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


Limited Express Hakucho connect Honshu island with Hokkaido island.
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 to be connected 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 extended to Shin-Aomori on December 4, 2010. Departure location had been 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 different. So I would like to show you the difference and other details.

Route, schedule and trip time

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) *
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

41 thoughts on “Connect Mainland (Aomori) with Hokkaido (Hakodate). Limited Express Hakucho / Super Hakucho”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to go to Japan in early October and I’m planning to take Hamanasu night train from Tokyo to Sapporo on 3rd October 2015 return Sapporo to Tokyo on 7th or 8th October 2015.
    Do you think I still can take the Hamanasu night train on those days?
    Please advice and thank you

    1. Hi Eureka,

      I think it will still run in early October. JR will revise timetable in mid October usually. But official announcement has not been released yet. I think it’s coming in late August.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi there.

    I am traveling to Hokkaido in the mid of December 2015. Saw from your page that Midnight train will be discontinued by the time I travel there. Glad that there is still daytrain to catch up in order to reach hokkaido. I am still concern on this matter by the way. So i can bounce either Hakucho or Super Hakucho right from Shin Aomori to Hakodate during day time? And from Hakodate, take either Hokuto or Super Hokuto to Sapporo.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    Cheers.

  3. Hi,

    I’m planning to travel from Shin-Aomori to Hakodate on 27 Apr. Since online train ticket purchase is not possible, is there any way to check whether train ticket is still available or sold out? I have to cancel Hakodate hotel accommodation if no more train ticket.

    Thanks & regards,
    Leo

    1. Hi Leo,

      Unfortunately there is no site to check the availability in English. There is a site but it’s Japanese only.
      However you can get Hakodate anyway because this train has non reserved seat car. Even if you cannot book this train, you can take non reserved car without reservation.In peak season, there is no empty seats in non reserved car sometimes. In case that all seats are full in non reserved car, you still can ride a train as standing passengers. But Apr 27 is not a peak day. I think you can book it after you arrive in Japan.

      Cheers,

      TAkeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Do I purchase the Aomori to Hakodate train tickets from JR green window or JREAST ticket office in Haneda airport?
        I have changed to Apr 26 Sun, hopefully still can get ticket.

        Thanks again.

        Joumee

  4. hi there, i need your suggestion with my itinerary below:

    i have bought JR Pass, the ordinary one for 7 days. i want to go to Sapporo, Aomori/Hachinohe, Osaka, and Kyoto. my starting line will be from Tokyo, considering it will takes time if i use JR Pass to Sapporo, so i decided to go to Sapporo using local airlines.

    would you mind, please correct me if i’m wrong:
    1. all my train travel, to visit all the destination above can be covered by JR Pass
    2. from Sapporo, before i go to Aomori/Hachinohe i need to go back to New Chitose Ariport to exchange my receipt with the JR Pass. because i only can exchange my JR Pass there.

    btw, which one do you think the best for me to stay, Aomori or Hachinohe? before i continue my journey to Osaka and Kyoto?

    thank you very much for your kindness.

    best regards,
    buds

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