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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 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.

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

  1. yan says:

    Hi

    Can I use JR Hokkaido Pass from Aomori to Hakodate?

    thx

    yan

      • yan says:

        Hi Takeshi

        Thank you for your reply. I am planning an 11- day trip to Japan and have this plan to travel on JR East pass (5 day flex) from Tokyo from Aomori then to Hokkaido on a Hokkaido Rail pass (4 day flex). I guess I might be better off to get a 14 – day JR pass, what do you think?

        Thanks again

        yan

        • Hi Yan,

          It’s cheaper choice if you are really sure to travel within JR East and Hokkaido area only.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • yan says:

            Hi Takeshi

            My travel dates are from Oct. 10 to Oct. 20. Here is my preliminary itinerary
            Oct. 10 from Tokyo to Ichinoseki on JR 5 day flex. pass
            Oct. 12 from Ichinoseki to Hakodate via Aomori for three nights
            Oct. 15 to Sapporo for 2 nights
            Oct. 17 to Aomori for 1 night
            Oct. 18 to Sendai for 2 nights
            Oct. 20 fly home from Narita airport

            I plan to travel on a JR Hokkaido 5 day pass when in Hokkaido. I seem to have the impression the cost for JR 14 day pass is about the same as a JR East 5-day flex and JR Hokkaido 5-day pass combined. I would very much your expert advice. Thank you very much

          • Hi Yan,

            That is a good way to use two passes. But the location to purchase Hokkaido Rail Pass outside Hokkaido is very limited.
            http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/railpass/rail02.html

            I’m concerned about bookings for Hokkaido rail pass. I hope JR East Travel Center take reservation for train in Hokkaido too, but I’m not sure.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

          • yan says:

            Hi Takeshi,

            Thank you for your reply. I can purchase a JR Hokkaido Pass exchange order on line or at a major JR station such as Narita airport, but I can only exchange it in Hokkaido. Based on your info “Hokkaido Rail Pass cover all JR lines in Hokkaido and Tsuaru Kaikyo line (Seikan Tunnel) to Nakaoguni station. This station is located outside of Hokkaido. But this is the border station of JR Hokkaido and JR East. It is located in Aomori. But it is away from Aomori station. You cannot access to Aomori without any extra charge”, I plan to use my JR East pass to get to the border stn of Nakaoguni station from Aomori to exchange the order into an actual rail pass then carry on to Hakodate without paying any extra surcharge. To me this would be cheaper than using a 14-day JR pass for a 10-day travel. Is this doable? If not, what is the extra charge I will face? Looking forward to your feedback.

            Thanks again

            yan

          • Hi Yan,

            I think online purchase is not your option. You can purchase it at Narita or somewhere in Tokyo. Hokkaido Rail Pass covers Nakaoguchi. But you cannot exchange it there. Please see the exchange locations at JR Hokkaido site.
            http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/railpass/rail02.html

            The first station is Hakodate. If you don’t purchase and exchange it in Tokyo, you have to pay for Nakaoguchi-Hakodate anyway. So don’t purchase it online and purchase it in Japan. This is only way to use these pass for your trip without any extra.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

          • yan says:

            Thx for your quick reply, Takeshi. Since I won’t be able to exchange my Hokkaido Rail Pass voucher till I arrive in Hakodate, what is the cost that I will have to pay for Nakaoguchi-Hakodate (single trip)? I suppose that I should purchase that ticket for Nakaoguchi-Hakodate at shin Aomori before I board the train heading to Hakodate, correct?

            Thx again

            yan

          • Hi Yan,

            It doesn’t work. If you pay, it will be around 5000 yen. JR Pass is cheaper.
            Why don’t you purchase it at Tokyo. Do you think you just can purchase it in Tokyo and exchange it in Hokkaido? You can purchase it in Tokyo and you can start to use it before entering Hokkaido. They don’t exchange voucher. They sell Hokkaido rail pass itself. You can tell which date you want to use it when you purchase it.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

          • yan says:

            Hi Takeshi

            Thank you for your suggestion. Just want to make sure that I can purchase JR Pass on my arrival at Narita Airport. I seem to have the impression that JR Pass has to be purchased through an agent overseas. I would rather buy it directly at a JR service office when I land in Narita.

          • Hi Yan,

            You CANNOT purchase Japan Rail Pass in Japan. But you can purchase other passes, such as JR East Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. artic says:

    hi,
    is “seikan tunnel tour” are still available on december 2015 ?

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Matas says:

    Can Hokkaido JR Pass use with LTD EXP SUPER HOKUTO

    Thanks and Regards

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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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