Do I Need a Pasmo Card?

Supplementing your JR Pass

IC cards

This year, Japan-rail-pass.com is proud to offer Pasmo cards as a new addition to our Japanese transportation line-up. What is a Pasmo card, and how do you know if it’s right for your trip? Read on to find out!

What is a Pasmo card?

A Pasmo is a type of IC Card in Japan, a tap-and-go pass that is charged with money on it.

You can use a Pasmo card to save time when taking non-JR lines: instead of buying individual tickets for every ride, you can enter the trains with a simple touch of the card on the turnstile, charging it up when needed.

where can i use a pasmo card?

You can use your Pasmo card in any of the major Japanese cities that accept IC cards, as all the regional branded cards are now interchangeable! This is not just Tokyo, but also Kyoto (even on the city buses), Osaka, Nagoya… and many more.
For further reference, see our regional IC Card article.

do i need a pasmo card for my trip?

Whether or not you should supplement your Japan Rail Pass with a Pasmo card depends, of course, on your personalized itinerary.

With your JR Pass, you’ll be able to ride JR lines within Tokyo, such as the Yamanote Line and the Chuo line, to access many places.

However, if, for example, your hotel is located on a subway line, not a JR line, you may be taking the subway a lot too, and for that a Pasmo is really convenient. Pasmo cards are a really great way to save time so that you don’t get lost wandering through train stations looking to buy a ticket.
For example, if you use your JR Pass to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka, once you arrive in Osaka, you can simply transfer right to the subway and continue on with the rest of your trip! Or if you’re making a stop to see the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, hop right on the city street cars with a tap of the card.

If you’re not sure and haven’t decided your train itineraries, or just want to play it by ear, it’s also easy to buy tickets as you go.

New, the Pasmo passport has a nice design but is not refundable after 28 days. Click here to learn more about this card.

For help deciding your train itineraries, check out our JR Pass Assistance option!

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