Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Make Shopping In Japan Easier With A Suica Card
Written by Mako Hayashi
Suica is one of the IC cards that can be used to ride the trains in Japan, but did you know that you can shop with it too?
Suica Cards Aren't Just for Transportation!
A Suica is an IC card used in Japan to ride the trains. But actually, there are times when you can pay for things other than transportation fares using your prepaid Suica card.
Taking out cash from your wallet and looking for change is a hassle. And if you are not used to Japanese currency, even more so. But if you use your Suica, you can make shopping quicker and easier.
Let's Try Inside the Station!
Where exactly can a Suica card be used for purchases then? The easiest place to check is inside the station building, as you can use your IC card at most of the shops there.
When at the register paying, try taking out your Suica and simply showing it to the staff. They will indicate the card reader located next to the register, and all you have to do it touch your Suica to it.
You can also pay for drinks at vending machines with your Suica card within the station.
1. Choose Your Drink!
First you'll choose the drink of your choice. If the vending machine has a touch screen, tap the picture of the product.
2. Pass Your Suica Over The Reader To Pay
Once you've chosen your product, hold your Suica card over the card reader to pay for it.
3. Get Your Drink!
If your payment works, you will receive your drink. If you don't, you might not have enough money charged to your card.
Let's Try at Shops Outside the Station!
Once you've got the hang of how to use your Suica for shopping inside the station, let's try shopping with your Suica card at usual shops in town. In recent years, it has become possible to use your Suica at many stores, including convenience stores, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, drugstores, electronics stores, and even bookstores.
At stores that allow payment by Suica, they will have an indicating Suica mark like this at the front of the store or by the register. Some shops will let you charge money to your card as well. To learn more, check out the official website of East Japan Railway Company.