Japanese railways aim to simplify train fares for tourists

NHK -- Aug 30

Tokyu Railways has started a trial of a system that allows passengers to go through ticket gates with their credit cards. One aim is to make it easier for foreign tourists to pay for train fares.

The company started the trial on Wednesday on the Denen-toshi Line, which connects Shibuya Station in central Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

Passengers can buy a one-day pass online, then simply tap their credit card as they go through the station gates. There is no need for them to buy physical tickets or passes.

The company plans to increase the number of stations with the service, and it aims to make it possible to use the system without purchasing passes in advance.

"We want to make things easier for tourists by making it possible for them to pay train fares with credit cards from their own countries," said Takesako Keiko of Tokyu Railways.

Currently, foreign visitors need to either buy tickets for each journey, or get a transit card that can only be used in Japan.

Credit card payments are already possible on the Enoshima Electric Railway, south of Tokyo, and in the western city of Fukuoka. Tokyo Metro plans to test such a system in the capital.