|Location||Kantō region, Sendai area, Niigata area|
|Launched||April 8 – July 8, 2001: piloted at 57 stations; November 18, 2001, official launch at 424 stations|
|Currency||Japanese yen (¥20,000 maximum load)|
|Stored-value||Pay as you go|
|Credit expiry||Ten years after last use|
Suica ( Japanese: スイカ, Suika) is a prepaid 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 2018, JR East reports 69.4 million Suica UID's have been issued, usable at 476,300 point of sale locations, with 6.6 million daily transactions.
Since Suica is completely interchangeable with Pasmo (see Interoperation for the complete listing of companies and lines that accept Suica) in the greater Tokyo area, it is supported on virtually any train, tramway, and bus system (excluding various limited and shinkansen trains, as well as a few local buses as the system is still in the process of being extended to all routes).
Suica stands for "Super Urban Intelligent CArd". In the logo, the "ic" is highlighted, standing for the initialism of integrated circuit in "IC card", which in turn is common Japanese vernacular for smart card. An additional meaning comes from the ideophone "sui sui" which means "to move smoothly", intended to highlight the smooth simplicity of using the card compared with traditional train tickets. Since penguins can also swim smoothly through water, a penguin is used as a motif.
While Suica's primary usage is as a fare card for transportation services, it can also be used as electronic money for general purchases. With the exception of archaic models of the Suica, all Suica have the logo, which indicates that the card can be used as an electronic money in addition to train fare usage. Older cards without the logo can be replaced at no cost. As of 2004, JR East employees use the card as an employee ID card.
Most vending machines, kiosks, and coin-operated lockers within JR stations can be paid with the card. In addition to payment, the card is also used as an electronic key to open the specific locker used.Outside of train stations, chain stores such as FamilyMart, ampm, 7-Eleven, Ministop, Circle K Sunkus, Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera support transactions with Suica, however mostly restricted to the Kantō region only. A few shops at Narita International Airport, and taxis accept Suica. Stores that accept Suica are indicated by displaying either a Suica, Pasmo, Kitaca, Icoca, Toica, Sugoca, Nimoca, or Hayakaken logo. The card can also be used to make payments at supporting online shops, which requires the consumer to own a Sony FeliCa Reader hardware and a PC running the Windows operating system.
Usage of the card involves scanning it at a card reader. The technology allows for the card to be read at some distance from the reader, so contact is not required. 'touch' (タッチ, tacchi) the card to the reader, a misnomer since it works with or without physical contact. In fact, many people[ who? ] leave the card in their wallet and just pass the wallet over the reader as they enter the ticket gate.This functionality is in contrast to the instructions which frequently inform the user to
The balance on the card is displayed when the user enters the ticket gate this way. The minimum fare is needed on the card when entering the train system, which is not deducted at that time. The balance is also displayed whenever the card is inserted into ticket or fare adjustment machines. A travel record is stored on the card, and can be displayed or printed out at the same places where cards can be purchased and reloaded. On exit, the card is again scanned at a card reader. At this time the fare is deducted from the remaining balance from the card and the new balance is displayed.
The card can also be used to store a commuter pass. This is available for purchase from regular ticket machines and allows a Monthly, 3-monthly or Annual pass for travel between two JR stations to be stored on the card.
On occasion, when traveling to a station where Suica is not supported, the card must be handed over to the staff at the exiting station, so that they can calculate the remaining fare and return a slip of paper which must be given to the staff at the next station where Suica is used.[ citation needed ] Since the system keeps track of when a card enters and leaves a station, if the records show that the card had entered a station but not left (due to the situation such as described above, or technical malfunctions), the station staff can reset the card.
These cards are available at card vending machines at the train stations that allows Suica. A new card costs 2,000 yen, which includes a 500 yen deposit that will be refunded if the card is returned. The remaining 1,500 yen is immediately available for train rides, and more money can be charged on to the card (in 500 yen, 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 4,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 10,000 yen increments), up to a card maximum of 20,000 yen, at similar ticket vending machines or fare adjustment machines displaying the Suica logo inside each station.
Suica are sold by JR East and two of its subsidiaries:
A Suica works as the standard prepaid Suica (with user's name available on it) which can be used to ride trains in the place of paper tickets, or it can become the Suica commuter pass for unlimited traveling between two destinations for work or school. The Suica commuter pass also doubles as a prepaid Suica for purchases or tickets outside of the normal commute route.
The VIEW Suica pairs the prepaid Suica with a credit card. Various types exist, including at least one available through JR and View, and others such as the Bic Camera Suica. These function both as a pre-paid Suica as well as a regular credit card, and provide an auto-charge feature to prevent exhausting the Suica balance unintentionally. The automatically recharged amount is added to the user's credit card bill. Thus, these cards have two balances: a prepaid Suica balance and a credit balance for which monthly bills are sent. Thus, store-related cards like the Bic Suica can include fully three separate functions: serving as a store point card, a general use Suica, and as a credit card. Any credit purchase (restricted, in the case of Bic, to JCB) adds a small amount to the available points on the store point card. Yet another type of Suica offered by Japan Airlines (JAL) that is called JALCARD Suica. In addition to having Suica and credit card functionalities, a JALCARD Suica can also function as an electronic boarding pass for a JAL-operated domestic flight in Japan at an airport that offers the JAL IC service.
MySuica allows users to input personal information at the time the card is created. If the card is later lost or stolen, the user can obtain a new card with the previous balance.
In August 2019, JR East unveiled Welcome Suica, a Suica variant designed for use by tourists to Japan. Its design features white cherry blossoms on a red background.
Welcome Suica is also reloadable, but unlike regular Suica cards, Welcome Suica does not require the user to make a deposit. However, Welcome Suica can only be used for 28 days from the date of purchase after which it stops working. It is also nonrefundable, regardless of the balance or user's activity.
JR East request customers always carry with them a reference sheet, or receipt, to accompany the card.
Ticket gates return an error when the scan encounters more than one compatible card. Although it is intended that each person have only one Suica, many people have more than one. Further, since the introduction of Pasmo in March 2007, more people have at least one of each. Consequently, JR has begun, and intensified since March, an awareness campaign to discourage commuters from storing multiple cards together. Incompatible cards, such as Edy, seem to have an inconsistent effect on a machine's ability to read the card which may depend on the reading device. On the other hand, the Express-IC (EX-IC) card for Tokaido Shinkansen reservations is meant to be used in this manner (stacked on either a Suica or ICOCA to facilitate transfer between Shinkansen and regular lines).[ citation needed ]
The card incorporates contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) technology developed by Sony, called FeliCa.The same technology is also deployed in the Edy electronic cash cards used in Japan, the Octopus card in Hong Kong, and the EZ-Link Card in Singapore.
On March 18, 2007, the Tokyo-area private railways, bus companies, and subways implemented Pasmo, a smart card solution to replace the existing Passnet magnetic card system. Through collaboration with JR East, passengers can use Suica wherever Pasmo cards are accepted to ride any railway or bus in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Monthly passes for JR East lines can only be on Suica, while monthly passes for Tokyo Metro can only be on Pasmo cards but otherwise, the cards are functionally identical for commuters.
This agreement has since been implemented with other systems across Japan. On March 23, 2013, a nationwide inter-operation among 10 transportation smart cards started. As of 2014 Suica has interoperability with ICOCA, Kitaca, PASMO, TOICA, manaca, PiTaPa, SUGOCA, nimoca, hayakaken and several other local smart cards.
Since July 22, 2014, Suica can be used to pay for Wii U Nintendo eShop digital video games with the NFC function of the Wii U GamePad.
Since January 2006, a version called (Mobile Suica (モバイルSuica, Mobairu Suika)) has been incorporated into mobile FeliCa wallet phones by Japan's mobile operators. This system includes Java applications to manage the Suica function in the mobile phone, to recharge the Suica stored in the mobile phone, review the stored value and perform other functions via the mobile phone. An enhancement for 2007 will allow for Suica charges to be added directly to the phone bill, eliminating the requirement to constantly add to and monitor the remaining balance. On May 23, 2011, JR announced debut of Mobile Suica app for Android Smartphones supporting Osaifu-Keitai.
Mobile Suica is a service for Osaifu Keitai mobile phones, first launched on January 28, 2006 by NTT DoCoMo and au in Japan, and now also offered by SoftBank Mobile and Willcom.
Just like traditional Suica cards, which are prepaid rechargeable contactless smart cards mainly used to pay for fares on the JR East railway network, Mobile Suica can also be charged when the remaining balance gets low. Other features supported by the mobile phone includes the ability to review past Suica transactions via the mobile's display. Suica uses Sony's FeliCa chip for its main functionalities. Mobile Suica interacts with the FeliCa chip using Java technology.
Since October 2006, it is possible to register for Mobile Suica using any major credit card, a Suica VIEW card is no longer required. A limited e-money only application called "Easy Mobile Suica" (which does not require a credit card) was also launched in late October 2006.
On September 7, 2016, Apple announced that Suica cards could be added to Apple Pay in the Wallet app and used in the same way as a physical card.This functionality was limited to devices purchased in Japan which included FeliCa support: iPhone 7 (model A1779 and A1785) and Apple Watch Series 2.
With the release of the iPhone 8, iPhone X and the Apple Watch Series 3, devices purchased anywhere can be used with Apple Pay Suica providing the user changes the device region to Japan.
iOS 13 introduced support for creating a virtual Suica card from the Wallet app.Alternatively, users can download the Suica app or English language SuicaEng app from the App Store to create a virtual Suica card.
On May 24, 2018, Google announced that Suica cards could be added to Google Pay.This functionality is limited to Android devices that are purchased in Japan that support Osaifu-Keitai and have their Google Account's region set to Japan.
The ICOCA card is a rechargeable contactless smart card used on the 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. The ICOCA area has gradually been expanded, and now includes the San'yo region through the Okayama and Hiroshima urban areas, and some lines in northern Shikoku, San'in and Hokuriku regions as of 2020.
FeliCa is a contactless RFID smart card system from Sony in Japan, primarily used in electronic money cards. The name stands for Felicity Card. First utilized in the Octopus card system in Hong Kong, the technology is used in a variety of cards also in countries such as Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and the United States.
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).
PiTaPa is a contactless smart card ticketing and electronic money system used in the Kansai region of Japan. The name PiTaPa is an acronym of "Postpay IC for Touch and Pay". As of 2007, the card can be used on 19 train systems and 11 buses, including the Osaka Municipal Subway and New Tram, the Keihan Electric Railway, and the Hankyu Railway.
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.
IruCa is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport introduced by Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad (Kotoden) in Takamatsu, Japan from February 2, 2005. The name comes from IC and iruka (dolphin), the latter being the mascot character of the company. Just like JR East's Suica or JR West's ICOCA, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. As of July 2006, 77,000 cards are issued.
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.
LuLuCa (ルルカ) is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Shizuoka, Japan, introduced by Shizuoka Railway (Shizutetsu) group, from March, 2006. The card is officially called SHIZUTETSU CARD LuLuCa. Just like JR East's Suica or JR West's ICOCA, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. Shizutetsu group also introduced PiTaPa and ICOCA from September 2007 for their lines. Although normal LuLuCa cards cannot be used on regular PiTaPa or ICOCA systems, ten of the most popular IC cards in Japan can be used on LuLuCa, as of 2013.
NicePass is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Hamamatsu, Japan, introduced by Enshū Railway (Entetsu) group, from August 20, 2004, succeeding the previous ET Card, a magnetic prepaid card. The name is an acronym of New Intelligence Card of Entetsu Personal and Smart System. Just like JR East's Suica or JR West's ICOCA, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. This was the first smart card in Japan that is usable for both railway lines and bus lines.
pass-ca is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Toyama, Japan, introduced by Toyama Light Rail, from April 29, 2006. The card is accepted by Toyamakō Line, the only line the company operates. Just like JR East's Suica or JR West's ICOCA, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. However, pass-ca has no known plan to have integrated services with those other cards.
ICa is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Kanazawa, Japan, introduced by Hokuriku Railroad (Hokutetsu), from December 1, 2004. The name is the portmanteau of IC and card, as well as ai (love), hoping the card will be loved by users. Just like JR East's Suica or JR West's ICOCA, the card uses RFID technology developed by Sony corporation known as FeliCa. There is a mascot fairy character called ICa-chan.
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.
Waon (ワオン) is a Japanese electronic money system introduced by ÆON in April 2007. It is a rechargeable contactless smart card. Like many other smart card systems in Japan, it uses RFID technology developed by Sony known as FeliCa. Its name comes from waon (和音), meaning chord. The card's official mascot is a white dog. The card reader makes a "waon" sound upon successful transaction, a Japanese onomatopoeia for dog barks.
Osaifu-Keitai, literally "Wallet Mobile", is the de facto standard mobile payment system in Japan. Osaifu-Keitai services include electronic money, identity card, loyalty card, fare collection of public transits, or credit card. The term "Osaifu-Keitai" itself is a registered trademark of NTT Docomo.
SUGOCA is a Japanese rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Fukuoka Prefecture and environs. The Kyūshū Railway Company 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.
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.
EX-IC is a contactless smart card system that enables ticketless travel on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Sanyō Shinkansen lines in Japan. The system was introduced by JR Central in March 2008 for use on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, and it was expanded to the Sanyō Shinkansen in August 2009.
Tranpass was the name of a magnetic fare card that was able to be used with many trains and buses running in Nagoya and its suburbs, especially trains and buses operated by Nagoya City and Nagoya Railroad, commonly known as Meitetsu. The Nagoya Municipal Subway sold magnetic fare cards called Yurica cards, and Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu) sold magnetic fare cards known as SF Panorama cards, but were usually Tranpass-compatible and in such cases were also Tranpass cards and therefore could be used on any transportation system that accepted Tranpass cards. Starting on February 11, 2011, another magnetic fare card system called Manaca supplemented and eventually replaced Tranpass.
Manaca, written in lower-case letters, manaca is a rechargeable contactless smart card used in Nagoya, Japan and the surrounding area since February 11, 2011, when it replaced the Tranpass magnetic fare card system. As of March 23, 2013, it became compatible with 9 other IC cards, allowing it to be used nationwide.
Mejiron nimoca is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Oita Prefecture, Japan. Oita Bus, Oita Kōtsū, and Kamenoi Bus introduced the system on December 26, 2010. Like other electronic fare collection systems in Japan, the card uses FeliCa, RFID technology developed by Sony. The design of the card combines Nimoca mascot Ferret with Mejiron (めじろん?), the mascot character widely loved as Oita Prefecture's cheering squad.
|Predecessors: Ministry of Industry | Cabinet | Home Ministry | Ministry of Communications | Cabinet | Ministry of Railways | Ministry of Transport and Communications | Ministry of Transport | Japanese National Railways | Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation | JNR Settlement Corporation|
|Passenger Railway Companies||JR Hokkaido||JR East||JR Central||JR-West||JR Shikoku||JR Kyushu|
|JR Bus Companies||JR Hokkaido Bus|| JR Bus Tohoku |
JR Bus Kanto
|JR Tokai Bus|| West JR Bus |
West Japan JR Bus Service
Chugoku JR Bus
Hikari Guru Rin Bus
|JR Shikoku Bus||JR Kyushu Bus|
|Smart cards||Kitaca|| Suica |
| TOICA |
|ICOCA||ICOCA (SHIKOKU ICOCA)||SUGOCA|
|Shinkansen lines||Hokkaido Shinkansen|| Tōhoku Shinkansen |
| Tokaido Shinkansen |
| San'yō Shinkansen |
|Shikoku Shinkansen (proposed)||Kyushu Shinkansen|
|Railway museums||Hokkaido Railway Technology Museum|| Railway Museum |
Ome Railway Park
|SCMaglev and Railway Park|| Kyoto Railway Museum |
Tsuyama Railroad Educational Museum
|Shikoku Railway Cultural Center||Kyushu Railway History Museum|
|Rolling stock manufacturers||-|| Japan Transport Engineering Company |
|Nippon Sharyo||Kinki Sharyo (partner)||-||-|
|International operations||-||West Midlands Trains (14.95%)||-||-||-||-|
|Other organizations||JR Freight||Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI)||Railway Information Systems (JR Systems)|| Railway Telecommunication |
|Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT)|
|Related topics: MARS (ticket reservation system) | National Railway Workers' Union | Japan Confederation of Railway Workers' Unions | Japan Railway Trade Unions Confederation | All Japan Construction, Transport and General Workers' Union | Sankei Children's Book Award|