only drawback of using Mobile Suica card is that your phone needs to be on for you to use it. Should your phone die while you’re riding on the train, don’t panic! All you need to do is head over to the staff by the exit gate and explain your situation. They will then provide you with a slip which will contain the fare details. Then the next time you come to the station, show this slip to the staff present. You can then make the payment of what you owe, after which your Suica will be allowed to go through.

Can foreigners buy Suica?

Yes, foreigners can buy Suica cards in Japan. You can buy Suica cards at most JR East Travel Service Centers, ticket vending machines, and convenience stores. You can also buy Suica cards online through the Suica website or app.

There are a few different types of Suica cards that foreigners can buy:

  • Regular Suica card: This is the standard Suica card that can be used by anyone. It has a 500 yen deposit that is refundable when the card is returned.
  • Welcome Suica card: This is a special version of the Suica card that is designed for foreign tourists. It has a higher deposit (700 yen) but it also comes with a free 1,000 yen travel pass.
  • Disposable Suica card: This is a Suica card that does not require a deposit and can be used for up to 3 days.

Which type of Suica card you buy will depend on your needs and how long you will be staying in Japan. If you are planning on using your Suica card for a long period of time, then the regular Suica card is the best option. 

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If you are only planning on using your Suica card for a short period of time, then the disposable Suica card is a good option. 

And if you are a foreign tourist, then the Welcome Suica card is a great option because it comes with a free travel pass.

How to buy Suica card from vending machine?

Here are the steps on how to buy a Suica card from a vending machine in Japan:

  1. Find a Suica vending machine. These are located in most train stations and convenience stores.
  2. Select the “Suica” option on the vending machine.
  3. Pay the 500 yen deposit for a regular Suica card or 700 yen deposit for a Welcome Suica card. You can pay with cash or a credit card.
  4. Choose the amount of money you want to add to your card. The minimum amount is 1,000 yen and the maximum amount is 20,000 yen.
  5. Collect your Suica card and your receipt.

Your Suica card is now ready to use! You can use it to pay for train fares, bus fares, and even some vending machine purchases.

Here are some additional tips for buying a Suica card from a vending machine:

  • The vending machine will only accept Japanese yen. If you do not have any Japanese yen, you can exchange your currency at a currency exchange office.
  • The vending machine may not be able to read your credit card if it is not from a Japanese bank. If you have this problem, you can try paying with cash.
  • If you are not sure how to use the vending machine, you can ask for help from a staff member at the train station or convenience store.

Do Suica cards expire?

Yes, Suica cards expire after 10 years of inactivity. This means that if you do not use your Suica card for 10 years, the card will no longer be valid and you will not be able to use it.

To avoid your Suica card from expiring, you should make sure to use it at least once every 10 years. You can also top up your Suica card with money, even if you do not plan on using it right away. This will reset the 10-year timer and keep your card active.

If your Suica card does expire, you can still get a refund for the remaining balance. You can do this at any JR East Travel Service Center or ticket vending machine. You will need to bring your Suica card and your ID.

Which is better Suica or Pasmo?

Suica and Pasmo are both contactless smart cards that can be used to pay for transportation in Japan. 

They are both very similar, but there are a few key differences between them:

  • Coverage: Suica is primarily used in the JR East (East Japan Railway Company) area, while Pasmo is used in the Tokyo Metro (Tokyo Metropolitan Government Railway Company) area. However, both cards can be used on most trains and buses in the Tokyo area.
  • Fees: There is a 500 yen deposit for both Suica and Pasmo cards. However, the deposit for Suica cards is refundable when the card is returned, while the deposit for Pasmo cards is not.
  • Features: Suica cards can be registered with a name and address, which makes it easier to get a refund if the card is lost or stolen. Pasmo cards cannot be registered.

Ultimately, the best card for you will depend on where you will be traveling in Japan. If you will be traveling in the JR East area, then Suica is the better choice. If you will be traveling in the Tokyo Metro area, then Pasmo is the better choice.

If you are not sure which card to get, you can always get both. They are both very convenient to use and they are both accepted on most trains and buses in the Tokyo area.

Can I buy a Suica card using credit card?

Yes, you can buy a Suica card using a credit card at most JR East Travel Service Centers, ticket vending machines, and convenience stores. However, you cannot buy a Suica card using a credit card online.

If you are buying a Suica card at a JR East Travel Service Center or ticket vending machine, you will need to make sure that your credit card is from a Japanese bank. If your credit card is not from a Japanese bank, you may not be able to use it to buy a Suica card.

If you are buying a Suica card at a convenience store, you may be able to use your credit card, even if it is not from a Japanese bank. However, this will depend on the convenience store. Some convenience stores only accept cash for Suica card purchases.

Now that you know where and how to buy Suica card in Japan, we hope that your travel in Japan will be a more seamless and enjoyable experience! Do note that you can also use Suica to make small purchases such as buying a cup of coffee or some snacks from the convenience store. So do give it a try during your trip!

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