LocationUsable nationwide
Distributed in Kyushu
LaunchedMarch 1, 2009 (15 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 and around Fukuoka Prefecture. 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 began interoperation with Nishitetsu's nimoca, Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau's Hayakaken, and JR East's Suica.[1] On March 5, 2011, in a reciprocal agreement with JR Central and JR West, SUGOCA became usable in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Okayama-Hiroshima and Nagoya metropolitan areas.[2] In 2013, interoperation was extended country-wide, and SUGOCA became usable in all major cities across Japan as part of the Nationwide Mutual Usage Service.[3]

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 or registered card (allowing riders' cards to be reissued if lost). The second is the SUGOCA commuter pass (SUGOCA定期券, SUGOCA teikiken), which requires registration. The third is SUGOCA Excel Pass (SUGOCAエクセルパス, SUGOCA Ekuseru Pasu) which can be used for non-reserved seats of limited express trains.

Othe SUGOCA variants and designs exist, such as the Mono SUGOCA, functionally identical to the normal SUGOCA but featuring a design of the Kitakyushu Monorail's Kokura Station. It was issued starting October 1, 2015.[5]

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 similar Welcome Suica for tourists, SUGOMON Pass has no expiry date and is refundable with a ¥220 handling fee.[6]

Extended functionality

SUGOCA's functionality includes electronic money and can be used at stores in Fukuoka Prefecture and at vending machines and convenience stores nationwide.

Part of the Nationwide Mutual Usage Service, SUGOCA is usable on public transportation across Japan.[3]

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 Ito, Etsuro (October 2013). "Launch of Nationwide Interoperable Transport System IC Cards" (PDF). East Japan Railway Culture Foundation. Japan Railway & Transport Review. pp. 6–15. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Convenient IC card for foreign customers visiting Japan SUGOMONPASS". Kyushu Railway Company. Retrieved 2023-03-21.