.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}@media all and (max-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{width:auto!important;clear:none!important;float:none!important))You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Japanese. (October 2023) Click [show] for important translation instructions. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 3,808 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Japanese Wikipedia article at [[:ja:Suica]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|ja|Suica)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
LocationUsable nationwide
Distributed in the Kantō region, Sendai area, Niigata area, Morioka area, Akita area, and Aomori area
LaunchedApril 8 – July 8, 2001: Piloted at 57 stations
November 18, 2001: Official launch at 424 stations
ManagerJR East
CurrencyJapanese yen (¥20,000 maximum load)
Stored-valuePay as you go
Credit expiryTen years after last use[1]
  • JR East stations
  • JR EAST Travel Service Centers
  • Suica
  • Welcome Suica
  • Rinkai Suica
  • Monorail Suica
  • Multi-function Cards for Regional Transit

Suica (Japanese pronunciation: スイカ, Suika) is a prepaid rechargeable contactless smart card and electronic money system used as a fare card on train lines and other public transport systems in Japan, launched on November 18, 2001 by JR East. The card can be used across the nation as part of Japan's Nationwide Mutual Usage Service.[2][3] The card is also widely used as electronic money for purchases at stores and kiosks, especially at convenience stores and within train stations. In 2018, JR East reported reported that Suica was used for 6.6 million daily transactions.[4] As of October 2023, 95.64 million Suica (including Mobile Suica) have been issued, and 1.63 million stores accept payment via Suica's digital currency.[5]

Since Suica is completely interchangeable with PASMO (see Interoperation), it is supported on virtually any train, tramway, or bus system in Tokyo and the Greater Tokyo Area (excluding various limited and shinkansen trains, as well as some local buses).


Suica stands for "Super Urban Intelligent CArd". In the logo, the letters "ic" are highlighted, which stand for integrated circuit and see use in the term "IC card", the common Japanese word for smart card. An additional meaning comes from the ideophone "sui sui" which means "to move smoothly and swiftly", intended to highlight the simplicity of using the card compared with traditional train tickets.[6] Since penguins can also swim smoothly through water, a penguin is used as a motif.[7] The Suica penguin mascot [jp] was designed by illustrator Chiharu Sakazaki.[8]


While Suica's primary usage is as a fare card for public transportation, it can also be used as electronic money for general purchases. With the exception of archaic, first-generation cards printed before 2004, all Suica have the logo, which indicates that the card can be used for e-money payments.[9]

Other components that may also appear alongside the e-money mark include:

Suica logo, indicating sensor compatibility with the Suica electronic money system

Chain stores such as FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, Lawson, Yodobashi Camera, Bic Camera, Dotour Coffee, CoCo Ichibanya, and MOS Burger support transactions with Suica.[18] Many shops at Narita International Airport, Haneda Airport, and taxis also accept Suica payment.[19] Stores that accept IC card payment are indicated by displaying the Nationwide Mutual Usage Service "IC" logo, typically alongside the various card logos.[18] Most vending machines, kiosks, and coin-operated lockers within JR stations can also be paid with the card; the card may also be used as an electronic key to open the specific locker used.[19][20]

As of 2004, JR East employees use the card as an employee ID card.[21]

Functions and services

Ticket gates at Ikebukuro Station in 2006. The center lane is exclusive to Suica. Gates have since been replaced to support all major IC cards.
An automatic Suica reader at Kuzuoka, a station not equipped with regular ticket gates
Keyless locker system for Suica and PASMO cards in Shibuya Station

Usage of the card involves scanning it at a card reader. The technology allows for the card to be read at a short distance from the reader, so contact is not required.[22] This functionality is in contrast to the instructions which frequently inform the user to 'touch' (タッチ, tacchi) the card to the reader, a misnomer since it works with or without physical contact. In fact, it is possible to leave the card in most wallets and just pass the wallet over the reader as they enter the ticket gate.

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.[22]

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.

When traveling from a JR-EAST station Suica is supported to stations of not JR-EAST area, purchasing the ticket is required.[23]

Points of purchase

Suica are available at ticket vending machines or customer service windows in the Suica area, namely at all JR East train stations. 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 rides on transport, and more money can be charged on to the card (in 500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, and 10,000 yen increments), up to a card maximum of 20,000 yen. Cards may also be charged at at fare adjustment machines within any station's ticket gates, i.e. inside the fare-paid zone.

On June 8, 2023, railway operators including JR East announced a temporary suspension of sales of unregistered cards, which do not display the customer's name, due to the 2020–2023 global chip shortage.[24] In August 2023, sales of registered cards displaying the customer's name (My Suica) were also suspended, and customers were encouraged to use Mobile Suica instead.[25][26] As of March 2024, sales of the card remain officially suspended "for the time being",[27] but since January 2024 have been available in limited quantities to foreign tourists at customer service centers.[28][29]

Types of cards

Suica are sold by JR East and two of its subsidiaries:

Credit card integrations

The View Suica [jp] pairs the prepaid Suica with a credit card. Various types of these "affiliate cards" exist, including at least one available through JR and View, and others such as the Bic Camera Suica. These function both as a prepaid Suica as well as a regular credit card, and provide an auto-charge feature to prevent exhausting the Suica balance. 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 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.

My Suica

"My Suica" is JR East's term for a Suica registered in one's name. Riders may input their personal information at the time the card is created which allows for a transfer of balance if the card is lost, stolen, or breaks.[30]

Welcome Suica

In August 2019, JR East unveiled Welcome Suica, a Suica variant designed for use by tourists to Japan. The card's design features white cherry blossoms on a red background.[31] 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 expires permanently. It is also nonrefundable, regardless of the balance or user's activity.[32]

JR East request customers always carry with them a reference sheet, or receipt, to accompany the card.[32]

Card stacking

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, or may carry other IC cards as well. Consequently, JR East began an awareness campaign in March 2007 to discourage commuters from storing multiple cards together.[citation needed] 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 top of an IC card to facilitate transfer between Shinkansen and regular lines).[citation needed]


The card incorporates a contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) technology developed by Sony called FeliCa.[33] 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.


Interoperation map

On 18 March 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; besides this caveat, the cards are functionally identical for commuters.

This agreement has since been implemented with other systems across Japan, known as the Nationwide Mutual Usage Service. As a result, beginning in 2013, Suica has full interoperability with Kitaca, PASMO, TOICA, manaca, ICOCA, PiTaPa, SUGOCA, nimoca, and Hayakaken IC cards, along with several other local cards.

On 22 July 2014, Nintendo added support for Suica and PASMO cards in the Nintendo eShop through the NFC function of the Wii U GamePad[34] and the New Nintendo 3DS.[35] The service was discontinued on 18 January 2022.[36]

Mobile devices

Mobile Suica

Mobile Suica running on iPhone

Since January 2006, a version called Mobile Suica (モバイルSuica, Mobairu Suika) was incorporated into mobile FeliCa wallet phones by Japan's mobile operators.[37] 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 allowed for Suica charges to be added directly to the phone bill, eliminating the requirement to constantly add to and monitor the remaining balance. On 23 May 2011, JR announced[38] debut of Mobile Suica app for Android Smartphones supporting Osaifu-Keitai. It was first launched by the carriers NTT DoCoMo and au, and now also offered by SoftBank Mobile and Willcom.

Like physical cards, Mobile Suica cards 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 phone's display. Mobile Suica interacts with the FeliCa chip using Java technology.[citation needed]

Since October 2006, it is possible to register for Mobile Suica using any major credit card. A limited e-money-only application called "Easy Mobile Suica" (which does not require a credit card) was also launched in late October 2006.[citation needed]

Apple Pay

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.[39] This functionality was limited to devices purchased in Japan which included FeliCa support: iPhone 7 (model A1779 and A1785) and Apple Watch Series 2.[40] With the release of the iPhone 8, iPhone X and the Apple Watch Series 3, and later, devices purchased anywhere in the world could be used with Apple Pay Suica.[41][40]

iOS 13 introduced support for creating a virtual Suica card from the Wallet app.[40]

iOS 15 introduced new Wallet app improvements and a dedicated category for adding Suica and other transit cards regardless of the device region setting.[42]

Google Pay

On 24 May 2018, Google announced that Suica cards could be added to Google Pay.[43] This functionality is limited to Android devices that have their Google Account's region set to Japan and which support Osaifu-Keitai, i.e. the phone must have been purchased in Japan, or be rooted (and have a FeliCa chip, as modern Google Pixel phones do) to enable this feature.

See also


  1. ^ "Suica – Fares & Passes". JR East.
  2. ^ "Suica、SUGOCA、nimoca、はやかけん 相互利用サービス開始日の決定について" (PDF) (in Japanese).
  3. ^ 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. ^ "Annual Report in English" (PDF). Japan Railways Group. p. 41.
  5. ^ "INTEGRATED REPORT 2023" (PDF). East Japan Railway Company. October 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  6. ^ "Why Are the Cards Called "Suica" and "ICOCA"?". Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kids Web Japan. Archived from the original on March 30, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  7. ^ Kikuchi, Daisuke (July 16, 2016). "Penguin park opens in Shinjuku". The Japan Times. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "Suicaのペンギン". sakazakichiharu.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2022. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  9. ^ "Suica e-money". East Japan Railway Company. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  10. ^ "FeliCaポケット搭載カード一覧". Sony (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 10, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  11. ^ "「まいポ」を利用できるカード・媒体". Maipore Funabashi City. Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  12. ^ "Suicaポケット". East Japan Railway Company (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  13. ^ "利用方法>SF(電子マネー)の入金(チャージ)". East Japan Railway Company (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 8, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  14. ^ "2013 Annual Report - Review of Operations" (PDF). East Japan Railway Company. August 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 6, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  15. ^ "個人のお客様". Sony (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 9, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  16. ^ "2011 Annual Report - Review of Operations" (PDF). East Japan Railway Company. September 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 29, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  17. ^ "Suicaインターネットサービスの終了について". East Japan Railway Company (in Japanese). May 27, 2019. Archived from the original on January 27, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  18. ^ a b "Stores where Suica is accepted". East Japan Railway Company. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  19. ^ a b "Welcome Suica (for Short-term Use)" (PDF). East Japan Railway Company. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 17, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  20. ^ "Suica e-money - JR-EAST". www.jreast.co.jp. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  21. ^ Shimizu, Kaho (April 3, 2004). "JR East workers use Suica as ID". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on October 9, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  22. ^ a b "Suica | Fares & Passes | JR-EAST". www.jreast.co.jp. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  23. ^ "Riyō kanō eria" 利用可能エリア [Available area]. www.jreast.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  24. ^ "Sales of some IC cards to be halted in Japan due to global chip shortage | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News". NHK World-Japan. June 2, 2023. Archived from the original on June 3, 2023. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  25. ^ "Sales of Suica and PASMO Transit Cards to be Temporarily Suspended | Japan National Tourism Organization". Japan National Tourism Organization.
  26. ^ "Temporary suspension of sales for non-personalized Suica and PASMO cards" (PDF). East Japan Railway Company. June 2, 2023. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 19, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  27. ^ "Suica | Fares & Passes". East Japan Railway Company. Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  28. ^ "Suica Cards: Quick Guide to Tokyo's Smart Travel Cards". Tokyo Cheapo. Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  29. ^ "Travel Service Centers & Accessibility". East Japan Railway Company. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  30. ^ "My Suica(記名式)". East Japan Railway Company (in Japanese). Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  31. ^ Osumi, Magdalena (August 28, 2019). "JR East and Tokyo Metro to debut special IC cards aimed at tourists". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  32. ^ a b "Welcome Suica - JR-EAST". www.jreast.co.jp. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  33. ^ "About FeliCa Technology".
  34. ^ Tsuchimoto, Gaku (July 22, 2014). "交通系電子マネーを使ってWii Uのチャージに挑戦、手軽さが魅力的" [Using transport e-money to charge Wii U - convenience is attractive]. Inside (in Japanese). Japan: IID, Inc. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  35. ^ "Nintendo Shows Off NFC eShop Payments for New Nintendo 3DS in Japan". Nintendo Life. December 9, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  36. ^ "ニンテンドー3DSシリーズおよびWii U内のニンテンドーeショップにおけるクレジットカードと交通系電子マネーのご利用取扱い終了について" [Regarding the termination of use of credit cards and transportation electronic money at the Nintendo 3DS series and the Nintendo eShop in Wii U]. nintendo.co.jp (in Japanese). July 20, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  37. ^ "Mobile Suica Service to Start Saturday, January 28, 2006". JR East.
  38. ^ "Mobile Suica service for Android™ smartphones". JR East. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  39. ^ "Apple Pay coming to Japan with iPhone 7". Apple Newsroom. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  40. ^ a b c "Set up a Suica card in Apple Pay". Apple Support. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  41. ^ "Apple Pay". Apple. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  42. ^ "Add a transit card to Apple Wallet". Apple. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  43. ^ "Now you can add Suica and WAON to Google Pay in Japan". Google. May 24, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2020.