Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station guide. How to change Hokkaido Shinkansen to/from train to Sapporo and Hakodate

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station exterior (C) Rsa GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is the hub to Hakodate and Sapporo when you get Hokkaido. This station is connected with Sapporo and Hakodate by conventional train, and Tokyo, Sendai and Aomori by Hokkaido Shinkansen.

I would like to show you how to change the trains in Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station with many photos.

Overview

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station is located to the north from Hakodate for 20 minutes by rapid train.

This is Hokkaido Shinkansen’s terminal station. You can catch Shinkansen train to Tokyo, Sendai, Shin-Aomori.

If you arrive in this station by Hokkaido Shinkansen, you can catch rapid train, “Hakodate Liner” to Hakodate. You also can catch Limited Express train “Super Hokuto/Hokuto” to Sapporo, Toya, Noboribetsu, Onuma-Koen and Oshamanbe.

This station has two parts which are Hokkaido Shinkansen platforms and ordinary train’s platforms. Before reading the following chapters, please refer the link below.

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station map (Japanese)

The station map in the link above is shown in Japanese but it helps you to understand the station structure.

And also the following movie shows you all part of Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. The movie starts from track #1 to Shinkansen track #11.

Hokkaido Shinkansen tracks and platforms

Shinkansen platform #12

There are two tracks, #11 and #12 and two platforms. Usually track #12 is used for arrival train and #11 is used for departure train. If you arrive by Shinkansen from other station, such as Tokyo, Ueno, Sendai, Shin-Aomori, you will arrive at track #11. If you depart from this station by Shinkansen, you will depart from track #11.

Hokkaido Shinkansen train at platform #11

Track #12 is connected with other platforms by the bridge. You need to go up by elevators, escalators or stairs to transfer to other train. Track #11 is connected to the conventional train platform which is for track #1 and #2. You can just go through Shinkansen transfer gate. You do not need to go up and down.

Escalators to track #11

However if you do not change trains at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. If you enter Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station and catch Shinkansen train, you will enter the gate at 2nd level and go down to platform #11. Because all ticket gates except one of two Shinkansen transfer gates are located at the second level. I will explain about exits and ticket gates later.

Conventional lines tracks and platforms

Overview of conventional train platforms

There are two platforms for four tracks, #1 to #4.

Track # Lines / Trains Destination
1 Hakodate Liner Hakodate, Goryokaku
2 Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto Hakodate, Goryokaku
Sapporo, Toya, Noboribetsu, Oshamanbe, Onuma-Koen
3 Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto
Local
Sapporo, Toya, Noboribetsu, Oshamanbe
Hakodate, Goryokaku, Onuma-Koen, Oshamanbe
4 Local Hakodate, Goryokaku, Onuma-Koen, Oshamanbe

Most of you use track #1 or #2. Hakodate Liner is the rapid train which connects Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Hakodate. This train always arrives and departs at track #1.

Hakodate Liner at track #1
Track #1 and #2

Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto go both ways Hakodate and Sapporo. Most of Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto arrive and depart at track #2 and a few of those are at track #3.

Super Hokuto to Sapporo arrive at platform #2.

Track #3 and #4 are used for local trains mostly.

Exit, ticket gate and transfer gate

Shinkansen ticket gate. You use this gate if you start your trip from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto by Shinkansen.

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station is two level structure. All platforms are located on the ground level and all exits are located on 2nd floor.

There are two exits at both parts, Shinkansen gate and conventional line gate. If you need to exit the station, you can use these exits.

There are two transfer gates at the ground level and the second level. This gate is located between Shinkansen platform and conventional line platforms.

Shinkansen tranfer gate at the ground level. This gate connects platform #1 , #2 and Shinkansen platfrom #11 directly.

When you change Shinkansen trains and conventional trains, you need to go through this gate because the fare system between Shinkansen and conventional line is different. If you use JR Pass or JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can show your pass when you go through the gate.

Shinkansen transfer gate at second level. The entrance for pass holders can be found in the middle of photo.

How to change the trains

You will have usually 15 to 20 minutes to transfer the trains at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. This transfer time is set by JR Hokkaido and you can change trains easily by this transfer time.

From Shinkansen to conventional line trains

You arrive at the track #12. After arrival, go up to the bridge by escalators, elevators or stairs.

And go through Shinkansen transfer gate.

And proceed the platform where you need to catch the train to your destination.

From conventional line trains to Shinkansen

If you take Hakodate Liner, you will arrive at track #1. You can go through Shinkansen transfer gate at the ground level and proceed Shinkansen platform track #11. You can move without up and down.

Hakodate Liner arrives at Track #1.

If you take Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto, you will arrive at track #2 in most of cases. It is same platform as track #1. You can proceed to Shinkansen platform without up and down.

If you arrive at track #3 or #4. you have to go up to the bridge and go through Shinkansen transfer gate at the second level. And then you can proceed to Shinkansen platform.

Entrance to Shinkansen transfer gate to track #11

Facility in the station

There are two small stores beside Shinkansen transfer gate on the ground level and inside Shinkansen ticket gate on the second level. The store beside Shinkansen transfer gate can be accessed from both Shinkansen platform and conventional trains platform. If you go to Hakodate, it is very short trip. Food and drink are not issue. If you take Shinkansen, you can get drink and food on board. But if you travel to other direction, such as Sapporo, Noboribetsu, Toya, Oshamanbe, Onuma-Koen, on-board wagon service is not available in some trains. You may not get anything to eat and drink for a few hours.

If you can exit the ticket gate, there are some more stores. You may find some local foods and premium Eki-Ben (box meal) in these stores.

Bento Cafe 41 Garden

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station was called Oshima-Ono station before Hokkaido Shinkansen opened. It was renamed when Hokkaido Shinkansen opend. Oshima-Ono station was one of local stations and there was not any stores and facilities around the station. Now there are a few restaurants and hotel in the station building. But this area is still under development. Please do not expect many facilities around the station.

I hope this post will help you to understand Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station.

6 thoughts on “Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station guide. How to change Hokkaido Shinkansen to/from train to Sapporo and Hakodate”

  1. Great article and very helpful. Is the trip to and from Tokyo very scenic? As we would like to do this trip back down to Tokyo in March and deciding if the long travel is worth it rather than another internal flight.

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Actually mostly it’s in tunnel from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. If you expect scenery, you will be disappointed. But the trip from Hakodate to Sapporo is recommended. Especially right side to Sapporo, you can see Lake Onuma, long seashore line.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    Thanks for the article. Most helpful. Can you tell me when were the photos taken? March or April 2017? Or earlier. The travellers looked so well rugged up!

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