For longer stays, save money and time with a smart card!
Many railway companies share the same tracks and other facilities, so using the railways in Japan can seem complicated at first glance! And it can be challenging to check your journey on a route map or buy the correct ticket at the station each time you pass through. The ideal solution, if you are staying for a longer period and want to get the most value from your visit, is the PASMO smart card (IC card). Here is how it works.
What is the PASMO smart card?
PASMO is a smart card that replaces tickets or cash. It can be used throughout Japan, not only for journeys on trains and buses but also in place of cash to buy goods at participating stores.
Where can I buy it?
The card can be purchased at participating private railway and subway stations or bus depots. The easiest way is to buy it from an automatic ticket machine at a station. This way, instructions are available in English and there is no need to fill out any forms, making the purchase simple and hassle-free for overseas visitors. A deposit of 500 yen is charged on first purchase of the PASMO card. Once you have bought your card, you can keep recharging it with credit to use the same card as often as you like.
Use it everywhere!
You can use the smart card in many different places—from station concourse stores and automatic vending machines to convenience stores—wherever you see the smart card logo. Moreover, when taking the train, you can get a discount if you use a smart card instead of buying a cash ticket—another advantage.
Special cards for overseas visitors to Japan!
For a visit to sample traditional Japanese culture at Koedo Kawagoe—a town known as "little Edo" that is easily reachable from Tokyo—the Seibu Railpass, available only to overseas visitors, offers savings. For just 700 yen, the pass entitles you to a same-day roundtrip journey on your chosen route.
When travelling overseas, handling currency that you are not used to can be a burden. A smart card helps cut out some of the stress, uniting an entire range of convenient advantages in one piece of plastic. If you are coming to Japan, be sure to get hold of one!