How to Buy an IC Public Transportation Card in Japan

Ticket vendig machine in JR-EAST staions.Ticket Vending Machine in JR-EAST staions.

It can be very convenient to use the IC card (to pay a ticket fare) when you are going to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto – some large cities in Japan.

suica cardJR-EAST IC Card.

An IC Card for public transportation is a rechargeable, contactless, prepaid card, which can be used on the train, the subway, the bus, and even on taxis. The marks on these modes of transportation are on the right side.

There are several variations of the IC Card. Although different companies issue the cards with different designs, the cards can be used to pay for transportation everywhere in Japan.

How to Buy an IC Card

Ticket vendig machine in JR-EAST staions.Ticket vendig machine in JR-EAST staions.

In JR East, you can buy an IC card from the vending machines at the ticket kiosks at each station. However, you will be charged 500 yen as a deposit. The JR East’s IC card is called the “Suica.”

You can purchase these at black vending machines, named “Buy a new Suica.” You choose how much you would like to put on the card, then insert the money.

You will receive a Suica card.

Other IC public transportation cards include:
JR Hokkaido
JR East
Private train and bus companies in Kanto region.
JR Tokai region.
Private train and bus companies in Tokai region.
JR West and JR Shikoku region.
Private train and bus companies in Kansai region, Okayama and Shizuoka.prefectures.
JR Kyushu Transportation Bureau City of Fukuoka.
Nimoca Co.,Ltd. which is the center of West train group.

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