Sample itinerary Hokkaido 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Night view form Mt.Hakodate ©Hokkaido Tourism Organization/© JNTO7 to 9 days
Night view form Hakodate mountain (C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization / JNTO
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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 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

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

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

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.

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

Comments

  1. Chi says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m planning to visit Hokkaido in end July to early August 2013. May I check with you whether:
    1. All the train transportations mentioned in the itinerary above are covered by Japan Rail Pass (i.e. I don’t need to lay extra charge)?
    2. All the timetables are still valid?
    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Chi (^_^)/

  2. Lin says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    recomended itinerary in accordance with your advise based on last year FuranoBiei Norokko Train. could you made the time back to sapporo earlier. Do you think 2 hours at Otaru is sufficient or it is too long?
    08:18am Depart Sapporo to Asahikawa by JR Furano Line
    09:24am arrived Asahikawa
    09:55am depart for Lavender Batake by FuranoBiei Norokko Train
    11:11am arrived Lavender Batake
    16:38pm Depart for Asahikawa by Furano Biei Norokko Train
    17:45 Arrived Asahikawa
    18:00pm Depart for Sapporo by Ltd Exp. Super Kamui 40
    19:20 pm arrived Sapporo
    19:55pm depart for Otaru by JR Rapid Airport 191
    20: 15pm Arrived Otaru
    22:30pm Depart for Sapporo by JR Hakodate Line
    23:15pm Arrived Sapporo
    -Overnight in Sapporo

  3. Lin says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    I would like to save a bit of time on this journey.is it possible to do Lavender Bateke -using the Furano Biei ..train and Otaru from Sapproro in one day ? how do we do it as itinerary?
    Thanks & regards

  4. LIn says:

    Hi,
    Many thanks for your recommendation.
    I love to visit Lake Toya but I am rather confuse and clueless about the itinerary.(/???). Do feel bad that I could not catch you. I need to take time to study it and digest it slowly.

    thanks

  5. Lin Tan says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    As instructed,I have revised the itinerary, kindly review and recommend better alternatives
    Day 12(14 July) Kushiro – Shintoku – Furano – Sapporo
    07:39am Depart for Shintoku by Limited Express “Super Ozora 4″.

    09:37 am Arrived Shintoku – transfer local train to Furano
    10:12 am Depart for Furano by NR Nemuro Line
    11:32 am Arrived Furano.
    15:34pm Depart Furano Asahikawa by JR Furano line
    17:02pm arrived Asahikawa
    17:13 pm depart for Sapporo by LTD Exp. OkhotSK6
    18:47 pm arrived Sapporo
    -Overnight in Sapporo
    Day 13(15 July) Sapporo – Date-Monbetsu – Hakodate – Shin-Aomori – Tokyo
    07:30am-Depart Sapporo by Ltd. Exp. Hokutu 4 Date-Monbetsu
    09:11am arrived DateMobetrsu
    10:06am Depart Date-Monbetsu for Hakodate by Limited Express “Super Hokuto 6″.
    regards

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Lin,

      Don’t you stay overnight in Date-Monbetsu (Lake Toya)?
      You will stay in Japan for 15 days. You combined two 7 days itineraries. But you will start to follow Hokkaido 7 days itinerary on 7th day of Tohoku itinerary. So you save one day and can stay overnight in Lake Toya (Date-Monbetsu). That will be July 15. You will still have one more day. You can go back to Tokyo on July 14.

      If you don’t want to stay in Lake Toya, you don’t need to stop at Date-Monbetsu. Especially one hour stay at Date-Monbetsu does not give you anything.

      I don’t strongly recommend you. Because it will be tiny chance. But if you want to try the following itinerary, it will be another option.

      Day 12 (July 14)
      After arrive at Sapporo from Furano, take overnight train Hamanasu to Aomori.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/overnight-trains/hamanasu.html

      Day 13 (July 15)
      Aomori (local train) Shin-Aomori (Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa) Sendai (Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko) Utusnomiya

      If you can take this itinerary, you can go to Nikko on the way back. You have to give up Lake Toya. But you can get Nikko and you may be able to save accommodation fee if you can get Dream or Carpet seat on Hamanasu. These seats are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.

      You may be able to get Dream. Carpet seat is too popular to book. But you can try right after you arrive in Japan. Especially you will have more than one week to stay in Sapporo. So you can book Sapporo hotel. If you can book Hamanasu seat, you can cancel it without any cancellation fee.

      This is just option. If you don’t like it, just follow original itinerary.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. lin tan says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    I have amended the Itinerary in accordance with your recommendation as follow:
    Day 12(14 July) Kushiro – Shintoku – Furano – Sapporo
    07:39am Depart for Shintoku by Limited Express “Super Ozora 4″.
    ????? am Arrived Shintoku – transfer local train to Furano(what train? what time? Duration? )
    11:32 am Arrived Furano.
    04:00 +-??pm Depart Furano to Sapporo by (what train? what time? Duration? )
    ???? pm arrived Sapporo -Overnight in Sapporo
    Day 13(15 July) Sapporo – Date-Monbetsu – Hakodate – Shin-Aomori – Tokyo
    ???? am-Depart Sapporo by Super Hokuto to Date-Monbetsu (what train? what time? Duration? )
    10:06am Depart Date-Monbetsu for Hakodate by Limited Express “Super Hokuto 6″.
    11:54am Arrive at Hakodate
    Kindly help me in furnishing the train, its time and duration.
    regards

  7. lin Tan says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    Thanks a million on the amended itinerary. however I am rather confuse on the 6th day of Hokaido to incorporate a day Furano. according to your recommendation and my schedule :
    “Day 12(14 July) Kushiro – Shintoku – Furano – Sapporo – Date-Monbetsu – Lake Toya
    07:39am Depart for Shintoku by Limited Express “Super Ozora 4″.
    xxx am- transfer local train to Furano.
    After Furano, go to Sapporo and catch Super Hokuto to Date-Monbetsu and follow Hokkaido itineary
    xxx: am Depart for Date-Monbetsu by Limited Express “Super Hokuto 10″.
    xxx: pm Arrive at Date-Monbetsu. After arrival, take the bus to Lake Toya. The bus fare is 580 yen and takes 40 minutes. Lake Toya is one of most popular hot springs resort in Hokkaido.
    (Overnight in Lake Toya).”

    am I doing all this in one day or how? what is the travelling needed to Shintoku-Furano – Sapporo?
    Do apologise for being dense.
    regards

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Lin,

      I meant to stay in Furano on Day 12.
      If you take Super Ozora 4, you can get Furano at 11:32. After Furano, you can proceed Sapporo and stay there. If you really want to go to Date Monbetsu, you still can make it. But it will be super tight. You save one day at the transition from Tohoku to Hokkaido. So you can stay somewhere between Kushiro and Date-Monbetsu. If you save your budget, Sapporo will cheaper than Furano.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. Lin Tan says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    Last September I followed the 7days -world heritage site (shirakawago,Kyoto,Hiroshima, Miyajima,Kanazawwa & Kyoto). I enjoyed so much so that I am visiting Japan again in July 13.
    This time I would like to follow the 7 dyas Hokaido and 7 days Tohoku with incorporating a day in Furano for Lavender flower farms viewing. I would be arriving on 3 July at 8.25am and departing 17 July at 1050am. would you please help me in incorporating a day Furano in my 14 days itinerary of Hokaido and Tohoku.
    Having said all this, please recommend other itinerary if it is much better than what I am thinking now.

    regards

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Lin,

      If you want to squeeze Furano, you should better give up Nikko on first day. If you can do, you can start Tohoku itienrary just after you arrive in Japan.

      First of all, follow Tohoku itinerary. On 7th day, after departing Kakunodate, go to Morioka and change Shinkansen to Shin-Aomori. And then follow Hokkaido itinerary. Now you save one day.(Tohoku itinerary 7th day will be Hokakido itinerary 1st day.)

      On 6th day of Hokkaido itinerary, after departing Kushiro, don’t go to Minami-Chitose. Get off Super Ozora at Shintoku and transfer local train to Furano. You can use one extra day here.

      After Furano, go to Sapporo and catch Super Hokuto to Date-Monbetsu and follow Hokkaido itineary.

      You can come back to Tokyo one day before departure date.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. chin says:

    Konbanwa!
    My name chin san. If I purchased my JR pass in Malaysia and I want to travel in this Hokkaido 7 days package, how do I arrange for the whole trip?
    What I mean is, is this a local travel agent arrangement?
    How much does it cost?

    Look forward to your reply.

    Arigatogozaimas!

    Chin

  10. I would like to ask regarding jr from narita to hakodate, caused i rent t car at the hakodate? Where can i buy? How much? What train i shuld take? Tq

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      JPRail says:

      Hi Yudianto,
      I want to make sure something before I answer your question.
      Do you need one way ticket to Hakodate from Narita? Are you going to Hakodate directly from Narita? What time are you going to arrive at Narita?
      If you need to know fare and schedule, you can get it at Hyperdia.
      http://www.hyperdia.com/en/
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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