ポケ.jpg Nintendo and its various franchises are a steady predictable in Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores, with everyone from Hamtaro chocolate to Pokemon gummies. Now, the company is expanding that to train stations too.

According to Famitsu, Nintendo is teaming up to use Suica (Japanese link), the ubiquitous electronic money card, with their Pokemon centers and various other outlets throughout Japan. Children will be able to use their cards to buy Pokemon merchandise, challenge others in games right on the spot, win prizes, and participate in events like the annual summer JR Train Line Pokemon Stamp Rally (it's only a matter of time before its as traditional as the tea ceremony). The article even shows an example of Pokemon/Suica slot machines, proving its never too early to teach your kids the value of gambling.

This is terribly handy, you see, because Suica is wonderful. Named because they are Super Urban Intelligent Cards, as a play on the word for watermelon in Japanese, at thousands of kiosks and these guys update your account instantaneously by simply being near them and in your pocket. Lately, they've been combined with a new technology in cellphones that allows you the ultimate convenience of simply walking through a train gate with your cellphone in your pocket to instantly deduct trainfare wherever you go.

Combined, these two technologies can buy everything you'd want in the legion of vending machines and stores that crop up around the heavy business of train stations. Thus, in yet another way, Nintendo increasingly becomes a part of Japanese lifestyle.