Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Japan
Reload this Page >

Pasmo or Suica for Tokyo / Kyoto visit. Which is better and why?

Pasmo or Suica for Tokyo / Kyoto visit. Which is better and why?

Old Jul 28, 17, 8:34 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MCO
Posts: 1,313
Pasmo or Suica for Tokyo / Kyoto visit. Which is better and why?

Most travel guides mention that both Pasmo and Suica cards can be used on public transport. Absolutely zero mention any *practical* difference between the two. I'm taking a short trip to Tokyo with an overnight to Kyoto and, possibly, a day trip to Hakone. Which card, if any, is better for me and why?

Is one accepted more widely at "no credit card" non-transport points of sale? There's got to be some practical difference between the two, hasn't there? Which do you prefer and why?
moretimeoffguy is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 10:37 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota,USA
Programs: UA, NW
Posts: 3,743
The rules keep changing, and I'm not entirely current on them. Both cards are valid in more places than they used to be.

Here's some current[?] information:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

Note, however, that neither one can be used on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto.
ksandness is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 11:17 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Portland, OR, United States
Programs: CX Marco Polo Green (hahaha)
Posts: 1,317
I've been using my Suica (Monorail, FWIW) that I purchased in 2011 for every trip to Japan since then without any issues and have travelled in Kyushu, Miyagi, Hokkaido, Kansai, Kanto and Tokyo. I use mine both for transport (always rail) and also for konbini purchases. For an upcoming trip to Iriomote, I doubt I'll be using my card

I am also curious if there is actually any difference between the cards.
kevincrumbs is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 11:19 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: British Airways Gold
Posts: 2,558
Practically speaking the only material difference is the card can only be refunded by the issuing company
ajeleonard is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 11:42 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: exUA1K, UA MM, lifetime UA1P, AA MM, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 3,593
I chose Suica since I wasn't crazy about carrying a pink card.

I like that my name is printed on it!
roberto99 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 2:01 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MCO
Posts: 1,313
Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
The rules keep changing, and I'm not entirely current on them. Both cards are valid in more places than they used to be.

Here's some current[?] information:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

Note, however, that neither one can be used on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto.
Thanks to all who responded. Great link above. No worries about the Shinkansen as I have my JR Pass exchange voucher; unless you meant for on-board purchases made on that Shinkansen, like food and drink.
moretimeoffguy is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 2:10 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MCO
Posts: 1,313
What are your favorite arcades in Tokyo and why?

<deleted; wrong thread>
moretimeoffguy is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 2:48 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: YYZ
Programs: AMEX AC CX UA AA DL
Posts: 2,991
Originally Posted by moretimeoffguy View Post
Is one accepted more widely at "no credit card" non-transport points of sale? There's got to be some practical difference between the two, hasn't there? Which do you prefer and why?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suica#...nection_en.svg
beep88 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 3:08 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Long Beach, CA
Programs: AA PLT, Hilton Diamond, IHG PlatAmb, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Discoverist, Radisson Gold
Posts: 3,074
Originally Posted by roberto99 View Post
I chose Suica since I wasn't crazy about carrying a pink card.

I like that my name is printed on it!
Ha Ha - me too! I make sure to bring mine every trip and love that it's personalized. And who doesn't love penguins???
OskiBear is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 4:07 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Londinium
Programs: BA Gold. Kangorucci. NZGE.KLM Gold. VS gold
Posts: 1,607
It is not about the penguin it is all about the watermelon....
Hubbabridge is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 6:13 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hampton->Conrad->Hampton again
Posts: 4,902
I'm an idiot who gets Suica card then returns it at the end of each trip. I'm just afraid that it won't work when I return a few months later. I do the same with Octopus. We've discussed this elsewhere in this forum... it's irrational, I should just hang onto it. I just lack faith in these IC cards' durability, because hotel room cards crap out all the time.

Anyways, I always get Suica. Never Pasmo. I just think more people get Suica, even though there may ultimately not be too much difference. One definite merit of Suica is that you can accrue points when you pay with Suica. Places like Ito Yokado, Kinokuniya, and a lot of the businesses in the JR paid area of the station (eg, Ecute). Granted you don't really accrue much value through this program, and I'm not sure if there's an English website that walks you through the registration and redemption process. I don't think Pasmo has such program, although I could be wrong. Another benefit with Suica is that there're attractions that offer discounts to Suica holder. I just learned this the other day when I went to the Rainbow Pool at Tachikawa where the admission was 10-15% less just for showing Suica.
evergrn is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 6:40 pm
  #12  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Programs: AC
Posts: 2,167
Suica.
longtimeflyin is offline  
Old Jul 28, 17, 8:58 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 557
I think it mostly boils down to whether you prefer Suica's cute penguin mascot or Pasmo's cute robot mascot. They're sold in different places, of course, so if you're in a subway station when you suddenly get the urge to buy a prepaid card, the Pasmo is more convenient because it's sold right there.

(Personally I use a Suica View card, which automatically refills itself so I never have to stop and add value to the card.)
lobsterdog is offline  
Old Jul 29, 17, 7:39 am
  #14  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: YUL
Programs: Occasional RTW club
Posts: 6,525
Originally Posted by moretimeoffguy View Post
Most travel guides mention that both Pasmo and Suica cards can be used on public transport. Absolutely zero mention any *practical* difference between the two. I'm taking a short trip to Tokyo with an overnight to Kyoto and, possibly, a day trip to Hakone. Which card, if any, is better for me and why?

Is one accepted more widely at "no credit card" non-transport points of sale? There's got to be some practical difference between the two, hasn't there? Which do you prefer and why?
There are two differences between the two.

1. Pasmo can be refilled at subway stations (and subway stations only) with coins of as low as 10 yen denomination - Suica can only be refilled with 100 yen. So it's great for dumping your change.
2. Pasmo is not accepted in some locations further out. I've seen some places in like, Kyushuu, not accept Pasmo.

Other than that, I prefer ICOCA from Kansai anyway, because their indescribable mascot appeals far more to me. Also, the ICOCA card can be recharged by credit card (albeit only in the JR West machines).
yoganeck likes this.
Pseudo Nim is offline  
Old Jul 29, 17, 9:45 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: YQB
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim View Post
1. Pasmo can be refilled at subway stations (and subway stations only) with coins of as low as 10 yen denomination - Suica can only be refilled with 100 yen. So it's great for dumping your change.
I remember refilling my Suica with 10/50 yen coins last year at subway stations. Unless it has changed in the meantime.
baby_tux is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: