Good News for those traveling to Japan later this year!
JR East Japan recently announced that it will release a new “Welcome Suica” for foreign travelers starting from September 2019. For those unfamiliar with travel in Japan, Suica is a rechargeable contactless smart card that can be used as a fare card on train lines/buses as well as electronic money at convenience stores and other select shops in Japan.
On the left side of the picture below is the regular version of the Suica card that everyone is familiar with. The new card for foreigners on the right uses red and white, colors of Japan’s national flag. The design features a cherry blossom pattern; something that most people think of when speaking of Japan. You can take the card back with you as a memory of your trip!
The biggest advantage of this new Suica is not the design. When you buy a normal Suica for the first time, you need to pay a 500 yen deposit. Although you can apply for a refund before leaving Japan, the procedure is slightly troublesome. This new Suica doesn’t require you to pay this deposit!! It is ideal for foreign tourists who plan to visit Japan for a short time.
On sale from September 1, 2019
Available for foreign travelers with a short-term tourist visa
Validity of card: 28 days
Card amount: Choose from 1000 yen, 2000 yen, 3000 yen, 4000 yen, 5000 yen, 10,000 yen (no deposit required)
Purchase location (tentative): JR EAST Travel Service Center (Narita Airport Terminal 1 station, Narita Airport Terminal 2/3 station, Haneda Airport International Terminal Station, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station, Ueno Station, Hamamatsucho Station)