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Lucy Pham

What is the difference between suica and pasmo?

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In terms of usage they are the same. IC cards in Japan can be used interchangeably. A card purchase in one region can be used in all other regions.

The main difference is that Suica is issued by JR East and Pasmo is issued by Tokyo Metro. There are also some differences where you can return the card for refund.

Both are available as virtual cards in Apple Wallet on iPhone.

There are also tourist versions of both cards (valid only for 28 days, no refunds) called Welcome Suica and Pasmo Passport. 

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Suica Card – JR East, Tokyo and Eastern Japan

Suica is issued by JR East, the largest rail operator in Tokyo and Eastern Japan.

Pasmo Card – Tokyo Metro

Issued by subway operator Tokyo Metro and other transport companies in the Tokyo area, Pasmo is known for its pink robot mascot.

For more information about IC cards in Japan visit: https://www.japanstation.com/japans-prepaid-transportation-cards-ic-cards/

Due to the current chip shortage the sale of Suica and Pasmo cards is temporarily suspended. You can still get tourist versions of both cards Welcome Suica (Narita and Haneda airports) or Pasmo Passport (Narita, Haneda, Shinagawa, Yokohama, and some main Tokyo Metro stations)


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