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Connect Mainland (Aomori) with Hokkaido (Hakodate). Limited Express Hakucho / Super Hakucho


Limited Express Hakucho connect Honshu island with Hokkaido island.

Hakucho/Super Hakucho is operated between Shin-Aomori (新青森) and Hakodate (函館). These trains go through the longest tunnel in Japan, “Seikan Tunnel” and connect the main island in Japan, “Honshu” (本州) and Hokkaido (北海道). All these trains are scheduled in the right connection time with Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin-
Aomori station and Limited Express “Hokuto” and “Super Hokuto” to Sapporo at Hakodate. These trains used to connect Hachinohe with Hakodate via Aomori. But Tohoku Shinkansen was exteneded to Shin-Aomori on December 4, 2010. Departure location was changed to Shin-Aomori instead of Hachinohe.

Both Hakucho and Super Hakucho are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But the accommodation between Hakucho and Super Hakucho is very differenet. So I would like to show you the difference and other details.

Rakuten
Rakuten

Route, schedule and time required

Hakucho services operates 2 round trips and Super Hakucho services operates 8 round trips between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate. It takes around 2 hours and 10-20 minutes to get Hakodate from Shin-Aomori. “Super Hakucho” is operated by newer train 789 series. It has nicer accommodation and a bit faster.


View Hakucho / Super Hakucho in a larger map

Stations

Shin-Aomori(新青森) x
Aomori(青森) x
Kanita (蟹田) *
Tsugaru-Imabetsu (津軽今別) *
Tappi-Kaitei (竜飛海底) *
Shiriuchi (知内) *
Kikonai (木古内) x
Goryokaku (五稜郭) *
Hakodate (函館) x

x:All train stop *:some train stop

Accommodation

Hakucho is operated by refurbished 485 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Hakucho is operated by refurbished 485 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Hakucho is operated by JR East refurbished 485 series. Super Hakucho is operated by JR Hokkaido 789 series. Super Hakucho is newer and faster than Hakucho. Especially if you take Green seat, Hakucho gives you 2+2 seat configuration. But Super Hakucho gives you 2+1 seat configuration and the power outlet for the laptop or charging small batteries. It is quite different. Don’t take Hakucho. Try to take Super Hakucho.

If you take Ordinary seat, it is not much different between Hakucho and Super Hakucho. But Reserved ordinary seat on car#1 of Super Hakucho has the power outlet. If you like to use it, try to book it.

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

Train formation

Super Hakucho 6 cars formation

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

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat

Hakucho 6 cars formation

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

Images – 789 series (Super Hakucho)

Green seat
789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho

Ordinary seat
789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho

Sanitary space
789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho 789 series - Limited express Super Hakucho

Images – Refurbished 485 series (Hakucho)

Green seat
Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho

Ordinary seat
Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho

Sanitary space
Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho Refurbished 485 series - Limited express Hakucho


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13 Comments to “Connect Mainland (Aomori) with Hokkaido (Hakodate). Limited Express Hakucho / Super Hakucho”

  1. Angela says:

    Hi, we will be getting JR pass for our travel in dec, fr Hakodate (super hakucho) to shin Aomori then transfer to tohoku shinkasen to ueno. from the info I hv gathered, I can get the 7 days JR pass to cover for our trip, which can also allow us to move around in Tokyo. Is it possible to reserve seats for both trains using JR pass? Thanks!

  2. Diego says:

    Hi,

    Is it normally difficult to book seats on Hakucho/Hokuto services around the time of the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri? I’m planning to travel from Aomori to Sapporo on 5th Feb 2014 (day 1 of the festival) and from Sapporo to Hakodate on 10th Feb, but the earliest I’ll be able to book tickets is upon my arrival in Japan on 1st Feb. Is there any chance that seats will be completely sold out by then?

    I’ll be using a Green JR Pass so this will hopefully add a little flexibility (since I’ll be able to use both Green and non-Green seats).

    Many thanks.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Diego,

      If it’s sold out, not surprised. Especially JR Hokkaido has engine issue and suspend several Hokuto. It may be busier than previous years.
      There are non reserved seat too. It will be busy too. But Super Hakucho departs from Shin-Aomori. So do not take Super Hakucho at Aomori. Go to Shin-Aomori and get it. It’s much easier to get a seat than taking at Aomori. And also, many reserved tickets are sometimes cancelled in last minutes. If you can’t make it on Feb 1, keep trying to book untie train departs.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Chua says:

    Hi.

    Can I use JR east pass from Shin Aomori to Hakodate?

    Thanks.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Chua,

      No. Hakodate is out of coverage area. Just the beginning part of the trip to Hakodate, Shin-Aomori to Nakaoguni is covered.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Matas says:

    Can Hokkaido JR Pass use with LTD EXP SUPER HOKUTO

    Thanks and Regards

  5. indra says:

    hello, me and my family have a plan to trip with cassiopeia train from ueno to hakkodate, can we use JR pass for using the super hakucho train? and if yes, if there any charges again like if we use the cassiopeia train?

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Indra,

      It is fully covered by JR Pass. In my website, if additional charge required on JR Pass, I mention it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Jim Nakazawa says:

    We plan to take the LEX Super Hakucho, LEX Super Hokuto, and the LEX Super Kamui trains. Do these Limited Express trains have adequate luggage areas for our large wheeled luggage in their Ordinary Class cars?

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Jim,
      There is no luggage space. You need to keep your luggage at your seat or leave at passenger’s deck. If you find an empty seat around your seat, you can use that space.
      Unfortunately most of JR trains are not designed for overseas tourists.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  7. JAyre says:

    If you happen to be travelling overnight by Nihonkai Sleeper Train, the appropriate Super Hakucho service will wait at Aomori Station (This happened to me, and Nihonkai was running 70 minutes late due to snow between Niigata and Akita). The attendant on Nihonkai was very helpful even though he spoke little English, we were at least able to communicate about what connecting service I had at Aomori and he took the time to keep me regularly updated as to our ETA to make the change. I found that level of personal service to be normal among JR Staff throughout Japan.

    Please note though that in this eventuality you make the change at Aomori, NOT the shinkansen terminal at Shin-Aomori station, which is immediately before Aomori on the JR Ou Line.

    Not speaking from experience, but this is probably true of the Akebono sleeper train if such an occurence happens also, as it follows the same route when reaching the Sea of Japan coast.

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