Do I Need a Pasmo Card?

  • Published on : 26/06/2016
  • by : Japan Experience

Supplementing your JR Pass

Do I need to buy a Pasmo card with my Japan Rail Pass?" Find out if an IC card if right for you on your trip to Japan.

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.

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.



©Hans-Christian Psaar,,CC BY 2.0,

Do i need a Pasmo Card for my trip?

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, you may be taking the subway a lot, 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.

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



©Andrew Currie,, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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