2) Suica Card: Suica-card is like a instant debit card which is primarily used to pay for subway travel in Tokyo…but one can also use them in vending machines, restaurants, convenience stores etc. Anyone can “buy” a Suica card for 500 Yen (4 dollars) at one of many vending machines at Tokyo subway stations. Then as and when required one can load the card at the same machines with cash. It is so easy that even I could learn how to use it in seconds… and now I don’t carry cash anymore.
All one needs to do is place the card on the arrow as one enters the subway gate…and place it again when one is leaving the subway gate the destination station. It automatically calculates the far and deducts it from the card. This is has completely eliminated queues and ticket counters at Tokyo subway stations…
3) Vending Machines: Sure there are vending machines is most countries around the world (even in India these days!) – but none have reached the sophistication of those in Japan. First… one can find them in every street corner and middle, behind every office, at very floor of every office building, next to the toilets in restaurants, inside the toilets in restaurants…phew. And the variety of wares they carry! Everthing from hot and cold drinks, to snacks, to instant noodles, to condoms, to videos & comics and anything else that can be “dispensed”. I am sure if someone tried to live only on stuff available in Vending Machines – one would survive for many a year… 🙂
Now it is time to go…people have been breathing down my neck… 🙂 Happy Reading!