Direct transfer to Furano from Sapporo. Limited Express Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express

KIHA183 Crystal Express is one of the trains to use for Tomamu-Sahoro Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 Crystal Express is one of the trains to use for Tomamu-Sahoro Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Furano Lavender Express (フラノラベンダーエクスプレス) and Furano Koyo Express (フラノ紅葉エクスプレス) are limited express trains to Furano (富良野) directly from Sapporo (札幌). These trains can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. Furano is one of very popular spot in Hokkaido for the tourists. These trains are the seasonal operation trains because the lavender season in summer time and the fall color leaves in September are busy periods. So when you build your itinerary, please check the latest operation date before you put this train in your plan.

Seasonal trains information.

I will show you some images of this train and tell you the details.

You can access to Furano from Asahikawa too. There is another cruising train from Asahikawa to Furano. Please find the information at Furano Biei Norokko train.

Route and schedule

This train connects Sapporo with Furano in 2 hours. Furano Lavender Express is operated from June to August. There are three round trips in peak periods from mid July to the end of July. But only one round trip is operated in early and late season. One round trip is continued to operate from September to mid October as Furano Koyo Express. Please check the most updated the date of operation at Seasonal trains information.

Stations
Sapporo (札幌) X
Iwamizawa (岩見沢) X
Takikawa (滝川) X
Ashibetsu (芦別) X
Furano (富良野) X

Operation dates

These express trains are operated from July to mid October. Please check the most updated information at Seasonal trains information.

If you go to Furano other than these months, you need to take Limited Express Super Kamui between Sapporo and Takikawa. And then you need to take local train between Takikawa and Furano. You have only 10 round trips a day between Takikawa and Furano. Please check the timetable before you go.

If you stay in Sapporo and you need to take local train from Takikawa to Furano, your sample itinerary is the following;
08:25 Depart from Sapporo by Limited Express Super Kamui 5
09:14 Arrive at Abashiri
09:37 Depart from Takikawa by the local train
10:48 Arrive at Furano


View Furano Lavender Express in a larger map

Accommodation and train formations

Furano Lavender Express and Furano Koyo Express are operated by three types of trains. These three trains are specialized for the trains to resort area. They have higher passenger’s deck and huge glass windows. Let’s see the detail and images of all three trains.

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

KIHA183 Crystal Express

KIHA183 Crystal Express has higher passenger's deck and double passenger's deck. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 Crystal Express has higher passenger's deck and double passenger's deck. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train is 4 cars formation. Car#1 and #4 have the passenger’s deck on 300 mm higher than regular floor. Car#2 is called Dome car. This car has 900 mm higher passenger’s deck. It is almost upper deck on double deck. Car#3 is double deck car. It has several compartment at lower deck, some semi compartment seats at upper deck and salon space. Usually upper deck on Car#3 is assigned as non reserved seat. If you use Japan Rail Pass, you can use compartment with 4000 yen per room extra. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm. This car had the observation deck at both end. But it is not allowed to access these deck now. JR Hokkaido had an accident at railroad crossing in 2010. The train had a heavy damage at the end. Since then, the observation deck is not accessible for safety reason.

Images

Ordinary seat at car#1 and 4
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4

Ordinary seat at car#2 “Dome Car”
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car

Ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck

Ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck

Salon space at car#3
KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3

Entrance deck
KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck

Baggage space
KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space

Sanitary space
KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space

Train formation

1 2 3 4
H(R) D(R) B(NR)/SL H(D)
C(R*)/SL

H=Higher passenger’s deck car D=Dome car B=Box seat car C=Compartment SL=Salon space
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat (R*)=Reserved ordinary seat in compartment (Additional room charge 4000yen per room on regular fare or Japan Rail Pass)

KIHA183 North Rainbow Express

KIHA183 North Rainbow Express is one of the trains to be used for Furano Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express is one of the trains to be used for Furano Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train is 5 cars formation. Car#1, #2 #4 and #5 have higher passenger’s deck than regular floor. Car#3 is double deck car. It has ordinary seats at upper deck and salon space at lower deck. Usually upper deck on Car#3 is assigned as non reserved seat. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm.

Images

Ordinary seat at higher deck car (Car#1,2,4 and 5)
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat

Ordinary seat at double deck car (Car#3)
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car

Salon space
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express salon space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express salon space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express salon space

Baggage space
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express baggage space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express baggage space

Sanitary space
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary spaceKIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary space

Train formation

1 2 3 4 5
H(R) H(R) D(NR) H(D) H(D)
SL

H=Ordinary seat on higher passenger’s deck car D=Ordinary seat on double deck car SL-Salon
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat

KIHA183 Niseko Express

KIHA183 Niseko Express is the oldest train in three trains to use for Furano Lavender Express (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 Niseko Express is the oldest train in three trains to use for Furano Lavender Express (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train is 3 cars formation. All three cars have 200 mm higher passenger’s deck than regular floor. This train is very basic. It does not have any double deck or salon space. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm.

Images

Ordinary seat
KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat

Baggage space
KIHA183 Niseko Express baggage space KIHA183 Niseko Express baggage space KIHA183 Niseko Express baggage space

Vending machine
KIHA183 Niseko Express vending machine KIHA183 Niseko Express vending machine

Sanitary space
KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space

Train formation

1 2 3
H(NR/R) H(NR/R) H(NR/R)

H=Ordinary seat on higher passenger’s deck car
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat

102 thoughts on “Direct transfer to Furano from Sapporo. Limited Express Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express”

  1. If i want to go to furano from sapporo on 9 aug 2017. Does it have a Direct Train To Furano From Sapporo? And how do i book the ticket or can buy on that day? Many thanks

  2. Hi Takeshi!

    We’ll be going to Furano/Biel this coming July 10-12. Random question but do you think its better to drive from Sapporo to Furano or just take the train?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    What track # at the Sapporo station do I need to go to ride the Furano Lavender Express? I tried to search on Hyperdia but could not find any of the Crystal Express fleets (i.e. Crystal Express, North Rainbow Express and Niseko Express). I could only see results for Ltd Exp Lilac 3 and no departure time of 752am.

    Finally, how much is the round trip fare (Sapporo to Furano, vise versa) for the Furano Lavender Express? I want to know because I’m trying to figure out if the 7-day JR Pass will pay off for my planned trip.

    Thanks in advance for your help Takeshi!

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your quick reply. This means I just need to watch out for the Crystal Express fleet of trains and board when one of it comes at the Sapporo JR train station correct? Can I make seat reservation for the Lavender Express?

        Also, I was reading the Furano-Biei Norokko train timetable. Is my understanding correct that the 1st train to leave Furano for Biei is Norokko train #2 at 1153am arriving at Biei 1255pm? Then to return to Furano from Biei, I need to take the Norokko train #3 or #5?

        Thanks again Takeshi-san!

        1. Hi Eggie san,

          Furano Lavender Express may be operated by ordinary fleet. So don’t look for only Crystal Express fleet. Check the signage on the train and at the platform to make sure it’s Lavender Express.

          Reservation is highly recommended to take this train. It’s always busy. Once you get Japan, try to book it at most of JR stations ASAP.

          The following link shows you the timetable of Norokko train easily.
          http://www.farm-tomita.co.jp/en/access/station.asp

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Thank you Takeshi-san. It seems the fare is a bit cheaper too even for a green car seat in the Ltd Exp Lilac trains from Sapporo to Furano via Takikawa. I guess the only advantage of using the Lavender Express is that there are no stop overs. I plan to get a 7day JR Pass as I will also be going to Kanto after my Sapporo trip. I will reserve either for the Lavender Express or the Ltd Exp Lilac train when I get to CTS aiport.

            Sorry Takeshi-san but I have additional questions.
            1) Would you have the train schedule and fare table for the other local trains within the Furano-Biei area? Since the Norokko train has a specific schedule, I wanted to know what are my other train options if I miss the Norokko train.

            2) How much is the Norokko fare from Furano to Biei. I read somewhere that it is 950yen. Is this correct?

            3) For the Twinkle Bus fare and course types, is this link the correct source?http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/travel/pdf/fb03.pdf

            I appreciate all your help Takeshi-san!

  4. Hi Takeshi san, I am planning to travel to Furano and Biei on 10th July 2017, no information so far on the train schedule and but based on last year’s schedule as follows:
    Sapporo>Furano via Furano Lavender Express No.1 07:55-09:55
    Furano>Lavender (Farm)Bataka via Furano-Biei Norokko Train No.2 11:52-12:14
    Lavender (Farm)Bataka>Biei via Furano-Biei Norokko Train No.4 14:22-15:05
    Biei round trip via Twinkle Bus Biei Takushin-kan Course No.3 15:30-17:10
    Are these schedule still valid for this year or when is the July train schedule be out and do I need to make reservations. Thanks

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I will travel to Furano and Biei at the end of June.
    Do you know when the JR Hokkaido Twinkle Bus starts this year? How frequent the Twinkle bus is everyday?

    Thanks a lot!
    Regards, Desrene

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