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After 10-12 hours in Economy do you really want to ride a regular commuter train for another 90 minutes? And then another from Ueno? All to save a whopping 700 yen?
Buy the card.
BTW, if you live here and are simply meeting people at Narita they will still sell you the package. The condition is foreign passport, not tourist visa like the JR pass. Take the passport, don't show the gaijin card, don't ask questions :-)
I thought it was more an RTS than a AGT.
As long as it get me from A to B,
who really cares what it is.
Its really just a box on wheels at the end of the day,
used to get passengers between two points as quickly and
as comfortably possible,
and if its aesthetically pleasing to look at,
then thats a wee bonus for us.
There are a few stations where the yurikamome is near actual tokyo monorail stations, so aksing for directions 'to the monorail' from someone off the street they might give directions to the actual tokyo monorail station instead of the yurikamome.
I was looking at getting the N'EX + Suica package, but I found out I can take the Keisei line directly from Narita Airport to Ueno where I will be staying, while the N'EX doesn't stop there. I'm figuring the convenience is probably worth a bit extra.
Is it possible to pick up a Suica card on its own at Narita Airport?
You can get a Suica everywhere, subject to availability (they've run short a couple of times and only sell them as a monthly pass) The Narita ticket machines _might_ have regular Suica/Pasmo cards, otherwise buy a regular ticket at Keisei and explore Ueno station after a good night's sleep.
Yes you can , keisei sells pasmo cards, JR sells suica, individually at machines, however for suica you have to pay an initial 2000 yen and you get a card with 1500 yen (500 yen covers the cost of the card.)
If you cant find it at NRT just pay for a regular ticket and work it out at the larger ueno stations the next day.
If you plan on using suica/pasmo for the skyliner you need to enter the gates with the pasmo/suica card, then purchase a separate seat reservation (there's a machine on the platform), or just ride the ordinary train.
JR sells Suica, all the rest of the railway companies (including Keisei) sell Pasmo. Just in case you're going walking around a station and see no machines labeled "Suica".
Both work essentially the same, and you can recharge suica on pasmo machines and vice versa.
As for buying a Suica card at the machine (since you're not buying a Suica and NEX, which has to be purchased at a manned counter)
Those are the machines that let you buy Suica cards, the other machines like the more prevalent green colored machines let you recharge suica cards, or buy regular ("paper" tickets) as well. But they don't sell the actual Suica card.
For other railway companies (such as Keisei) the color of the machines vary, but just look for machines labeled "Pasmo" or "IC CARD" when in non JR stations.
Do they still have helpers / assistants that hang about at some of the machines in the stations, for people that look a wee bit lost and bewildered by it all. ?
Will they know the difference between the cards, ?
and be able to help the hapless traveller in anyway ?