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Using suica

Using suica

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Old Jan 24, 15, 7:30 pm
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Using suica

I understand that these can be used on jr rail, subways and buses in Tokyo area. I have read that they can be used for other purchases in convenience stores. How have you used suica cards? Did you use only for travel or did you also use in convenience stores?
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Old Jan 24, 15, 8:25 pm
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They can be used in convenience stores like a debit card! Very efficient option for me.
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Old Jan 24, 15, 10:35 pm
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Not all convenience stores, typically mostly the ones in or near a station.

If you have to load the card with cash, which AFAIK is the only way available to short term visitors, I am not sure it is any more convenient than just paying.

SUICA cards can also be used anywhere in Japan that accepts this type of card.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 1:34 am
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When I jog to the gym, I don't like to bring change.

It works at the vending machine inside my gym.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 3:19 am
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Use it at most convenient stores and in many taxis. Saves having change in your pockets.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 4:12 am
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I could see that this would be good for staying in the shinjuku area. Having a card to tap in and out of the subway makes things easier. It's an easy process to replenish?
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Old Jan 25, 15, 4:25 am
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
It's an easy process to replenish?
I just used the machines at the metro to top it up.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 7:33 am
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I don't use the Metro much so I top up at a convenience store. Takes about 10 seconds.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 7:46 am
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Thank you. This technology is amazing to me. The United States are so far behind the rest of the world. It's a pain to buy a metro card in washington's metro. Credit card readers never work. Chicago its a crap shoot. Since I live in Chicago I can auto reload.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 1:42 pm
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Thanks to those who updated by my post -- I have seen it in taxis but didn't know it worked outside the environs of the station.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 7:14 pm
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It saves on having change and also reduces receiving change. I'm familiar with Japanese coins but tapping the IC card makes it quicker to check out and stash less small coins in my purse.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 8:16 pm
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Used mine at the convenience store underneath the Hyatt Regency, and many other places.

In HK, a similar card 'Octopus' can be used for all mass public transportation; at 7-11, Circle K; major drug store chains, fast food restaurant chains, supermarket chains; school cafeteria; parking meters, AND as security pass card for private housing compounds - same card for paying subway fare and getting into your building lobby.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 9:51 pm
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I have the ICOCA IC Card which I bought from Osaka.

All IC cards in Japan have been integrated. Since you have SUICA, you can use it in Osaka as well or other parts of Japan.

For such a big country, it's nice to know that just 1 card (almost) can meet your transportation needs.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
SUICA cards can also be used anywhere in Japan that accepts this type of card.
There are a few exceptions: Sendai, Hiroshima, Toyama, Kagoshima and Kumamoto. Suica works on JR in [some?/most?/all?] of these places but not on the private/municipal lines.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 11:36 pm
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I had a layover in NRT recently and brought my SUICA card from a previous trip to Japan to see if there was still a balance.

I stayed airside during my layover and could not find any of the vending machines or stores that would accept it. I'll be back in a couple months and leaving the airport again.

On my first trip I used it for train fare as well as buying food and beer on the train. I might have used it in a convenience store.
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