What is the difference between the Pasmo or Suica card?
I keep reading about 2 different subway lines, and it sounds like you have to purchase tickets separately and their are differnt fares.
I want to use 1 card for all the subways and JR train. I don't want to have to worry about which line is what. Someone else posted something about an ultimate pass. I read something else about combinations tickets from another post. I will purchase whatever I need to make it easier on myself.
The only difference between PASMO and SUICA is who sells them. SUICA is from JR East, and PASMO is from Tokyo-area non-JR rail operators, including Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. Wherever you can use SUICA, you can use PASMO, and vice versa. Same with charging with new amounts.
The only time when it matters which card to have is when you don't need the card anymore and you need to return it for the refund of the ¥500 deposit. A SUICA must be returned to a JR East station, and a PASMO must be returned to a subway or private rail station in Tokyo.
And as stated in the previous answer, yes, these are excellent payment methods at restaurants, convenient stores, etc., in lieu of credit and debit cards, which are rather not widely used in Japan.
As for the "ultimate pass" that covers both Tokyo Metro and Toei, the only way to go would be a 24-, 48-, or 72-hour Tokyo Subway pass, sold only to out-of-town visitors and foreigners, at places like Narita Airport (ask the Keisei counter for one in conjunction with a Skyliner ticket). At least with a SUICA or a PASMO, you will still ride both Tokyo Metro and Toei just fine, but transferring between the two will cost a bit extra.
My understanding, there is little difference in the 2 cards. Both can be used on most train lines and at 7-Eleven stores. these cards are very handy as you do not need to carry a lot of cash plus the use of credit cards is limited. Must make initial purchase at the airport and the people working are multi lingual and can explain exactly how the cards work and their differences.
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