If you’re planning to go to Tokyo in the near future, then you’ve probably heard of the public transportation that has a consistently excellent reputation during your planning trip. You’d most likely take the trains one way or another when you’re in the heart of the metropolitan.
The railway companies have issued IC cards that can be used by basically anyone. IC cards are prepaid cards and you can choose between either PASMO or Suica. What’s the difference between them? Not much. Both of them have the exact same use, with only minor differences as they’re issued by different companies. Whichever you choose, it won’t affect the everyday use of the card. With these IC cards, you’d essentially have an electronic money that can be used in most places you’ll go in Tokyo. IC cards are extremely useful and are live savers. Seriously, don’t travel in Tokyo without these cards.
Less hassle overall
With IC cards in your pocket, there’d be no more working out places for several minutes in front of the ticket machine. No more remembering station names as you fiddle with the buttons to purchase the ticket, every time you’re going to go somewhere. Also no more looking for small papers of ticket stubs, easily forgotten, as you walk out of the trains onto the ticket gates. No more clutter as well as fiddling with bills and coins, getting the bills out and the changes inside your wallet. It would literally make your life easier.
Saves you so much time
You won’t have to spend more time more than necessary every time you want to go somewhere. There’s also the fact that there’s generally always a queue on major train stations, therefore, not having to go to purchase tickets every time would save you so much time that you could be spending doing more important things. All you have to do is swipe the card at the ticket gate, you hear a beep, then off you go
Use your card for shopping
All of convenience stores in Tokyo commonly accept IC cards as payment methods. Most, if not all supermarkets in Tokyo also accept PASMO/Suica. A lot of major stores, as long as they have the machines or signs would accept the cards. Take Matsumoto Kiyoshi for example, a general drugstore and beauty shop, that you’re going to take notice sooner or later, is one of the most common examples of the many shops accepting the card.
Less to no coins
You’re likely going to learn this lesson only after you’ve visited Tokyo. There’s just going to be coins, so much coins. Every time you spent a 1,000 Yen, you’re going to end up with coins as change if you use cash as a payment method. Not all money changers back home are willing to exchange coins, and you end up with a pile of coins that you wont be able to use back home. With IC cards, purchasing everyday needs at the convenience stores or the supermarket as well as some restaurants won’t contribute to your piles of coins.