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Update on Suica and PASMO Card Availability

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

The global semiconductor shortage has led to the suspension of certain Suica and PASMO cards. These cards are very for convenient travel within Tokyo and around Japan. This post provides a detailed breakdown for visitors and commuters.

Suica and PASMO Card Shortage.
Suica and PASMO Cards.

Travel Insurance options for US residents:

Reimbursement coverage on non-refundable trip costs due to covered reasons for

Trip Cancellation, Trip Delay, Trip Interruption, and more.


Table of Contents


Unavailable Cards 🚫

  • My Suica (Registered)

  • PASMO Card (Registered)

  • Monorail My Suica (Unregistered)

  • Rinkai My Suica (Unregistered)

Previously suspended cards include:

The shortage is estimated to last until Spring of 2024, where JR plans to bring SUICA cards back to the public.

  • Suica Card (Unregistered)

  • PASMO Card (Unregistered)

  • Monorail Suica Commuter Pass

  • Rinkai Suica Card (Unregistered)

Cards Still in Circulation 🟢

  • Suica Commuter Pass: Ideal for regular commutes.

  • Mobile Suica & Mobile PASMO: For the digitally inclined (iphone or Andriods sold in Japan. Andriods outside of Japan do not have the compatible chip). Please see below for iphone instructions.

  • Welcome Suica: Specifically designed for tourists in Tokyo. Currently available ONLY available at Narita and Haneda Airports. One card per person. These cards last for 28 days from the time of activation, cannot be refunded, and are for tourists only.

  • PASMO Passport: Specifically designed for tourists in Tokyo. Possibly available ONLY available at Narita and Haneda Airports. One card per person. These cards last for 28 days from the time of activation, cannot be refunded, and are for tourists only.

  • PASMO Commuter Pass, PASMO on Apple Pay, PASMO PASSPORT, Monorail & Rinkai Suica Commuter Passes

  • NEW: The Tokai IC Card (TOICA) ONLY available at Tokyo Station, in Tokyo. See below for details.

How to add an IC card to an iPhone

Instructions on how to add Suica, PASMO, or ICOCA cards on iPhone can be found here.


Topping Up IC Cards

Both Mastercard and AMEX can be used to top up the IC cards. (VISA cannot)

  • IC Cards can also be topped up at Smart-Recharge Kiosk (Tokyo & Osaka Stations) - usually pink coloured

  • Place your iPhone/Apple Watch on the reader area.

  • Select the desired amount (¥1,000, ¥5,000, or ¥10,000) on the touchscreen.

  • Insert the required bills.

  • The reader will flash red during recharge and turn blue once complete. Expect a notification on your device.


Toping up Suica with at a Smart-Recharge Kiosk.



Toping up Suica at convenience store checkouts.


The Tokai IC Card (TOICA)

from Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)

Japan Railway Company (JR), on the main island of Honshu, is comprised of three distinct entities: JR East, JR Central, and JR West. (On other islands, there are JR Kyushu, JR Shikoku, and JR Hokkaido.)

The Tokai IC Card (TOICA)  from Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)
The Tokai IC Card (TOICA)

  • JR East issues the Suica card.

  • JR Central issues the TOICA card.



Tokyo Station serves as a central hub for both JR East and JR Central. As a result:

  • Both JR East and JR Central have service centers and offices there.

  • TOICA cards can only be purchased at Tokyo Station. Specifically, they're available at counter two of the JR Central office, which is marked by orange signage. For reference, JR East has green signage and JR West has blue signage.

  • The JR Central office is located at the Yaesu Central entrance.

  • It's important to note the distinction between the JR East and JR Central offices despite their similar names. They are located in different parts of the station.

http://www.tokyostationcity.com/en/information/images/stationyard_map_1f.png
JR Central Ticket Office Tokyo Station Map.

When purchasing the TOICA Card at the JR Central office there are three dedicated lines:

  1. JR Pass line

  2. TOICA card line

  3. Other tickets line

Counter two has a TOICA sign above it (Please see picture below). Please be careful not to queue in the JR Pass line unless necessary, as the wait could be lengthy.

JR Central Tokyo Station Counter Two TOICA Card
JR Central Tokyo Station (Orange Signage)


Official Sources 🔗


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