LaunchedMarch 1, 2009 (14 years ago)
OperatorKyushu Railway Company
ManagerKyushu Railway Company
CurrencyJapanese yen
Stored-valuePay as you go
Auto rechargeNone
Unlimited useNone (Other non-related unlimited use passes available)
  • SUGOCA 乗車券 (Jōshaken) – rechargeable card
  • SUGOCA定期券 (Teikiken) – commuter pass
  • SUGOCAエクセルパス (Excel Pass) – non-reserved seats of limited express
  • SUGOMON Pass

SUGOCA (スゴカ, Sugoka) is a Japanese rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport in Fukuoka Prefecture and environs. The Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) introduced the system on March 1, 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.

Automatic turnstile of SUGOCA
How to use a SUGOCA card
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]

Usable area

SUGOCA was implemented on March 1, 2009, in 124 JR stations in Fukuoka Prefecture, mainly in the Fukuoka-Kitakyūshū area. As of 2022 it's usable in a total of 124 stations of below lines.

Types of cards

There are currently three types of cards available. The SUGOCA Ticket (SUGOCA乗車券, SUGOCA Jōshaken) 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 (SUGOCA定期券, SUGOCA Teikiken) (which requires registration), and the SUGOCA Excel Pass (SUGOCAエクセルパス, SUGOCA Ekuseru Pasu), 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.[4]

On January 23, 2020, JR Kyushu unveiled SUGOMON Pass, a SUGOCA variant designed for use by tourists to Japan. The card's design features Kumamon, the official mascot of Kumamoto. Unlike JR East's Welcome Suica, SUGOMON Pass has no expiry date and is refundable with a ¥220 handling fee.[5]

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.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Official news release Archived 2008-02-11 at the Wayback Machine by JR Kyūshū, February 7, 2008. (in Japanese)
  2. ^ Official news release Archived 2011-03-08 at the Wayback Machine by JR West, November 25, 2009. (in Japanese)
  3. ^ a b c "西九州エリアにICカード乗車券 SUGOCA を導入します!" (PDF). JR Kyushu (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-10-19.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Convenient IC card for foreign customers visiting Japan SUGOMONPASS". Kyushu Railway Company. Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  6. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Wii Uで交通系電子マネーが 使えるようになりました。". YouTube.