My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: February 20, 2024
The Japan Rail (JR) network of trains covers the whole of the country and JR East is responsible for the network in the east of Japan including Tokyo. A number of unlimited ride passes are available that allow you to take advantage of this extensive rail network, and can be a highly economical and convenient way to travel.
The Japan Rail Pass is on offer to visitors coming to Japan for sightseeing purposes. After completing the relatively easy registration process, you can use it straightaway on any JR Line—including the Narita Express and most shinkansen. It will get you on the Hikari, Sakura, Kodama and Tsubame shinkansen, but a separate ticket at additional cost is necessary for the Nozomi and Mizuho. If you are planning to travel in Tokyo and beyond, look into purchasing this pass.
If you are going to be Tokyo based for your stay, check out the JR Tokyo Wide Pass . Along with unlimited travel in the city, it is also possible to travel into the surrounding prefectures of the Kanto region.
Purchase a Suica card from one of the JR station ticket machines—a 500yen deposit is required. After charging it up, you can begin using it immediately. It is generally accepted all over Tokyo and throughout Japan. Suica cards are accepted on most buses in the Tokyo area and also some taxis, vending machines, coin lockers, convenience stores and in other retailers. Return your card at the end of your stay to reclaim your deposit.
Pasmo is your alternative to the Suica card and functions in a very similar way. The only difference being the company that provides the cards. It can be purchased at Haneda and Narita airports as well as all participating private railway and subway stations. A returnable deposit is required when you purchase a Pasmo. Charge it, use it, top it up and use it again. Similar to the Suica, Pasmo is accepted on a wide range of public transportation, as well as stores and vending machines.
For guidance on how to best get around Tokyo, check the Tips on Taking Public Transport page.