Category Archives: Homework
During our trip to Japan, my study abroad group and I mostly used the Japanese transit system to get to and from our site visits. While it was somewhat of a hassle to spend most of our money on the subway, using the Suica card relieved some of that stress. The Suica, or “Super Urban Intelligent Card” is a rechargeable smart card that you can use to pay your subway fare without the use of physical cash. It was developed by the East Japan Railway Company, and it’s mostly used in the Kanto region of Japan.
The way that you use the Suica card is that you place whatever amount of money you have on the card at one of the ticket vending machines at the station. Once that’s done, you place the card on the reader as you pass through the gate. After that, you ride the train to the next station. The fare gets taken out of the amount you originally had on the card depending on the distance from the station you started from to the station that you got off. The card uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology which uses radio waves to transfer information from a tag that’s attached to the card. If there’s not enough money on the card, you can pay the difference at the ticket gate.
One thing that’s amazing about the Suica card is the convenience that it brings. It helps relieve traffic congestion in the stations, and its really easy to use. Another thing is that not only can you use the card for getting on the subway, you can also use it to buy things. You can use the Suica at most convenience stores that carry it, and there are vending machines in the station that have card readers if you want to get something refreshing while waiting for the train. Another great thing about the Suica card is that the card has an expiration date of 10 years, so you can use the card for significant amount of time before it expires.
While the Suica card is easy to use, there was one minor issue. There were a few times where I tried to use my card, and it wouldn’t scan correctly. While it wasn’t a big deal, it was somewhat frustrating not knowing what to do when this happened to me the first time. If this happens, you can go to the ticket gate, and the attendant will take care of the situation.
JR East also developed a version of the Suica that can be used on mobile devices. Just like the card, you can put money on it and use it to pay your subway fare and to buy snacks at the convenience stores. The only major difference is that the mobile version of the Suica allows you to view most of your past purchases.
Using the Suica made my experience with the Japanese transit system a lot more convenient. It’s really simple to use, you can use it to ride the train and buy food, and it saved me some money. It would be great to see the U.S. use RFID technology in this particular way someday, it would definitely make things a whole lot easier.