PASMO/SUICA - what are they and where to purchase

The PASMO or SUICA cards are reloadable transportation cards that work on practically every major rail company in Japan. How it works is similar to the Oyster Card in London, T-money in Seoul or the EZ-Link in Singapore, just to name a few.


Many bus systems allow use of these cards and it can also be used to activate the luggage lockers placed at stations or for payments at most convenience stores in the city.


Having these cards is not compulsory for travel and they provide little to no discount over the standard single-ride ticket, but they are recommended for its convenience since the Japanese transport system is made up of multiple public and private carriers who each have their own separate fare structure. 


Each traveler will need to carry one card and tap-in/out every time you go through the automated gates.


The physical card is extremely hard to obtain in the Tokyo area right now. If you use iPhones, you can get the digital version of SUICA to your phone with the exact same feature.


Tokyo Metro ticket offices at these stations may be able to sell you a regular PASMO by showing your passport.
Tokyo Metro ticket offices at these stations may be able to sell you a regular PASMO by showing your passport.

Due to the worldwide shortage of semiconductors, the sales point of PASMO or SUICA in the Tokyo area is now extremely limited.


Short-term travelers to Japan may still obtain cards specifically for tourists at the airport or selected areas within Tokyo.



1) At the Skyliner & Keisei Information Center in the Narita Airport Station


2) At the Keikyu Information Center in Haneda Airport Station

 *Passports are required for the purchase and the payment must be made in cash.

UPDATE Apr 2024 - The PASMO PASSPORT will be discontinued by August 2024. (Source:


It looks like product is now only available at the airport stations and not within the city center.

Selected Tokyo Metro stations that have a pass office (see above map) may be able to sell you the regular PASMO by showing your passport and verifying that you are a short-term visitor to the country. This option has been confirmed at both the Shinjuku and Ueno station office.

Purchases must be made in cash, and you can choose amounts of 1,000 or 2,000 JPY in your initial purchase, inclusive of the 500 JPY deposit fee. Office hours are from 7:40am to 8pm.



1) Vending machines at the Haneda Airport Monorail Station (T3)

2) JR East Travel Center in Haneda Airport (T3, 6:45am-8pm)


*Passports are not required for the Welcome SUICA.


Update Jan 2024: There is now a notice at the Narita Airport Station that the Welcome SUICA card is completely out of stock.

The PASMO PASSPORT with the exact same function can still be purchased at the adjacent Keisei station.


The JR East Travel Center at Narita or in the major stations within Tokyo may be able to sell you a regular SUICA without the expiry date. I have confirmed that the JR Ueno station has some stock of SUICA.

Haneda Airport SUICA
Welcome SUICA sold at a ticket machine in Haneda Airport T3 Monorail Station. An ATM can be found on the left in case you don't have cash

Welcome SUICA vending machine
Welcome SUICA vending machines found outside the JR Narita Airport T1 Station UPDATE JAN 2024 - These machines have been taken out of service now.

The PASMO PASSPORT or WELCOME SUICA will be valid for 28 days. The card can be topped up using a vending machine found in the stations including non-JR ones, in any region of the country. What is left on the card will not be refunded so be cautious about adding too much value into your card.


Since the point of sales in the city is limited, I recommend getting one at the airport, if time allows.


Also note the restriction of sales only apply to the Tokyo area, so cards with similar function (such as the ICOCA in the Kansai region) can be more easily obtained in other parts of the country.




iPhone users have the choice to download SUICA/PASMO on their wallet app instead of using the physical card. It has been reported that US-issued VISA cards might experience errors when trying to add funds, but MasterCard or AMEX works fine. 

For Android users, the app is only compatible with phones sold in Japan that have the "Felica" feature, so for foreign visitors it is not an option (The app can be downloaded but funds cannot be added, making it essentially useless)



Despite the shortage, a child version of the regular SUICA (without expiry date, for passengers under 12) can still be purchased at any ticket office, not restricted to the stations mentioned above, provided the station has sufficient stock.

You will require identification to verify age, such as a passport for the purchase.



Certain rail companies like Tokyu Railways are allowing use of credit cards as payment method. Users would tap their credit card at a designated gate when entering and exiting. The Keikyu Line and Toei Asakusa Line will also roll out this option by the end of 2024.

Already a common feature in many transport networks around the world, several Japanese cities like Fukuoka have been experimenting with this method in recent years.