Monday, October 29, 2007

Mobile Suica (モバイルSuica)

In a country where you need to have a PhD in Mathematics to figure out how expensive a train ticket you need to get for the subway (and the JR lines), SuICa is a godsend. The touchless pre-paid card lets you pay for the train automatically without having to stare at a huge matrix of prices. Needless to say you can also use it to buy things at some of the stores and vending machines. Now they work on some busses (busses that take Passmo) too which means no more carrying change in your pocket for the bus. But this is not even the best part...

NTT DoCoMo, working together with SuICa, now has cellphones which has are IC-enabled. You don't even have to carry the SuICa card, just wave your phone at the sensor! And you just need a credit card to register for the service if you have one of the right handsets (which I thankfully did). When you want to top off your SuICa, you just run the applet and it transfers money using i-Mode. Sooo convenient!
If the Mobile Suica homepage from JR is no help for you (since it's in Japanese), try this page. It helped me get all set in just 10 minutes.

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