Why IC Cards are Recommended
日本で 電車や バス、 等の 交通機関を 利用したい時に、ICカードは 便利です。
レストランや コンビニでの 買い物にも 使うことが できます。
最もよく 使われるのは Suicaと PASMOです。
Suica用の モバイルアプリも あるので、ぜひ 使ってください！！
It is very recommended and sometimes necessary to have IC cards when you would like to use the transportations in Japan. The most commonly used ones are Suica and PASMO, there are several reasons why I would suggest you buy one when you will come to Japan.
First reason is that there are many ways to use it. It is not only available for trains and buses, it also can be used for shopping. You can use it when you use vending machines, or when you shop in the subway. It really depends on which line you will be using, but you mostly can use Suica and PASMO. Even out of the subway, you can use them at convenience stores and several restaurants, which has a “IC signs.”
IC cards are easier to buy than usual tickets. Buying tickets with paying exact amount of money that is required in order to go to the place you would like to go is a little bit hard for non-Japanese people. However, getting a “ticket” is not as bad as you would expect if you have IC cards. Since it is a prepaid card, you do not have to worry about checking the station names and buying tickets every single day. You can go wherever you want to go with IC cards. You can get them with 2000 JPY, which includes useable 1500 JPY and the deposit of 500 JPY. Additionally, the amount that you have to pay with an IC card is cheaper than the amount you have to pay with the actual tickets, so it is highly recommended if you are a type of person who would use the public transportations a lot.
There also is a system for commuters as well. If you are a scholar or a worker and if you make the same commute 18 times of round-trips per month, either to go to school or to go to work, you definitely should get a commuter IC pass. You simply can go to the ticket vending machines at any station to get them. You need to specify the two stations you would like to travel between, such as the nearest station to your house and the nearest station to your school or to your workplace, and choose from 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months, to get the discount. Since this is an unlimited pass between two stations you specify, you also can get unlimited travel between those two stations.
There also is a mobile app for SUICA as well, if you are a cardless person. I have both SUICA the mobile app and the actual SUICA, and I am using both of them depending on the purpose. I use the usual one as my commuting pass and I use the app for other purposes. It is always good to have a backup – in this case, the app is the backup since you will always have it with you unless you forget to bring your phone! – and they both have different strong points, so I highly recommend you to get them.
IC cards are recommended not only because it is useful and easy to get, but also because you can get discount if you will use the same lines often. Since it is a prepaid card, you do not have to worry about reloading that much, and you can use it as your backup when it is emergency. I would suggest you to have one to have a better and more convenient life in Japan!!
Suica and PASMO
Suica → https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html
PASMO → https://www.pasmo.co.jp/en/
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