New SUICA and Pasmo cards for tourists

Starting from 1 September 2019, tourists and visitors to Japan will have the option of purchasing a new Suica and Pasmo IC card with exclusive design. An IC card is necessary for every visitors to use transport such as trains, subways, buses, in a convenient and hassle-free way.

Before this, we would always have to pay a 500 yen deposit when buying a IC card. Although this deposit is refundable, but we usually forget to.

The new Suica card for tourists will do away with the need for a deposit now. Buying one will be 500 yen cheaper and there is no need to refund/return it. However, each card will have a validity of 28 days. Good enough for most visitors.

The new Suica card features cherry blossoms with red and white background, distinctly different from the regular green/white one.

Image source: https://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2018/20190221.pdf

The Pasmo card (known as Pasmo Passport) has many designs including Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty.

Image source: https://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2018/20190221.pdf

The new Suica and Pasmo cards can be purchased at major train stations. It is always advisable to get one of these as soon as you reach the country, eg Narita Airport terminal, etc.

But for us, I think we will stick to the regular Suica/Pasmo card, since we visit Japan frequently. It is better to keep a card that has longer validity.

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