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How to Purchase Japan's Suica IC Card

This video introduces the must-have e-money card in Japan called Suica.
The title of the video is "How to Purchase, Charge, and Change to My Suica"(Suicaの買い方・チャージ・My Suica(記名式)への変更)”

This article provides detailed information about Suica alongside the video.

What is Suica?

Image of Suica

Suica is a rechargeable IC card issued by JR East that allows passengers to pass through ticket gates with ease.
Until Suica was invented, passengers had to use the ticket machine to purchase tickets and passes to get on trains.
Suica is a prepaid card that you can use for your train fare, vending machines, at convenience stores, as well as on the Internet.

You can simply scan your Suica card on the reader at the ticket gate.
Be aware that the slot at the gate is for train tickets. Please don't try to insert your card in them.

The Different Types of Suica

Image of an automatic ticket gate
Photo:Automatic ticket gate

There are three different types of Suica and each type has different functions: Suica, My Suica and Suica pass.
Suica can be purchased by anyone and does not require registering any information.
You can simply charge your Suica and scan it at the gate.
It automatically calculates and deducts the fee at the station where you get off.

My Suica requires to register your information, including your name, gender, date of birth, and your phone number.
This makes it possible to reissue, guarantee the charge balance, and issue a refund if the Suica is lost. is a device that adds Suica's functions to those of a commuter pass, and it is used as a commuter pass within a limited area, and outside the limited area, it is automatically calculated from the Suica balance.

How to Purchase Suica

You can purchase a Suica from a multi-function ticket machine with an IC mark on it at JR East stations or at the Midori-no-Madoguchi ticket windows.
You can see how to purchase a Suica from the ticket machine at 0:04 in the video.

As you see in the video from 0:44, you can select the amount you want to charge from 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 or 10,000 yen. These prices include a 500 yen deposit on your first purchase of a Suica card, therefore, 500 yen will be deducted from the actual charging amount. After your first purchase, all prices are as shown.

If you need a receipt, tap the "Issue a receipt" button that appears after you complete your purchase.
For My Suica, you will need to agree to the handling of your personal information before you make a purchase, and then enter your personal information.

The process is the same if you wish to change from Suica to My Suica.
You can watch the video at 2:35 to learn how to change from Suica to My Suica.

Convenient Features and How to Charge Suica

Image of a ticket machine
Photo:Ticket machine

Suica can be charged anytime after purchasing it.
You can also recharge your card at convenience stores and other places besides the ticket machines at stations.
With Suica, you don't have to worry about transferring from one station to another, as long as you make the payment, because it is automatically calculated at the ticket gate, even if you change trains.
Suica can also be used in conjunction with various types of transportation, and you can use Suica even when traveling outside of the JR East area.
In addition, you can also use Suica for subways, buses, and even for shopping.

In addition, the mobile phone application and View Card credit card are full of great features, such as auto-charge and rewards points.

Summary of Suica. Master the Convenient IC Card!

Image of a station platform
Photo:Station platform

What did you think about Japan's Suica IC cards?

If you're new to this kind of thing, the video will help you figure out how to purchase a Suica card, so be sure to take a look at it if you're still confused.
Get Suica and make your travels in Japan more convenient!

【Official Website】Suica Top: JR East

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
山本 孝(Takashi Yamamoto)
I've been a writer for seven years. I write articles on travel, food, and history.
Japan's Suica IC Card Can Be Used for Both Transportation and Shopping! A Look at One of Japan's Convenient Payment Methods!
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