Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO

Sample itinerary Hokkaido 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO
Night view form Hakodate mountain (C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization / JNTO

This itinerary includes most of popular spots of Hokkaido in 7 days. Departure and arrival places are Tokyo. You can start using 7 days JR pass when you leave Tokyo.

If you arrive and depart from either Narita or Haneda airports, you may use other deal.

Haneda airport access guide and the list of deals

The list of deals for Tokyo to/from Narita airport

You can use this itinerary for departure/arrival at Sapporo. I will tell you this at the end of the post.

Day 1 Tokyo – Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto – Hakodate

06:32 Depart from Tokyo by Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 1
10:57 Arrive at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto
11:10 Depart from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto by Rapid train Hakodate Liner
11:25 Arrive at Hakodate
After arrival at Hakodate, enjoy sightseeing.

(Overnight in Hakodate)

Day 2 Hakodate – Sapporo – Otaru – Sapporo

Otaru Canal (C)Y. Shimizu
Otaru Canal is the highlight of Otaru city. (C)Y. Shimizu

07:37 Depart from Hakodate for Sapporo by Limited Express Super Hokuto 3
11:27 Arrive at Sapporo
After arrive at Sapporo, enjoy sightseeing in Sapporo
If you are okay with the packed schedule, you may squeeze Otaru on this day. Otaru is only 45 minutes away from Sapporo by rapid train. It is very easy to access. If you plan to visit Otaru, please expect to spend at least 4 hours for return trip from Sapporo and sightseeing in Otaru. If you want to save your time in Sapporo, Otaru do not suit to your plan.

(Overnight in Sapporo)

Day 3 Sapporo – Asahikawa – Biei/Furano – Asahikawa

Farm Tomita in Biei (C) Farm Tomita/ (C) JTA/ (C) JNTO

07:49 Depart from Hakodate for Sapporo by Limited Express Lilic 3
09:14 Arrive at Asahikawa
09:38 Leave Asahikawa by JR Furano line local train
10:14 Arrive at Biei
After arrive at Biei, enjoy sightseeing in Biei and Furano area.

16:29 Depart from Biei by JR Furano line local train
17:02 Arrive at Asahikawa

*You may skip Furano and Biei area and stay in Asahikawa all day. You can visit Asahiyama zoo. You can visit Asahiyama zoo on day 4 instead of Sounkyo.

(Overnight in Asahikawa)

Day 4 Asahikawa – Kamikawa – Sounkyo canyon – Kamikawa – Abashiri

Kurotake mountain ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO
Kurotake mountain ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO

08:35 Depart from Asahikawa for Abashiri via Sounkyo canyon by Limited Express Okhotsk 1
09:17 Arrive at Kamikawa
09:40 Depart from “Kamikawa Mori no Terasu Bus Touch” by Dohoku bus
*Kamikawa Mori no Terasu Bus Touch is the name of bus station in front of Kamikawa station.

10:20 Arrive at Sounkyo
Enjoy sightseeing in Sounkyo

15:40 Leave Sounkyo by Dohoku bus
16:10 Arrive at Kamikawa Mori no Terasu Bus Touch
*There is no better connections. You have to wait for 1.5 hours at Kamikawa station.

17:45 Depart from Kamikawa by Limited Express Taisetsu 3
20:49 Arrive at Abashiri

(Overnight in Abashiri)

Day 5 Abashiri – Shiretoko – Kushiro

Oshinkoshin Falls ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO
Oshinkoshin Falls ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO

06:41 Depart for Shiretoko-Shari by JR Senmo line local train
*If you miss this train, you cannot take Shiretoko tourist bus.
07:26 Arrive at Shiretoko-Shari
08:40 Ride on Shiretoko Tourist Bus. This bus is not covered by any rail passes. Please see the link below to find the information:

Yuyu Hokkaido Tour Bus information – Shari Bus

15:57 Depart for Kushiro by JR Senmo line local train
18:46 Arrive at Kushiro

(Overnight in Kushiro)

Day 6 Kushiro – Minami-Chitose – Date-Monbetsu – Lake Toya

Noboribetsu Jigokudani means hell valley (C) Noboribetsu Tourist Association / JNTO

08:23 Depart for Minami-Chitose by Limited Express Super Ozora 4
11:53 Arrive at Minami-Chitose and transfer to Limited Express Suzuran
11:59 Depart for Noboribetsu by Limited Express Suzuran 4
12:45 Arrive at Noboribetsu
13:00 Leave Noboribetsu by Donan bus
13:14 Arrive at Noboribetsu Onsen

Enjoy sightseeing and onsen bath in Noboribetsu

(Overnight in Noboribetsu)

Day 7 Noboribetsu – Lake Toya – Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto – Tokyo

Lake Toya (C)Toyako Tourist Association
Lake Toya (C)Toyako Tourist Association

09:00 Take Express Bus “Iburi” from Noboribetsu Onsen
Bus fare is 1,700 yen. This is not covered by any rail passes.
10:13 Arrive at Toyako Onsen

13:35 Leave Toyako Onsen by Donan Bus local bus
13:56 Arrive at Toya station
14:07 Depart from Toya by Limited Express Super Hokuto 12
15:49 Arrive at Shin-Hakodate-hokuto and transfer to Hokkaido Shinkansen
16:17 Leave Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto by Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 34
20:32 Arrive at Tokyo

*You may skip Lake Toya and go back to Tokyo earlier if you like.

Find your hotels in 218 cities throughout Japan!!!

Monterey Hotel Sapporo Close to station, dine, shop
La Vista Kushirogawa Hotel Kushiro Waterfront location

How to change the itinerary for Sapporo to Sapporo

If you start this itinerary from Sapporo to Sapporo, you may change the itinerary on day 1, 2 and 7 as follows:

Day 1
08:39 Depart from Sapporo by Limited Express Super Hokuto 6
12:23 Arrive at Hakodate
Overnight at Hakodate

Day 2
08:54 Depart from Hakodate by Limited Express Super Hokuto 5
10:45 Arrive at Toya
10:54 Leave Toya by Donan Bus local bus
11:14 Arrive at Toyako Onsen
Sightseeing around Lake Toya
15:00 Depart from Toyako Onsen by Express Bus Iburi
16:11 Arrive at Noboribetsu Onsen
Overnight at Noboribetsu Onsen

Day 3
12:05 Leave Noboribetsu Onsen by Donan Bus local bus
12:17 Arrive at Noboribetsu station
12:36 Depart from Noboribetsu by Limited Express Super Hokuto
13:46 Arrive at Sapporo
14:13 Depart from Sapporo by Rapid train
14:47 Arrive at Otaru
*You can go back to Sapporo whenever you want. Train runs every 30 minutes until 23:00

Day 4 – use Day 3 itinerary
Day 5 – use Day 4 itinerary
Day 6 – use Day 5 itinerary

Day 7
08:23 Depart for Sapporo by Limited Express Super Ozora 4
12:26 Arrive at Sapporo

You may use Hokkaido Rail Pass 7 days for this Sapporo to Sapporo trip plan.

Hope this post gives you some tips and idea to build your trip plan1

210 thoughts on “Sample itinerary Hokkaido 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days”

  1. Dear Takeshi San,

    I will be traveling to Hokkiado in May 2019 and thought I could also include Tokyo 1 day trip as we had not been to both place before.
    However you can give some comments on my itinerary modified from your sample itinerary Hokkaido 7 days.

    15-May D1 – Arrive at New Chitose airport early morning > Kushiro > Sapporo
    16-May D2 – Sapporo > Lake Toya > Hakodate
    17-May D3 – 1st train from Hakodate > Shin-Hakodate-Hokuo > Tokyo
    18-May D4 – Late train from Tokyo > Shin-Hakodate-Hokuo > Hakodate
    19-May D5 – Hakodate
    20-May D6 – Hakodate > Noboribetsu > Asahikawa
    21-May D7 – Asahikawa > Sounkyo canyon > Abashiri
    22-May D8 – Abashiri > Shiretoko > Otaru > Sapporo
    23-May D9 – Sapporo > Chitose (Air Terminal Hotel)
    24-May D10 – Depart from New Chitose airport at 9.30am

    Thinking to get the flexible 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Pass. Using on day 1 to day 4, day 5 and day 6.



    1. Hi Michael,

      Basically your itinerary looks good. But I’m not sure that you can make a day trip to Kushiro on day 1. Because you may spend 2 hours or more at New Chitose. You may not have enough hours at Kushiro.

      You need JR pass to cover this trip. JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass does not cover Asahikawa, Abashiri and Kushiro. Only JR Pass covers whole part of the trip. You can use 14-day JR pass. It is pricey but you can get the worth.


      Takeshi /

  2. hi Takeshi,

    I plan to visit Sapporo next Oct 30- Nov 7, here’s my plan and I really need your advice here:
    30: arrive at Shin chitose airport around 3PM, go to Noboribetsu (plan to take bus bound to Muronan and drop at noboribetsu higashi IC around 16:40, since I think I can’t make it for bus 15:20), from noboribetsu higashi IC, I’ll take the shuttle to Daiichi Takimotokan (here I don’t know if the shuttle still available when I arrive at noboribetsu higashi IC, do you have any idea?)
    31: noboribetsu jigokudani, then go to lake toya (I plan to take shinkansen to toya (JR Muronan), or is there any direct bus from noboribetsu to lake toya?)
    1: toya (JR Muroran) – hakodate
    2: hakodate -sapporo
    3: day trip from sapporo – otaru – niseko – sapporo
    4: sapporo – sounkyo onsen (Daisetsuzan national park)
    5: Daisetsuzan’s Ropeways, around Mt Kurodake (I don’t know is it open in November?)
    6: sounkyo onsen – asahikawa
    7: asahikawa – biei – shin chitose airport (is it possible to visit Biei (blue pond) for a short time? My flight is at 4PM, so around 1PM I should be already at the airport)

    another question:
    1. is it worth it to buy JR hokkaido 7 days pass?
    2. if Daisetsuzan national park is not open during November, do you have any other option to visit?
    3. is Furano or Biei more attractive to see in November?

    I look forward for your reply soon. Thank you in advance. 🙂

    1. Hi Dyana,

      Oct 30
      Unfortunately I have no idea about the shuttle bus to the hotel.

      Oct 31
      I have taken the express from Noboribetsu to Toya before:
      The bus leave 9:10 and 15:10 from Noboribetsu. The bus fare was 1,700 yen when I took this.

      Hokkaido Pass 7-day works for your trip.

      Daisetsuzan Kurodake is open as ski season in November. Ropeway may be closed but ski lift is open. It will be completely winter season.

      Furano Biei area is transition season between winter and autumn. I don’t think you have enough time to see Blue pond in the last day.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I am travelling to Hokkaido in May and I would like to find out is there any public transport (JR, Bus) that can reach Shakotan, departing from Otaru? It seems like mostly people will drive.

    1. Hi Meiling san,

      Hokkaido Chuo Bus operates the bus between Otaru and Shakotan-Yobetsu. Please see the link below:

      You see four tables. From the left, Otaru to Shakotan-Yobetsu (weekday), Shakotan-Yobetsu to Otaru (weekday) and two tables are same directions on weekend.

      In the first table from the left, you will see 07:00, -…, 09:13 on the third row from the top. This is the first one to Shakotan-Yobetsu. So next one is 9:00 – 11:13.

      In the second table, the first one is 6:33 – 8:46 from Shakotan-Yobetsu to Otaru.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi san!
    Will go to Hokkaido( 5 adults) arrival at CTS 5pm airport on Oct 15. Then departure flight Oct 20 11am.
    • My original plan , Stay in accomodation near Odori station for the whole duration. So all tours will just be daytour then back to Sapporo. Thinking of getting Hokkaido pass. Can you please help me decide if its worth it?
    Oct 15- Arrival. From CTS airport to apartment, check in, then to Moiwa ropeway ( overlooking Sapporo then Dinner) or Susukino area
    Oct 16- Lake Toya & Lake Shikotsu via public transpo
    Is Hokkaido pass can be used here?
    Oct 17- Jozankei Village whole day
    Join Koyo Kappa Autumn bus tour , stroll around then Night Illuminaire) then back to Sapporo
    – Have researched that only bus pass can be used here
    Oct 18- Otaru & Yoichi
    Oct 19- Sapporo ( Hokkaido university, Nakajima park, Odori park, Sapporo clock,JR tower, experience Shiden ( Sapporo street car).
    Optional:Hokkaido historical village
    Oct 20- departure.. too short
    I was also planning to include, Bie Blue Pond& Asahikawa & Noboribetsu, but lacking time.
    Any suggestions or revisions on our itinerary would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Najhane san,

      First of all, Hokkaido Rail Pass does not work. You cannot get the worth of even 3 days pass by your trip. The biggest part of your trip is Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu. You have to take a bus to get Lake Shikotsu from New Chitose and Lake Toya from Toya. If you pay a regular fare for this trip, it costs around 11,000 yen for train trip. Bus is not covered by Hokkaido Rail Pass. You cannot get another 5500 yen worth by trip to Otaru and Yoichi and/or trip to New Chitose. Hokkaido Rail Pass does not help to visit several places in Sapporo and visit Jozankei. So only regular fare ticket is your choice.

      In my opinion, visiting Lake Toya and Noboribetsu in one day is better than Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu. Noboribetsu is more attractive than Lake Shikotsu for me.

      The following link shows you my trip report to visit Noboribetsu and Lake Toya. It may help you to visit these places.


      Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,
    Is there any coin locker located in kamikawa station, shiretoko shari and toya station? As we will be travelling with a suitcase or backpack and it will be a hassle to bring it along while exploring sounkyo, shiretoko and lake toya area. Thank you!

    1. Hi Aby san,

      Kamikawa station does not have any lockers. Ticket reservation window can hold the luggage but it’s open from 8:00 to 16:30 only.
      Shiretoko Shari and Toya have lockers. But all lockers may be occupied. In Lake Toya, you may find some lockers at the bus terminal. I recommend you to use backpack for the worst case.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your reply, we will pack lightly then.
        Just wondering for the tour bus in shiretoko, do we need to book it in advance? And does it stops at the spots at all or just drive around the spots? As we are interested in walking on the boardwalk in the park.


        1. Hi Aby san,

          I believe the bus stop at major spot but actually I have never taken this bus before. I don’t have any extra info other than the info on their website. There is a link for reservation and consultation. You may ask them. It mentions “reservation required”. That means you have to book it in advance.


          Takeshi /

  6. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Are you able to give same intenary with the latest timing?
    I’m going down in early June and planning to follow your suggested plan.

    Thanks in advance.


  7. Hi!

    Looking to travel o Hokkaido in End April to early MAy.

    Can i confirm based on your itinerary how much will it cost just based on travelling..?

    Based on the itinerary, am i right to say every day will travel to a different area and stay in a different hotel every night…?

    1. Hi dawnzz,

      Basically the trips are covered by JR pass. Some part of the trip, like bus to Soukyo, is not covered. I mentioned the fare which you need to pay.
      However this sample was made long time ago. Some fares may be raised up. Train schedule is different. You may check the train schedule in the link below:

      In this trip, you will stay in different place every night.


      Takeshi /

Before you leave your comment, please see the conditions below.
  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded but nothing happens. Your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • I cannot recommend any hotels other than which I have stayed. Basically I cannot talk about hotels in this site. The number of hotels are too many to talk about by my experience.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals.
  • Please do not ask me to reply to your inquiry by email. In this website, I would like to share all information with any readers. I do not communicate with you directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *