Translated by MATCHA_En
How To Use A Suica Card - Going Through The Ticket Gates
Written by Mako Hayashi
Suica cards are a convenient alternative to paper tickets when it comes to traveling on public means of transportation. In this article, we explain how to use the suica card in order to pay your travel fare.
The nerve-wracking moment when you’re just about to go through a ticket gate...
In this article, we will explain how to use the Suica card in order to travel conveniently and stress-free around the city.
Where Should You Place the Suica Card?
Using a Suica card, you can go through almost every ticket gate in Tokyo. On the right side of the ticket gates there is a device that’s designed for reading IC cards.
There are various types of IC card readers. The Suica logo or the word ‘IC’ written on a ticket gate indicates where you can use a Suica card. As pictured below, these devices turn red when the Suica card was not scanned correctly or had not enough money on it to cover the fare.
For whatever reason, the IC card reader turns red when an error has occurred. When this happens, try going through a different ticket gate.
Proof that Your Suica Card has Been Read - Make Sure You Hear the 2 Beeps
A Suica card can be read by a ticket machine without being taken out of its carrying case, or wallet. This is convenient as you don’t need to take your Suica card out of the case every time you pass through a ticket gate.
Having said that, if the Suica card you're using is inside a case with another IC card, if there is an item in the case that blocks radio waves (such as some type of metal object) then your IC card may be unable to be read by a ticket gate. You need to be careful.
By listening to the sound that comes from the ticket gate you’ll be able to tell whether or not your Suica card has been read.
When your Suica card has been read:
→ You’ll hear two beeps. It’s alright for you to go through the ticket gate.
When your Suica card hasn’t been read:
→ You’ll hear multiple beeps. Try once more, holding your Suica card horizontally over the IC card reader.
When there isn’t enough money left on your Suica card:
→ You’ll hear one long beep. You need to add money to your Suica card.
Every Time you Go Through a Ticket Get You Can Check the Remaining Balance!
When you go through a ticket gate, the display on the IC card reader will show the remaining balance. In most cases, the display will be on the side of the ticket gate that you exit. If the amount of money left on your card may be low, you can pay the remaining cost of the fare at the station where you get off.
When a Suica card hasn’t been read properly, and when there isn’t enough money left on your card a message will appear in the display of the IC card reader.
By looking at this display you can prevent yourself from just simply walking through the ticket gate. Those who were unaware of the beep that the ticket gate made can be at ease by paying attention to the display.
When leaving a station, going out through the ticket gate is pretty much the same as when entering the station. When getting off at the station and going through a ticket gate, the cost of the fare will be automatically withdrawn from your IC card.