Access to/from Sapporo and Hakodate. Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto

Super Hokuto
Most of Hokkaido Limited Express trains are operating for a long transfer.

Hokuto and Super Hokuto are operated between Hakodate (函館) and Sapporo (札幌). These trains are connected with Hakucho/Super Hakucho at Hakodate. So if you want to transfer from Tokyo to Sapporo, take Tohoku Shinkansen, Hakucho/Super Hakucho (Shinaomori-Hakodate) and then take these train at Hakodate to Sapporo. Japan Rail Pass cover all these trains from Tokyo to Sapporo. You may have other choices from Tokyo to Sapporo. Even though this is very long trip, there are many trains and this is the easiest to get the ticket.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Route, schedule and trip time

Super Hokuto runs 7 tirps and Hokuto runs 4 trips. Super Hokuto is faster than Hokuto. It takes 3 hours 10 minutes by Super Hokuto and it takes 3 hours and 30 minutes by Hokuto. Newer trains KIHA-281 or 283 series are used for Super Hokuto. So basically I recommend you to take “Super” Hokuto. But if you take Green seat, Hokuto is considerable. I mention this to you at the chapter of Accommodation.


View Hokuto in a larger map

Stations

Hakodate (函館) x
Goryokaku (五稜郭) *
Onuma-Koen (大沼公園) *
Mori (森) *
Yakumo (八雲) *
Oshamanbe (長万部) *
Toya (洞爺) *
Date-Monbetsu (伊達紋別) *
Higashi-Muroran (東室蘭) x
Noboribetsu (登別) *
Tomakomai (苫小牧) x
Minami-Chitose (南千歳) x
Shin-Sapporo (新札幌) x
Sapporo (札幌) x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

Accommodation

Hokuto by KIHA-183 series high decker Green car (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Hokuto by KIHA-183 series high decker Green car (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Hokuto is operated by KIHA-183 series and Super Hokuto is operated by KIHA-281 or 283 series. KIHA-183 series is the oldest model in JR Hokkaido. But if you have Japan Rail Pass Green, Hokuto by KIHA-183 series has hight-decker Green car. The seat configuration among three types of trains is same 2+1. Both 281 series and 183 series have same seat. So if you want to enjoy the scenery, Hokuto by older series KIHA-183 is considerable. Super Hokuto is serviced by KIHA-281 or 283 series. The Green seat of KIHA-283 series is one of the best in all JR trains.

Ordinary seat is 2+2 seat configuration. But KIHA-183 series is a bit noisy than other two series. If you take Ordinary seat, I recommend you to take Super Hokuto by 281 or 283 series.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Train formation

Super Hokuto train formation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
R R G R R NR NR

*2 more cars are added in the peak season.

Hokuto train formation

1 2 3 4 5
R R G NR NR

*5 more cars are added in the peak season.
*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on these trains.

Images – KIHA-183 seiries (Hokuto)

Green seat
183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto < Ordinary seat 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto

Sanitary space
183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto 183 series - Limitex express Hokuto

Images – KIHA-281 series (Super Hokuto)

Green seat
281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto

Ordinary seat
281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto

Sanitary space
281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 281 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto

Images – KIHA-283 series (Super Hokuto)

Green seat
283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto

Ordinary seat
283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto

Sanitary space
283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto 283 series - Limitex express Super Hokuto

35 thoughts on “Access to/from Sapporo and Hakodate. Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to take either the SUPER HOKUTO 7, 9 or 11 from Hakodate to Sapporo in December. Is there any way I can check which trains are being used for those timing? I would love to experience the Kiha 283.

    Kind regards,
    John

  2. Hi Takeshi
    So super hokuto is covered by the hokkaido pass right? I’d like to ask where i can the timings from hakodate to onuma koen station and then to noboribetsu. Planning to do a half day trip to the national park.

    Also, do we have to make seats reservations prior to taking the train? are there any place on the train for us to place our huge luggage?

    thank you.

    1. Hi Gchan,

      Super Hokuto is covered by Hokkaido Rail Pass fully. Please see the link below to find the timetable:
      http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/ttable/03.pdf

      Reservation is highly recommended. If not, you have to take non reserved seat but it’s busy in many days.

      Luggage space is very very small and basically you have to keep your luggage at your space.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Is any substitute transportation service provided for people travelling from Sapporo to Hakodate? I was hoping to travel on September 6 and have a JR Pass.

  4. May I know how much for a round trip from New Chitose-Hakodate? And I will drop by Toya and Noboribetsu for sight-seeing. Are those fastest train stop at these stations? Which do you recommand? Thank you.

      1. Eh? As far as I check on the website, it says they provide wagon service, right? However, looking at the menu, all of them seem not to be a meal, but more as snack and drinks of Hokkaidō, desuka?

        I have read a review saying the Hokutos passing Oshamambe offer a bento of the Hairy Crab (I forgot its Japanese name, and not sure if it is instead a Suwai Crab?), but we have to order an hour before the train reaches Oshamambe, is it still available these days?

        Arigatou gozaimasu.

        1. Hi Independencer,

          You are right. Only Super Hokuto/Hokuto and Super Ozora/Ozora still have wagon service. But Super Hokuto/Hokuto #1, #2, #23 and #24 do not have this service.

          Crab bento (not Zuwai) is available. JR Hokkaido says they will accept order by phone 2 days before. Please find more info at the link below:
          http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/network/syahan/pdf/syahan201604.pdf

          In my understanding, you still may be able to buy without order if they have enough. And also sandwich and ordinary bento (Makunouchi Bento) is always available in my understanding, but not 100% sure.

          If you really want to buy it, make a call 2 days before to order. You need to tell them travel date, train name, train number, car number and your seat number.
          ex) May 11, Super Hokuto 4, car 5, seat 11A

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hello JP Rail.

    Would like to know fastest to Hakodate from New Airport is via using Super Hokuto or Hokuto Trains fr Minami Chitose > Muroran Line>Hakodate ?? and we plan back fr Hakodate> Sapporo.
    Is this all covered by Hokkaido Rail Pass Pass ??

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