Last updated

SUGOCA(スゴカ,Sugoka) is a Japanese rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Fukuoka Prefecture and environs. The Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū) introduced the system on 1 March 2009. The name is an acronym of "Smart Urban GOing CArd", while sugoka(凄か) in the local Kyūshū dialect means "great". Like other electronic fare collection systems in Japan, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony Corporation, known as FeliCa. American graphic artist Rodney Greenblat designed its official mascot, a frog with a clock.

Smart card pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits

A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit card (ICC) is a physical electronic authorization device, used to control access to a resource. It is typically a plastic credit card sized card with an embedded integrated circuit. Many smart cards include a pattern of metal contacts to electrically connect to the internal chip. Others are contactless, and some are both. Smart cards can provide personal identification, authentication, data storage, and application processing. Applications include identification, financial, mobile phones (SIM), public transit, computer security, schools, and healthcare. Smart cards may provide strong security authentication for single sign-on (SSO) within organizations. Several nations have deployed smart cards throughout their populations.

Fukuoka Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Fukuoka Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka. As of 2018, it is the ninth most populated prefecture in Japan.

An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components of a phrase or a word, usually individual letters, as in NATO or SCUBA and sometimes syllables.


Automatic turnstile of SUGOCA SUGOCA card reader on gate 1.jpg
Automatic turnstile of SUGOCA
How to use a SUGOCA card Iccard.gif
How to use a SUGOCA card
SUGOCA card reader for a store SUGOCA card reader for convenience store 20091031.jpg
SUGOCA card reader for a store

On March 13, 2010, SUGOCA has been interoperated with two similar cards in Fukuoka—namely nimoca by Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) and Hayakaken from Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau—plus Suica, a card used in Greater Tokyo Area by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). [1] Additionally, since March 5, 2011, in a reciprocal agreement with Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West), SUGOCA is also usable in Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Okayama-Hiroshima and Nagoya metropolitan areas. Similarly, the TOICA card of JR Central and the ICOCA card of JR West can also be used on JR Kyushu rail services. [2]


Nimoka, written in lower-case letters, nimoca, is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) introduced the system on May 18, 2008. Its name is an acronym of "nice money card", while nimo (にも) in Japanese means "also," as the card is usable also on buses, also on trains, also for shopping, etc. Like other electronic fare collection systems in Japan, the card uses FeliCa, RFID technology developed by Sony. On March 13, 2010, nimoca was interoperated with two similar cards in Fukuoka—SUGOCA from Kyūshū Railway Company and Hayakaken from Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau—plus Suica, a card used in Greater Tokyo Area by East Japan Railway Company. The card features a ferret as the official mascot.

Nishi-Nippon Railroad Japanese railway company

The Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd., also called Nishitetsu (西鉄) or NNR, TYO: 9031 is one of Japan's "Big 16" private railroad companies. With headquarters in Fukuoka, it operates local and highway buses, supermarkets, real estate and travel agencies, as well as railways in Fukuoka Prefecture. NNR Operates in Logistics, supplychain solutions, Warehousing and distribution globally with presence over many countries.


Hayakaken (はやかけん) is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau introduced the system on March 7, 2009.

Usable area

SUGOCA was implemented on March 1, 2009, in 124 JR stations in Fukuoka Prefecture, mainly in the Fukuoka-Kitakyūshū area. It will eventually be usable in a total of 144 stations in future.

Chikuhi Line railway station in Japan

The Chikuhi Line is a railway line in Kyushu, Japan, connecting Meinohama Station in Fukuoka, Fukuoka to Karatsu Station in Karatsu, Saga, and from Yamamoto Station in Karatsu to Imari Station in Imari, Saga. Trains from Karatsu to Imari use the Karatsu Line to Yamamoto.

Chikuhō Main Line railway line in Fukuoka prefecture, Japan

The Chikuhō Main Line is a railway line in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, operated by Kyushu Railway Company. It connects Wakamatsu Station in Kitakyushu with Haruda Station in Chikushino. Between Orio Station and Haruda Station, as well as from Keisen Station via the Sasaguri Line to Yoshizuka Station, the line functions as an alternate route to the Kagoshima Main Line.

Fukuhoku Yutaka Line

The Fukuhoku Yutaka Line is the collective name for four sections of railway lines operated by Kyushu Railway Company in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It runs between Kurosaki Station and Hakata station (66.6 km).

Types of cards

There are currently three types of cards available. The SUGOCA ticket is available as either an Unregistered card, or as a Registered card, where the card can be reissued when lost. The second is the SUGOCA commuter pass (which requires registration), and the Excell pass, which can be used for non-reserved seats of limited expresses. The third form is the mono SUGOCA, which is functionally identical to the normal SUGOCA pass, but is patterned differently for the Kitakyushu Monorail. It was issued starting October 1, 2015. [3]

A limited express is a type of express train service. It refers to an express service that stops at a limited number of stops in comparison to other express services on the same or similar routes.

Kitakyushu Monorail

The Kitakyushu Monorail is a monorail system in the city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, operated by Kitakyushu Urban Monorail Co. Ltd..

Extended Functionality

The card is also usable as an electronic money or cashless card in a few stores in Fukuoka prefecture, or to purchase beverages at some drink machines. It will eventually be usable in all 'ampm' convenience stores in Kyūshū. From July 22, 2014, Pasmo cards can be used to pay for Wii U Nintendo eShop digital video games with the NFC function of the Wii U GamePad. [4]

<i>ampm</i> company

The ampm brand is a convenience store chain with branches located in several U.S. states, including Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, recently in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and in several countries worldwide. The ampm brand is owned by BP America, Inc., a subsidiary of BP, which acquired its founding owner, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), in 2000. In the United States, the stores are usually attached to an ARCO or BP-branded gas station. The first location opened in Southern California in 1978.

Wii U home video game console produced by Nintendo in 2012

The Wii U is a home video game console developed by Nintendo as the successor to the Wii. Released in November 2012, it was the first eighth-generation video game console and competed with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.

Nintendo eShop digital application distribution platform for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Switch

The Nintendo eShop is a digital distribution service powered by the Nintendo Network for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch and by a dedicated online infrastructure for the Nintendo Switch. Launched in June 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was enabled by the release of a system update that added the functionality to the Nintendo 3DS's HOME Menu. It is the successor to both the Wii Shop Channel and DSi Shop. Unlike on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was made available on the launch date of the Wii U, although a system update is required in order to access it. It is also a multitasking application, which means it is easily accessible even when a game is already running in the background through the system software, though this feature is exclusive to the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop features downloadable games, demos, applications, streaming videos, consumer rating feedback, and other information on upcoming game releases.

See also

Related Research Articles

Kyushu Railway Company Japanese railway company

The Kyushu Railway Company, also referred to as JR Kyushu, is one of the constituent companies of Japan Railways Group. It operates intercity rail services in Kyushu, Japan and the JR Kyushu Jet Ferry Beetle hydrofoil service across the Tsushima Strait between Fukuoka and Busan, South Korea. It also operates hotels, restaurants, and drugstores across its service region. JR Kyushu's headquarters are in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka.

Suica proximity card

Suica is a rechargeable contactless smart card, electronic money used as a fare card on train lines in Japan, launched on November 18, 2001. The card can be used interchangeably with JR West's ICOCA in the Kansai region and San'yō region in Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures, and also with JR Central's TOICA starting from spring of 2008, JR Kyushu's SUGOCA, Nishitetsu's Nimoca, and Fukuoka City Subway's Hayakaken area in Fukuoka City and its suburb areas, starting from spring of 2010. The card is also increasingly being accepted as a form of electronic money for purchases at stores and kiosks, especially within train stations. As of October 2009, 30.01 million Suica are in circulation.

Kyushu Shinkansen high-speed railway line in Japan

The Kyushu Shinkansen is a Japanese high-speed railway line between the cities of Fukuoka and Kagoshima in Kyushu, running parallel to the existing Kagoshima Main Line and operated by JR Kyushu. It is an extension of the Sanyo Shinkansen from Honshu. The southern 127 km (79 mi) was constructed first because the equivalent section of the former Kagoshima Main Line is single track, and thus a significant improvement in transit time was gained when this dual track section opened on 13 March 2004, despite the need for passengers to change to a Relay Tsubame narrow gauge train at Shin-Yatsushiro for the remainder of the journey to Hakata. The northern 130 km (81 mi) section opened on 12 March 2011, enabling through-services to Shin-Osaka.

Kokura Station railway station in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan

Kokura Station in Kokura Kita ward is the main railway station in Kitakyushu, Japan. It is part of the JR Kyushu network and the Sanyo Shinkansen stops here. It is the second largest station in Kyushu with 120,000 users daily. In the late 1990s, the Kokura station area was expanded and remodelled.

ICOCA proximity card

The ICOCA card is a rechargeable contactless smart card used on JR West rail network in Japan. The card was launched on November 1, 2003 for usage on the Urban Network, which encompasses the major cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe (Keihanshin). It is now usable on many other networks.

Nagasaki Main Line railway line in Japan

The Nagasaki Main Line, or simply Nagasaki Line, is a railway line owned by the Kyushu Railway Company connecting Tosu Station in Saga Prefecture to Nagasaki Station in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. There is a separate branch of this line from Kikitsu Station to Urakami Station by way of Nagayo Station.

Fukuoka City Subway

The Fukuoka City Subway serves Fukuoka, Japan. It consists of three subway lines, the Kūkō, or Airport Line, the Hakozaki Line and the Nanakuma Line).

Nippō Main Line railway line in Japan

The Nippō Main Line is a railway line in Kyushu, in southern Japan, operated by Kyushu Railway Company. The line connects Kokura Station in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima Station in Kagoshima via the east coast of Kyushu, passing through the prefectural capitals of Ōita and Miyazaki.

Nishi-Akashi Station railway station in Akashi, Hyōgo prefecture, Japan

Nishi-Akashi Station is a railway station on the Sanyo Shinkansen and Sanyō Main Line in Akashi, Hyōgo, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company. As part of the Urban Network, the J-Through Card, ICOCA, Suica, PiTaPa, TOICA and SUGOCA can all be used on the Sanyō Main Line.


TOICA is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for JR Central railway network which was introduced in the Chūkyō Area of Japan on November 25, 2006.


RapiCa is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Kagoshima, Japan, introduced by Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau, Nangoku Kōtsū, and JR Kyūshū Bus, from April 1, 2005. The name is the acronym of Rapid and Pay Intelligent Card. Just like JR East's Suica or JR West's ICOCA, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. The card is usable in all the tramway lines of Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau, as well as most bus lines of the three operators.

Sasaguri Line railway line in Fukuoka prefecture, Japan

Sasaguri Line is a railway line in Japan operated by Kyushu Railway Company. It connects Keisen Station in Keisen, Fukuoka with Yoshizuka Station in Fukuoka, Fukuoka.

Minami-Arao Station railway station in Arao, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan

Minami-Arao Station is a railway station on the Kagoshima Main Line operated by JR Kyushu in Arao, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.

Transport in Fukuoka-Kitakyushu

Transport in Fukuoka-Kitakyushu is similar to that of other large cities in Japan, but with a high degree of private transport. The region is a hub of international ferry services and has a high degree of air connectivity and a considerable rail transport network, complemented with highways and surface streets. It includes public and private rail and highway networks; airports for international, domestic, and general aviation; buses; motorcycle delivery services, walking, bicycling, and commercial shipping. The foci of the public transport system are Hakata Station, Tenjin Station, and Kokura Station, in Fukuoka and Kitakyushu cities respectively. Between these two cities lies a more sparse weblike regional rail network.

Kajiki Station railway station in Aira, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan

Kajiki Station is a railway station in Aira, Kagoshima, Japan. It is operated by of JR Kyushu and is on the Nippō Main Line.

Higashi-Nakatsu Station railway station in Nakatsu, Ōita prefecture, Japan

Higashi-Nakatsu Station is a railway station on the Nippō Main Line operated by Kyūshū Railway Company in Nakatsu, Ōita, Japan.


  1. Official news release Archived 2008-02-11 at the Wayback Machine by JR Kyūshū, February 7, 2008. ‹See Tfd› (in Japanese)
  2. Official news release Archived 2011-03-08 at the Wayback Machine by JR West, November 25, 2009. ‹See Tfd› (in Japanese)
  3. ICカード、QR乗車券ご利用ガイド. Kitakyushu Monorail (in Japanese). Kitakyushu Monorail Co., Ltd. 1 Oct 2015.