Pasmo, Suica, Day pass, JR Pass. What now??

Different tickets for different types of travels. 

Suica, Pasmo, Day Pass, JR Pass, Train tickets, Train station, Tokyo, Japan

When in Tokyo, the best way to travel about is really by train. The trouble is, the train lines there are pretty complex and it gets rather overwhelming when it seems like there are so many choices of train passes! Fret not, you can categories the ticket types into essentially three types:

  1. When staying within Tokyo city centre;
  2. When staying further from Tokyo city centre OR visiting many places in a day; and
  3. When you are Japan-hopping.

Let’s get started on which pass would best suit you when travelling in Tokyo, Japan.


If you are travelling within the city, say from Asakusa to Ginza back to Asakusa, or Shinjuku to Ueno back to Shinjuku, I would recommend taking either PASMO or SUICA card.

These two travel cards are basically prepaid cards, so once you top up an amount of say ¥1,000, it deducts your credit. These prepaid cards can be used on trains, buses and even certain shopping areas. Save the hassle and the headache, just tap the card on the fare gate and go!


Pasmo can be used to travel everywhere within the Tokyo metropolitan area, much like London’s Oyster card. Suica allows you to travel on JR East lines, most subways and certain areas out of Tokyo.


Pasmo card’s a bit more convenient here – you can head over to any non-JR train station or the train station at Narita and Haneda Airport. As for Suica card’s refund, it may be a bit limited as you have to head to JR East stations to get your refund.


If you stay further away from the city, the upside is your hotel stay will most likely be more spacious, the downside is your train rides might cost more. Some of you may also have limited time, and try to explore as many parts of Tokyo as you can.

In this case, it may be more feasible to consider using the DAY PASSES – it comes in 1, 2 and 3 Day Pass. With this pass, you get to travel unlimited amount of times around the city. Use this option if your rides will cost more than the pass itself!

Suica, Pasmo, Day Pass, JR Pass, Train tickets, Train station, Tokyo, Japan
You can opt to get either one of these 3 passes, clock starts ticking the moment you tag in the fare gates, counting down 24/48/72 hours respectively! So watch your tag in time!


If you’re travelling from Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo, then you ought to take the JR Pass. This is the best option for those travelling long distances.

Suica, Pasmo, Day Pass, JR Pass, Train tickets, Train station, Tokyo, Japan
JR Passes have to be bought earlier – it saves you the hassle, and you get to reserve a seat beforehand.

There you have it, hope your travels go smoothly! Drop us a comment or question in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Thank you to train lines for the respective pictures!

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Caroline LT

Hi I'm Caroline. Writing is really a continuous interest since childhood, in a small way, may my writings make the world a happier, lighter, brighter place to be in!

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