SUICA vs. PASMO vs. Commuter Pass

Discussion in 'General Topics - Life in Japan' started by TokyoSpirit, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. TokyoSpirit

    TokyoSpirit TAG Member

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    Most people I know have one of those, I'm curious as to what you guys & gals are using?

    Any particular reason why you use that option?

    I use SUICA, refreshed once a month at about 2 man each time. Company reimburses me with each month's paycheck. I have to submit the charge receipt and a travel log of the previous month. They're not too picky about where I go, as long as it is within reason and there is a purpose to it.

    When I travel on the Shinkansen for business, the company usually buys reserved tickets for me. If it's a last minute trip, I'll buy the tickets and then I'll get reimbursed. Sadly, no green car. :(

    I see a LOT of our office staff using PASMO and/or a commuter pass. There are a select few who buy tickets everyday. :confused:
     
  2. TAG Manager

    Executive Leadership

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    SUICA here, about the same as you.

    I usually run it down to the double-digits and then dump the travel log with a charge up.

    We don't get Green car tickets either unless we're traveling with some of the more powerful VP's.
     
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  3. Kias

    Kias TAG Member

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    PASMO here, because the company says so.

    I don't really know what the difference is. My Japanese coworkers that live further out usually have one of those 3 month commuter passes. They are available for 3 and 6 months? Maybe a 1 year one exists, not sure. Other than that, I don't really travel for business. I am a sad panda....
     
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  4. TAG Manager

    Executive Leadership

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    Traveling on business can be more of a pain than a pleasure.

    Many, many silly expense rules to follow in addition to the hours it takes to properly report it back to the company once you get back. I've been lucky so far in keeping all of my expenses in a straight order. Sometimes, I just eat the cost for some items as it's a necessity for me but yet not worth the effort to report as a trip expense.
     
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  5. warazzi

    warazzi TAG Member

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    Hiya, I'm probably heading to Tokyo at the end of year to start work and I would appreciate some advice about the metro pass. First problem is that there's two form of smart payments - either the Suica or Pasmo card - are there any significant differences? If not, which should i choose?

    Also, based on my preliminary calculations, it might seem more economical to purchase the 6 month metro pass. http://www.tokyometro.jp/global/en/ticket/allline_pass.html

    However, I'm just wondering how to differentiate the different lines - which are metro lines, which are railway lines, monorail??! Which lines are included in the "all-line-pass" etc etc. It's even more confusing when i look at this - http://www.pasmo.co.jp/en/pdf/pasmo_area_foreignmap.pdf

    For now, I'm thinking of staying at somewhere near (Chuo Line) Higashi-Koganei station, but still i don't see it in the map above. I really need help!
     
  6. cacaface

    cacaface TAG Member

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    After much research, the Passmo and Suica cards are fully interoperable while traveling on the Tokyo Metro Subway or JR trains in Tokyo. However, for travelers venturing out of Tokyo, the Suica card is also accepted in other cities (Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Sapporo, etc) where Passmo works mainly in Tokyo.

    Suica Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suica
    Passmo Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PASMO

    Tokyo residents who travel a specific route each day may want to consider monthly passes on their respective companies (Suica for JR, Passmo for Tokyo Metro).

    Further reading: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_002.html
     
    #6 cacaface, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
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  7. Karen

    KarenKaren is a Verified Member Mistress of the Night

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    Most companies have set rules on which card to use and how to get it funded.

    So, be sure to check with your company's travel rules about which method to use.

    My company asks that I use a SUICA card and turn in charge receipts and travel logs each month. I keep two SUICA cards, one for personal travel and the other exclusive to work travel. Because I live in Ebisu, I only need to charge about 10,000yen per month. Other people my my office charge a ton more or have commuter passes at about 30,000yen a pop.

    Some companies even issue PASMO cards, meaning they belong to the company and the company takes care of all expenses and the employee doesn't do any self-charging.
     
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  8. cacaface

    cacaface TAG Member

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    Wow, thanks, Karen. Good info - I just moved to Tokyo on Saturday. I should look into this.
     
  9. AlexWand

    AlexWand TAG Member

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    using search function i found this old thread. will post my question here for not open a new thread.
    I still have my SUICA card from my first trip in Japan, 10months ago. Do you think the card will still active next month when i'll arrive in Tokyo or i'll need to make a new one?
    thanks in advance
     
  10. MikeH

    MikeHMikeH is a Verified Member Presumably Male

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    Suica cards stay valid for 10 years from the last use.
     
  11. SugoiBoy

    SugoiBoy TAG Member

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    Pasmo does work in both Osaka and Kyoto.

    No idea about Nagoya, etc.
     
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  12. SugoiBoy

    SugoiBoy TAG Member

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    BTW, when I was on Okinawa last year neither Pasmo nor Suica was accepted on the Yui Rail, which is the monorail in Naha.
     
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  13. Anna Summer

    Anna SummerAnna Summer is a Verified Member Independent Escort

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    Pasmo does work in Nagoya :)
     
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  14. SugoiBoy

    SugoiBoy TAG Member

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    One normally sees machines selling Sucia cards at JR stations whereas machines selling Pasmo cards are usually at stations run by other railroads such as Keikyu. Of course, both cards will work on JR commuter lines and many non-JR lines as well as on the Tokyo Metro and even the Yokohama Subway.

    Keep in mind that for some of the fancier trains you need to buy a separate ticket or pay an additional fee. A case in point would be Odakyu's so-called Romancecar.
     
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  15. SugoiBoy

    SugoiBoy TAG Member

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    FWIW, one can use Sucia or Pasmo cards to pay for various things besides train fares. For example, some vending machine will accept those cards.
     
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  16. just4fun

    just4funjust4fun is a Verified Member Skeptical? Who me?

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    The main difference between the two is that Suica knows where you've been and Pasmo doesn't.
     
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  17. MikeH

    MikeHMikeH is a Verified Member Presumably Male

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    How is that? You can even register to get email notifications when someone enters or leaves a station with their Pasmo card. Technically both Suica and Pasmo are similar and based on the Sony's FeliCa RFID card.
     
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  18. RandomTokyoGuy

    RandomTokyoGuy TAG Member

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    I can't remember which way it was but if you buy monthly tickets for specific routes or that all in Metro pass, JR and Tokyo Metro use different cards (one suitable and one Pasmo). I had both passes for a while when I was living relatively far outside and had to take two different cards.
    If you just pay by go it makes no difference.
     
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  19. just4fun

    just4funjust4fun is a Verified Member Skeptical? Who me?

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    Your info is with Suica (registered) whereas Pasmo there no ID check. This was over 15 years ago so maybe things have changed. If you Use Suica for work you need to put an ID on it for sure.
     
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  20. MikeH

    MikeHMikeH is a Verified Member Presumably Male

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    Give a big Japanese corporation 15 years and even they can change! ;)

    Yep, your info is old. http://www.pasmo.co.jp/about/type.html
     
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  21. bergmann

    bergmann TAG Member

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    Indeed, you can optionally register name/DOB with both (mainly to help if you lose it) but there are no mandatory ID checks. Of course if you associate the card with a credit card for auto-recharging, it will be traceable to you.

    Companies vary in how they reimburse - I've seen examples who will reimburse the absolute minimum 6 month fare on the shortest route calculated on a monthly basis and require proof of purchase, others who will happily accept your route of choice (tip: add an extra company if possible, it's free cash) at the nominal monthly rate, no questions asked.
     
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  22. KumaDog

    KumaDog TAG Member

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    We use PASMO. Registered version. You pay a deposit but you get it back. Your name is on the card. You can report it lost or stolen and get a free replacement.

    We also book trains on line. Very convenient.
     

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