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Mobile Suica for Tokyo


SClakeliving
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Going to be in Tokyo in November for a few days (post cruise) before heading home to the States. Planning on going to Kyoto for a day too. Thinking best to a Welcome Suica card to use for transit in Tokyo and Kyoto and even some stores. I just read about a "Mobile Suica card" that is available through my Apple Wallet. It seems very convenient as it will be on my iPhone and I can add money to it with my Apple Pay. No need to get yen then use the yen to buy and/or load a  physical Suica Card. Just Wondering if it works well at transit gates and other places and if it is a good idea. I can get it and load it here before arriving in Japan. 

Thank you.

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We just came back from Japan this Tuesday.  Spend 15 days in Japan - 3 land plus 12 days cruise through out Japan.  My husband and I are so grateful that we took people’s advice loaded mobile suica card before we left the States.  Used for transportation, purchasing , restaurants, vending machine…. from Tokyo to Aomori, couldn’t be more happy with it.   Since we have worldwide phone plans, we just add money anytime the balance is low.  Just make sure when you use for subways make sure when you go out of the station you have your payment completed.   There are couple times we need to make several transfer but the transaction wasn’t completed, that time just to to customer service by the entrance.  They will help to solve your problem, otherwise you won’t be able to use your suica card if you leave the subway since you’re still in transit 😊

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10 hours ago, Elzacruiser said:

We just came back from Japan this Tuesday.  Spend 15 days in Japan - 3 land plus 12 days cruise through out Japan.  My husband and I are so grateful that we took people’s advice loaded mobile suica card before we left the States.  Used for transportation, purchasing , restaurants, vending machine…. from Tokyo to Aomori, couldn’t be more happy with it.   Since we have worldwide phone plans, we just add money anytime the balance is low.  Just make sure when you use for subways make sure when you go out of the station you have your payment completed.   There are couple times we need to make several transfer but the transaction wasn’t completed, that time just to to customer service by the entrance.  They will help to solve your problem, otherwise you won’t be able to use your suica card if you leave the subway since you’re still in transit 😊

Off topic question from someone visiting Aomori in the spring, any suggestions?

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3 hours ago, lorif said:

Off topic question from someone visiting Aomori in the spring, any suggestions?

If Sakura season, travel to Hirosaki, the famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Hirosaki Park. Aomori city is small, city center is 15 min walking distance from cruise terminal. Aomori also known for Nebuta floats and  archeological site Sannai Maruyama.

Edited by monkey@cruise
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29 minutes ago, monkey@cruise said:

If Sakura season, travel to Hirosaki, the famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Hirosaki Park. Aomori city is small, city center is 15 min walking distance from cruise terminal. Aomori also known for Nebuta floats and  archeological site Sannai Maruyama.

Thank you, we may just be on the cusp of Sakura season so will definitely check that out.

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On 10/26/2023 at 9:17 PM, Elzacruiser said:

BTW, mobile suica card only accept MasterCard, no Visa. 
 

Question: about how much should I load .... 3 days subway and some conveience store/vending machine? 

Question: can I get unused funds refunded?? how? just back to my CC on my iPhone ??

 

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Mobile suica cards are not refundable so load your money wisely.  We start with 2000 yen( per my bank it was USD$13.36 the time we loaded) before we left the States. Since we have world wide phone plan, we just add extra whenever needed. For example- Haneda airport to Shinjuku station is 1400 yen each person, so we add another 2000 yen on my husband’s card. Within Tokyo, subway usually cost 178 yen, so you can estimate how many trips you are going to take.  Of course, there are so many places accept CC payment so you can utilize that as well.  When out of Tokyo, suica cards are still good for transportation, food and convenience stores, but if you visit some small restaurants or food vendors, cash is the only way.  The remaining balance are good for five years, so if you still have funds left, when transfer in Japan, you can use it at the airport. We ended with a little bit over 400 yen each card.   Of course you can use the final balance at stores and pay the short payment by cash or other means so that’s another way to drain the funds.  You’ll know how easy it is to use mobile suica card in Japan when you arrive.  Enjoy your time in Japan!

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1 hour ago, SClakeliving said:

Mobile Suica card on my iPhone .....

can I get unused funds returned ? how?

 

 

Read the Mobile Suica FAQ if suit your needs. Refund only for registered users.

 

https://apfaq.mobilesuica.com/faq/show/3145?back=front%2Fcategory%3Ashow&category_id=92&page=1&site_domain=default&sort=sort_access&sort_order=desc

 

https://apfaq.mobilesuica.com/faq/show/3144?category_id=92&site_domain=default

 

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1 hour ago, SClakeliving said:

Question: about how much should I load .... 3 days subway and some conveience store/vending machine? 

Question: can I get unused funds refunded?? how? just back to my CC on my iPhone ??

 

Tokyo Metro tickets cost from 180 to 330 yen depending on how far you travel. Toei fares are a little more expensive, ranging from 180 to 430 yen. A subway pass may be a money saving on travel.

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On 10/29/2023 at 1:09 PM, monkey@cruise said:

Tokyo Metro tickets cost from 180 to 330 yen depending on how far you travel. Toei fares are a little more expensive, ranging from 180 to 430 yen. A subway pass may be a money saving on travel.

What does a metro card cost? Is it unlimited travel then? 

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59 minutes ago, SClakeliving said:

What does a metro card cost? Is it unlimited travel then? 

A Metro Ticket is a one way (Point A to Point B) ticket.

There are many different Metro Cards available in Japan. Some are good for unlimited rides for a fixed time period; 24 hours, 72 hours, etc.

Other Metro Cards, like Suica, Pasmo, ICOCA, are prepaid cards that can be re-charged. Some are valid throughout Japan. Others are valid in certain areas of Japan.

Some are digital, and exist on your mobile telephone; others are smart cards.

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1 hour ago, SClakeliving said:

What does a metro card cost? Is it unlimited travel then? 

Tokyo Metro

Tokyo subway is operating by Tokyo Metro and Toei Metro.

If you plan travel >2 trips exclusively on Tokyo Metro lines in a day then purchase a Tokyo Metro day Pass. Same token for Toei Metro Line.

https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/1day/index.html
https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/tickets/value.html

 

If you plan travel on Tokyo Metro and Toei Metro, then the Tokyo Subway Ticket (for tourists only, passport present to purchase) is the choice.
https://www.tokyometro.jp/tst/en/index.html

 
The 72 hour ticket is the bargain, unlimited Tokyo metro travel for 500 yen/day.

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On 10/27/2023 at 11:45 AM, monkey@cruise said:

If Sakura season, travel to Hirosaki, the famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Hirosaki Park. Aomori city is small, city center is 15 min walking distance from cruise terminal. Aomori also known for Nebuta floats and  archeological site Sannai Maruyama.

I will add, as an ardent independent traveler, that one can walk (in less than 30 minutes) from the port to the train station (in Amorr) and simply take the next train to Hirosaki.  The cost of DIY is generally a fraction of the excursion or tour price.  Once in Hirosaki, you can take a local bus from the train station to HIrosaki Park (walkers can alternatively walk in about 40 min).  The park has well marked walking paths and it does not take a guide to point out the beautiful Cherry Blossom trees.

 

Hank

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Thanks @Hlitner , I agree on not needing a guide to admire the trees.  Good to know the walking times.  I am finding that the excursion pricing has increased dramatically, and I do not want to be signing up for panoramic bus tours.

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2 hours ago, lorif said:

Thanks @Hlitner , I agree on not needing a guide to admire the trees.  Good to know the walking times.  I am finding that the excursion pricing has increased dramatically, and I do not want to be signing up for panoramic bus tours.

Hirosaki Park is a large place where one can walk for miles.  Buses are not permitted in the park, so any tour would need to involve a lot of walking inside (or around) the park.

 

Hank

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2 hours ago, lorif said:

Thanks @Hlitner , I agree on not needing a guide to admire the trees.  Good to know the walking times.  I am finding that the excursion pricing has increased dramatically, and I do not want to be signing up for panoramic bus tours.

If you take the ASPAM building route, 20 min walking distance to JR station.

Train to Hirosaki staion is the JR Ouu Main Line (45 min , 9 stops)  runs every 45 min. The Tsugaru express train (34 min, 3 stops). run every 2 hrs.

 

Transport from Hirosaki station to Hirosaki castle
https://www.hirosaki-kanko.or.jp/userfiles/UNIQ_78d18009f23e366720b91663a040f784.pdf

If long lineup at the bus stop, go for taxi.


Since train run is hourly, plan your return trip accordingly, don't miss the boat !

 

Michael

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1 minute ago, lorif said:

@monkey@cruise Thanks Michael, not missing the boat is always key in planning.

Thank you for the detailed pdf, and info on transport.

I use the "Japan Travel" app to plan my Japan public transport, it shows  train line, platform, fare, time, # of stops. in details. Not many people speak English in  Aomori. Had you travel destination print in Japanese, show to taxi driver, train station staff where you like to go. Don't need google translate and never lost in communication and translation. When I was in Aomori, the weather was rainy, I took a bus to a city south shopping center, I had Aomori station and the shopping address written in Japanese, the locals  are very helpful, guided me to the correct bus stop (was a loop route). 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yomiuri Shinbun today announced that several of the major Japanese Train Lines are planning to add a new feature to their turnstyles next year.

People (essentially tourists) will be able to use a smart card (Visa, Mastercard) to enter and exit the stations. The smart card will be automatically charged for the train ride. This will make it easier for foreigners to use the train systems.

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On 10/30/2023 at 3:54 AM, Elzacruiser said:


Mobile suica cards are not refundable so load your money wisely.  We start with 2000 yen( per my bank it was USD$13.36 the time we loaded) before we left the States. Since we have world wide phone plan, we just add extra whenever needed. For example- Haneda airport to Shinjuku station is 1400 yen each person, so we add another 2000 yen on my husband’s card. Within Tokyo, subway usually cost 178 yen, so you can estimate how many trips you are going to take.  Of course, there are so many places accept CC payment so you can utilize that as well.  When out of Tokyo, suica cards are still good for transportation, food and convenience stores, but if you visit some small restaurants or food vendors, cash is the only way.  The remaining balance are good for five years, so if you still have funds left, when transfer in Japan, you can use it at the airport. We ended with a little bit over 400 yen each card.   Of course you can use the final balance at stores and pay the short payment by cash or other means so that’s another way to drain the funds.  You’ll know how easy it is to use mobile suica card in Japan when you arrive.  Enjoy your time in Japan!

Is it 5 years for the physical card too? 

We kept ours from June 2018, and are finally coming back October 2024, so that's 6 years!

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