Access to Wakkanai from Sapporo. Limited Express Soya / Sarobetsu

When you go to Wakkanai at North end of Hokkaido, these trains take you there. Soya (宗谷) and Sarobetsu (サロベツ) take you to Wakkanai. Soya is operated between Sapporo and Wakkanai. But Sarobetsu runs between Asahikawa and Wakkanai.

Both trains are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Let’s see the details about these trains.

Route, schedule and trip time

Soya runs one round trip a day and Sarobetsu runs 2 round trips a day. It takes about 5 hours to get Wakkanai from Sapporo by Super Soya and 3 hours 30 minutes by Sarobetsu from Asahikawa. Please see the timetable in the link below.

JR Hokkaido official site, train timetable


View Limited Express Super Soya / Sarobetsu‘ in a larger map

Stations

Sapporo (札幌) x
Iwamizawa (岩見沢) x
Bibai (美唄) x
Sunagawa (砂川) *
Takikawa (滝川) x
Fikagawa (深川) x
Asahikawa (旭川) x
Wassamu (和寒) x
Kamikawa (士別) x
Kamikawa (名寄) x
Bifuka (美深) x
Otoineppu (音威子府) x
Teshio-Nakagawa (天塩中川) x
Horonobe (幌延) x
Toyotomi (豊富) x
Minami-Wakkanai (南稚内) x
Wakkanai (稚内) x

Accommodation

KIHA-261 series is used for Soya and Sarobetsu. The seat configuration of this Green seat is 2+1 and the seat pitch is 1145 mm. But the seat facing the wall has only 850mm for leg space. This Green class equips a leather seat. If you really don’t like a leather seat, I do not recommend it. Only window side seat have the power outlet. You can charge your small device or laptop.

Ordinary class seat has 2+2 seat configuration and the seat pitch is 960 mm. There is no power outlet in both reserved and non reserved seat. Some of the trains in Hokkaido have different accommodation in reserved and non reserved. But KIHA- 261 series have completely same facility in both reserved and non reserved.

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

Train formation

1 2 3 4
G R R R NR

*R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat G=Green seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.

Images

Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space

Passenger’s deck

20 thoughts on “Access to Wakkanai from Sapporo. Limited Express Soya / Sarobetsu”

  1. Hello Takeshi,

    I just watched the TV show Cycling around Japan in NHK where they travel to Wakkanai.
    The cyclist takes a train in Asahikawa and he pays 2050en, then takes a train at 6:05AM that only has one carriage, saying that he could take the express but he rather take the “local” train.

    I tried finding this train in Hyperdia but I only find express trains which cost around 5000en.

    Do you know which train is he taking?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Pepeloz,

      Hyperdia shows you the fastest and most convenient trains. But if you search it with some conditions, you can find the local train.
      Access to Hyperdia. You will find “More Options” and click it. You will see “Vehicle Type”. Just check at only “Local Trains” and “Japan Railway (JR)”. You will find the local train.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. If he paid 2050 then he paid the fare that took him to Bifuka, not Wakkanai. The basic fare (w/o Limited Express surcharge) between Asahikawa and Wakkanai is already 5400. the 6:03am local train can take you to Wakkanai w/o transferring for 5400 and in just a bit over 6 hours.

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