Sunday, 9 March 2014

How do you pass through ATG with a single ticket?

Automatic ticket gate (ATG) at the Marunouchi-north Entrance in Tokyo Station
In response to my blog on the Pasmo and Suica IC cards, one of the readers sent me questions asking...

1. Is a single railway ticket available in Tokyo?
2. If yes, how do you pass through an automatic ticket gate (ATG) with a single ticket?

As I mentioned before, Pasmo and Suica are prepaid IC transit cards for railway and bus passengers in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The function of Pasmo and Suica are the same. The only difference is the issuer. Pasmo is issued by private railway and bus companies, whilst JR East issues Suica.

Once you get a card and deposit some money, you can take almost all railway and bus routes in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Today, Pasmo or Suica is a must-have card for Tokyoites, but if you don't have Pasmo or Suica, how do you take the railways in Tokyo?

It is no problem at all. You just buy a single ticket at the automatic ticket vending machine. The ticket has magnetic data on the back; therefore, you can then just insert the ticket into an ATG and pass through it. A single ticket is convenient for a foreign traveler, who doesn't have Pasmo or Suica. As a Tokyoite, I also use a single ticket sometimes. For instance, when I leave my Pasmo at home, I buy a single ticket.

It is as simple as that.
Automatic ticket vending machines at the Marunouchi-north Entrance in Tokyo Station