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How to use Japanese "Suica (public transit fare payment system)" on US smartphones?



Suica is a must App if you're visiting Japan

Suica App is very convenient for transportation use and mobile payment in Japan.

  • The Suica is automatically charged when it is placed close to the reader of an ticket gate.
    No Face ID needed.
  • You can use it to pay at convenience stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, vendor machines, and other places that accept "transportation system IC cards" as well.
  • Note that it cannot be used if the smartphone is turned off or battery dead.

Please refer the following steps to put Suica in your iPhone and deposit money with a US credit card or debit card.

Deposit in USD with Suica in Apple Wallet

  1. Add your payment method in Apple Wallet
    Add your U.S. credit or debit card in Apple Wallet

  2. Add "Suica" in Apple Wallet
    Tap the "+" symbol in the upper right corner of the Apple Wallet screen
    Tap "Transit Card"
    Tap "Suica (Japan)"

  3. Deposit (charge) with Apple Pay
    Agree to the terms and conditions, select the payment method added in step 1, and make a deposit = payment in USD.
    (Due to the depreciation of the yen, as of October 2023, "5000 YEN deposit -> 33 USD charged")

Apple WalletにSuicaを追加

How to buy Shinkansen ticket by US credit card?

When boarding a Shinkansen (bullet train) or limited express train, you need to buy a specific ticket.

If foreign credit cards aren't available at ticket vendor machines at stations, you need to go to the JR Ticket Counter, called "Midori-no-Madoguchi" (staffed by JR staffs under the Green Sign) in stations, probably it's located next to the gate.

The counter is unfortunately crowded and you may have to wait in line, and additonally it has been announced recently that the most of counters will be closed in the future.

To avoid wasting your precious time in Japan, please purchase your ticket on the Internet in advance.
This website "JR-EAST Train Reservation" for tourists allows payment by overseas credit cards.

The JR Pass, which allows unlimited rides on JR bullet trains, local trains, and buses, as well as the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, which allows unlimited rides on JR trains in Tokyo, can also be purchased on this website.

Enjoy your Japan trip!!!

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