For shoppers and adventurers alike, there is no better time to visit Eastern Japan than between January 24th to March 31st thanks to an innovative partnership between JR East and Mitsui Fudosan. Travellers to Eastern Japan can save ¥500 by purchasing JR East’s “Welcome to Japan” Suica travel card, which is deposit-free. Between January 24th - March 31st, they will also receive a special discount coupon and flyer with their Suica, to be used in shopping outlets across Tokyo and Eastern Japan that are close to major tourist attractions. Keep reading to find out more about this campaign and how you can benefit.

What is the “Welcome to Japan” Suica and Why Buy It?

JR East’s “Welcome To Japan” Suica is a special travel card designed to provide travellers to Japan with a convenient, cashless travel and shopping experience while visiting Japan.

There are two advantages to be had while using this special Suica card. Firstly, this version of JR East’s travel card is deposit free, so travellers save the normal ¥500 required as a down payment for a Suica. As reported by the Japan Times, the “Welcome to Japan” Suica lasts for a period of 28 days and can be purchased in 6 variations from ¥1000 to ¥10000 yen in value. After purchasing and using the entire value of the card, it can be topped up further at charging points present in every station in Eastern Japan. With no deposit, tourists don’t need to queue up before they leave to hand in their Suica and reclaim their ¥500. The Suica is intended to be kept as a souvenir so tourists can continue to enjoy the special Japan-themed design on this card. However, they do need to ensure they use the whole value of the card as remaining money cannot be refunded.

Get Maximum Value Between 24th Jan - 31st March with New Shopping Campaign

This brings us to the second benefit of this card: using the full value of whatever you topped up is ultra easy as the Suica can be used as e-money in stores across Japan. Users have the luxury of contactless payment in convenience stores and many big high street stores. Unique and delicious coffees from Starbucks, the latest electrical goods from Bic Camera, or hours of passionate karaoke can be enjoyed with one touch (or an onomatopoeic piit in Japanese) of a Suica. This is a must for travellers who are accustomed to cashless and contactless payments as Japan, for the most part, is still a cash based society.

The partnership between Mitsui Fudosan means travellers’ “Welcome to Japan” Suica now has even more purchasing power. Mitsui Fudosan, one of Japan’s biggest real estate companies, owns a number of modern and stylish shopping outlets, like LaLaport or Coredo. From January 24th to March 31st, “Welcome to Japan” Suica holders can make purchases from an expanded range of stores in Mitsui’s outlets.

To entice tourists, a ¥500 coupon and can be used one time against a purchase of over ¥5000, amounting to a potential 10% discount! Forget shop till you drop, this Suica means you can just keep shopping without having to manage a hefty wallet full of cash. The shopping flyer received with the Suica can also be exchanged for a voucher booklet in participating Mitsui outlets, many of which are located by sightseeing spots. This makes the “Welcome to Japan” Suica the first item any shopaholic visiting Japan should have on their shopping list!

The following Mitsui Fudosan Department stores and outlets participating in the “Welcome to Japan” Suica campaign:

Tokyo Area

  • URBAN DOCK - LaLaport, Toyosu
  • MITSUI OUTLET PARK, Tama Minami Osawa
  • DIVER CITY, Tokyo Plaza
  • COREDO Muromachi, Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower

Saitama Area


Chiba Area

  • LaLaport, Tokyo Bay

Kanagawa Area

  • LAZONA, Kawasaki Plaza

Sendai Area


Tourists can receive their ¥500 coupon and voucher book by exchanging the flyer received when purchasing a “Welcome to Japan” Suica to at the information counter in any of the above outlets. Here they will be presented with everything required for a convenient shopping spree.

Details of the Pass

The “Welcome to Japan” Suica is available for purchase upon arrival at Narita and Haneda airports, and major stations in Tokyo such as Ginza, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. The card works for 28 days, but after this cannot be used or topped up.

For more information on this campaign, check out the official web page

As we recently reported Japan still continues to cling to cash-based payment systems, in part due to an aging, conservative society. This can be shocking and frustrating to visitors to Japan who are used to cashless and contactless payments. Picking up a “Welcome to Japan” Suica and keeping it topped up might be the antidote that ensures seamless travel and shopping during your stay in Japan!

By - Toby M.