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How to Travel Around Tokyo with SUICA Card

To be honest, we can’t imagine traveling in Tokyo without a Suica Card. Suica means “watermelon” in Japanese. Yes, it’s also the Japanese version of Hong Kong’s Octopus Card and London’s Oyster Card.  Why isn’t it named after a sea creature? We don’t know. What we know is Suica card is a must while traveling in Tokyo – or actually all around Japan!

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The Suica is a prepaid e-money card for moving around and shopping. There is no more need to buy a ticket from a vending machine. Just touch your Suica to the ticket gate and the fare is automatically deducted from your Suica. The Suica can be used not only for JR East trains, but subways and buses as well.

The Suica can also be used to pay for things with e-money. Buy soft drinks and coffee from vending machines and on the train. Even buy a newspaper at the station kiosk without fiddling for coins. For traveling in Japan, the Suica makes a more pleasant trip. (Source)

 

suica-card.jpg Why do we prefer getting a Suica card than a one day pass?

  1. We get automatic discounts when using it on trains and buses
  2. No hassle when transferring from different lines for example from JR Line to Odakyu Line in Shinjuku Station – there is a special entrance for transferring passengers but only when you have a Suica (or other brand of pass).
  3. It’s very convenient to use on buses as well
  4. You can also shop with it at Japanese malls (example at Lumine Shinjuku)
  5. When you’re done using your Suica card, you can get ¥500 rebate

How to use your Suica card?

Simply touch the Suica card to the reader at the ticket gate when out and about. There is no need to purchase a ticket from a vending machine.

The fare is automatically calculated at the station where you get off.

When you get off the train, the fare will be calculated at that station. If the balance is insufficient, however, you will need to add more money to your Suica.

Note:
Additional tickets must be purchased to use the Suica for travel on a limited express, express or Green Car. The Suica cannot be used for travel on the Shinkansen. (Source)

 

Travel Around Japan with HyperDia (Railway Route Search Engine)

If you want to travel around Tokyo (or anywhere in Japan) smoothly, I would suggest that you get your own pocket wifi first. And always bring along with you your mobile phone! :)

Whenever my friends or readers ask me about an APP / website about the train information, I would always suggest “Hyperdia”.

You have to access it by typing the whole “www.hyperdia.com” url. It is available in three languages: Japanese, English & Chinese.

Hyperdia

“HyperDia” is a service which offers the route and the timetable of the railway and the aviation of Japan. With simple operation, “HyperDia” guides the optimal route and the fare from starting point to end. The route search engine is made by self-developed technology. By applying this route search engine, it is possible to make link to regional information, for example, map information, a rental car and the golf-course etc around the station from the search result. So, it is possible to offer the information which is possessed with your corporation sight effectively. (from their website)

 

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