I typically us a train credit pass to get around Nagoya. It works on both the Meitetsu train lines and the Nagoya subway lines. That’s good for me because those are the lines I use the most. I could get a monthly pass, but there isn’t great value to those, they are expensive, and I think I am prone to losing that kind of thing.
I buy a card for 5000 yen that has 5600 in credit. Hey, that’s over 10% free. The problem of course is that the amount you have on the card at the end never equals an amount that you actually need for the next train ride. You know how much you have by the display as you pass through the wicket and by the fine printing on the back of your card. (As an interesting side note, you can insert the card in any orientation, it will come up correctly stamped. Cool, huh?)
Today I had 100 yen left on my card. My total commute is 490 yen, which 290 yen on the Meitetsu train and 200 yen on the subway. At the ticket machines, you can put your old card in and that acts as money. Then you “top off” the machine to the amount you need, get a regular ticket, and drop your now liquidated pass into the little recycle box. Tonight I was very distracted – it was another 12+ hours at the office, I had a phone call, and I was tired. When I got to the ticket machine and inserted my card and cash, I chose a 490 yen ticket. That’s great, that’s the total of my trip, but that is the total of BOTH tickets. Drat.
At every exit is a “Fare Adjustment Machine” where you can update your ticket if you ended up riding the train further than the cost of your regular ticket. I thought I’d try the reverse of that – try for a refund since I overpaid. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. So I put my 490 yen ticket for my 290 yen fare into the wicket and hoped that maybe it would pop out the other end. Nope. Oh well. Out 200 yen.
When I got to my subway entrance, I needed to buy a new pass. So I inserted my 10,000 yen note (over $100) and push the buttons but got button happy and push the wrong combination and ended up buying a 290 yen ticket. DRAT!!!! I wanted a 5000 yen pass. So now I was another 90 yen overpaid. I finally got my pass, and finally got home, after paying 780 yen for a 490 yen fare!
To cap off the evening, I was able to pass a guy talking on the telephone, smoking a cigarette, and urinating into the planter in front of Lawson on my main thoroughfare as I was walking home from the subway station after work. Now that is class!