You've got rail - pun on AOL's "you've got mail"
I was in japan for two weeks and didn't buy a rail pass (which allows you to travel anywhere on the trains) - i used the rail cards that you purchased for a set amount of money (like 2000 yen - apprx $20 at the time) and it debited the ticket cost from that card (usually 130 yen, approx) per train ride.
basically, you stick your card in the machine, buy a ticket, proceed thru the gates where you slide the ticket thru and pick it up again as you enter the station. you hop on a train, go wherever you are going, and when you leave the station at the other end, you deposit the same ticket again - and you are on your way.
if you travel further than your ticket alllows, you have to pay the adjusted fee - i usually got it right so i never had to do this (there is usually an attendent on duty)
Piro just purchased a rail card, but handn't actually purchased any tickets yet. thats what kimiko is trying to do, but cant find her card or any money.