One of the first and most commonly used cashless systems in Japan is the humble transit IC card. These cards are mainly used for public transportation including trains and buses, but they’re so ubiquitous, you can also use them to pay for things at convenience stores, vending machines and even some shops and restaurants. The main IC cards used in Tokyo are Suica and Pasmo, but you’ll find regional versions of these cards in different areas across the country. The major IC card brands are all interoperable, so don’t worry about bringing a Pasmo to Osaka – it’ll work just fine.
You can easily top up your IC card at stations, convenience stores or even through your mobile phone (if you have the e-wallet version of the card). You can purchase a new card at nearly any train station ticket machine for a ¥500 deposit.