Not only are Suica travelcards cuter than the London Oyster, but I found out today that you can also use them to buy stuff from vending machines! For me, so far so good - I've already admitted to my junk food addiction, and I love the idea of paying for a packet of cigarettes or strawberry flavoured crisps with icing on them, with my train fare.
Admittedly not everyone's cup of tea...but here's the thing: the vending machines sell ramen - hot ramen - too.
Japan may be a cash society, but it's encouraging that 'mountains of loose shrapnel change' doesn't actually count as 'cash'. Inspired!