It is very troublesome to buy a ticket by glancing at Japanese every time you get on the train, or to count the coins for each bus and put them in the coin purse.
I have been living in Japan for 30 years, and I will tell you the recommended method.
This method is limited to the Tokyo area, so please check the following article when traveling to other places.
From 2019, tourist cards have been released. I will explain its features and how to buy it.
The name is “WELCOME SUICA” and it is a prepaid card containing the specified price of money.
Roughly summarizing the features, it looks like this.
- You can buy it with a credit card
- You can buy it at the airport
- Charge is also possible
- No initial fee required
- I can’t refund the money inside
- It becomes unusable after 28 days
- If you run out of prepaid card, you can only deposit cash
Recommended places to buy are Haneda Airport and Narita Airport.
You can buy it at JR EAST TRAVEL CENTER at a major station in Tokyo, but I don’t recommend it because the location is difficult to understand.
You can buy WELCOME SUICA for children until you reach the age of 12. At this time, please prepare an insurance card or other item that shows your age.
How to buy
Let’s take Haneda Airport as an example. You can buy it at a similar machine at the train ticket office at Narita Airport, so please see the method below. There are places in the city where you can buy it, but it’s best to buy it at the airport.
Example of how to buy (Haneda Airport)
When you arrive in Japan, you will arrive at the arrival lobby (2nd floor) of Terminal 3 at Haneda Airport.
There are two train routes from this second floor to the city.
Only sold at the monorail ticket office! Please be careful.
This is the part of this photo.
Select your language on this screen. If you don’t have your own language, you can press the area surrounded by the red square this time in the same way.
Choose whether the buyer is for adults or children. The upper left is an adult and the lower left is a child.
If you select for children, this screen will appear, and you will be taken to the screen for confirming the age of the buyer, and from now on, it will be the same as the screen for adults.
SUICA for children is half the fare, but children’s music will be played when passing through the gate.
Next, decide the deposit amount.
It can be used at most stores in Japan, so I think it’s okay to add a lot. This time I will try it and buy it for myself, so I will choose 1000 yen. So far, the upper limit seems to be 10,000 yen. I wish I could have raised the upper limit a little more. ..
On this screen next, you can buy all-you-can-use trains from jr all day long, but you don’t need to buy them because they are expensive and you can only use trains from one company. Press the button below. (The most confusing option)
After pressing the button, insert Japanese Yen or a credit card into the slot below.
This time, I will purchase with a credit card.
After inputting, enter your PIN using the keyboard below.
After inputting, wait about 30 seconds.
After that, you will receive a receipt and a prepaid card.
Finally, you can easily pay anywhere.
You can enjoy your trip slowly.
This time, before I got home, I tried to see if I could actually use it at a cafe in Shibuya.
There are machines like this in shops all over Japan. Speaking of “SUICA-BARAI”, you can see that you are going to pay with this, so let’s hold WELCOME-SUICA over this machine after saying it. Payment is complete when you hear a sound.
The coffee was delicious after this. (It seems to be oatmeal latte.)
How was that. (was delicious)
The stores that can be used are buses, trains, most restaurants and home electronics mass retailers. It can also be used in hotels and tourist spots.
You can buy it only in Tokyo, but you can use it all over Japan, so you can use it with confidence even if you move from Tokyo to another place.