Synopsis: What happens when you need to do fare adjustment on JR (Japan Railways) and you have no money? They will probably just let you go through if you explain it to them nicely.
I have a really cute pink purse that I love but rarely take out because it is too small to hold the dozen things I like to carry around with me- my wallet, iPad, mirror, make up, headache medicine , ICOCA (train pass) card and so much more. I was having a girls -night one night and I really wanted to dress up and use that purse. I decided to not bring my large wallet and just packed 9,000 yen, my ATM card, my ID, and makeup.
We had a great time eating Brazilian BBQ and later ended up doing karaoke. My cash was all gone by the end of the night. I headed home and entered JR with my ICOCA card and didn’t pay attention to the balance on the card.
The train pulled up to my station at about midnight. I started to walk through the ticket gate, but was surprised when it shut on me and saw that I had insufficient balance. I headed over to the fare adjustment machine, opened my purse, and dropped my jaw when I saw that I had no cash. I looked out past the gates to see if the station convenience store was still open in the hopes that I could use the ATM, but it was closed.
I had no money, no way to get money, and didn’t know what to do. Should I lie and tell them I lost my ticket and didn’t have any more cash? Should I sneak through? In the end I decided on the truth. I figured I would let them know that I was about 300 yen short and ask if I could run to another convenience store and bring back the money I owed. I figured they could hold on to my ID as collateral. I stepped up to the woman at the gate and explained my situation as I handed over my card. She was really nice and said it was no problem. She deducted the all the money that I had on the card. Told me not to worry about the 300 yen I owed and let me through.
So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation as me, just be honest and let them know. I think they will be pretty cool about it.