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
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


  1. NMY says:

    Hi Takeshi

    Kindly advise possible day trip from Sapporo (via JR) to

    1. Asahikawa, Bibei, Furano
    2. Abashiri

    Anywhere via JR train that have good views for Autumn leaves

    Thank you.

  2. Bob says:

    Dear Takeshi San,
    We will be visiting Hokkaido for 7 nights the end of September. This is our first Visit so hopefully you can help us with our questions below. Please take a look at our planned itinerary and suggest which rail pass will be economical for our trip and also what type of a transit pass we should buy for sightseeing around Sapporo . We appreciate any advice or suggestions you can give us 🙂

    We will arrive in Sapporo Chitose airport at 7:45 PM on September 27. Could you please suggest the best way to get to Bus centre Mae subway station at that time of night?

    On day 3 we plan to take a day trip to Otaru, could you please let us know how to take the train there?
    On day 4 we plan to take a day trip to Noboribetsu could you please let us know how to take the train there?
    On Day 5 we are hoping to be able to take a day trip to Hakodate – I think it takes three hours each way, is it possible? Or will it be better for us to keep our One week hotel stay in Sapporo but spend a night in Hakodate Anyway then get back to Sapporo early next morning?

    Our plane departs Sapporo chitose airport on October 5 at 7:30 AM , could you please suggest the best way to get there so early in the morning from Bus centre Mae subway station or should I simply get to the airport the night before and sleep there until boarding time?

    Thank you very much for all your help in advance. Have a good day

  3. Independencer says:

    Konnichiwa Takeshi san,

    Mind me asking this here, I cannot find more relavant post about Tōya-ko.

    As we will be changing hotel from Sapporo to Hakodate, but with stop(s) at Noboribetsu and/or Tōya for a-few-hour trip. We think we need coin lockers, and information on Ticket Office and these two stations for seat reservation plan.

    – Are there coin lockers at Toya and Noboribetsu stations suitable for 4 medium-size baggage?
    – Can we reserve seats at Toya and Noboribetsu stations? Or we have to do it from Sapporo station?
    >> We Google only to see Exchange Offices; not sure if they already “cover all stations with seat reservation capability”? (Is Exchange Office = Ticket Office = Midori no Madoguchi = View Plaza = JR Information Desk??? I guess no?)

    Yoroshiku onegaishimasu~

    • Hi Independencer san,

      Regarding locker, please see the links below:
      Toya station
      Noboribetsu station h

      I don’t know actual size of these lockers. And I don’t know how busy these lockers are either. I think it can accommodate 4 medium. But I’m not sure you will be able to get it or not.

      Both stations have Midori no Madoguchi. So you can book it there.


      Takeshi /

      • Independencer says:

        Arigatou gozaimasu, Takeshi san

        I wonder which website can I find whether a station has Midori no Madoguchi (or seat reservation capability)?
        I have searched and the information is always for Exchange Offices. (which have only a few in Hokkaidō) That is a relief they have it at Toya & Noboribetsu.

        • Hi Independencer san,

          There is no site that shows you the list of station that has Midori no Madoguchi. But the station where limited express stops has Midori no Madoguchi. In the cities, like Tokyo, Osaka, most of stations have Midori no Madoguchi.


          Takeshi /

          • Independencer says:

            Ah!? Sou nan desuka?
            So that is the way of guessing which stations have Midori no Madoguchi?
            Is there any exception?

            Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

            • Hi Independencer san,

              The station where limited express train stop needs Midori no Madoguchi. The passengers need it when they take train from that station.
              I can say most of major station have it. But it’s hard to explain which station has or not. There are huge number of stations in Japan. There is no way to guess actually.


              Takeshi /

  4. Dorothy Tay says:

    Dear Takashi

    Is the “Sample itinerary Hokkaido 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days” suitable for travel in December?

    Will all the natural attractions, including bus services, listed in the sample itinerary open in mid winter?

    Thank you

  5. Jchan says:

    Thank you for your earlier response, Takashi San,

    If I may ask one more question, we will have a 7 day JR pass which will run out before the end of our stay in Hokkaido. Therefore the remainder of our trip will be (this is in 3 days)

    Asahikawa -biei-furano -Sapporo – otaru

    Is there another pass you recommend or is “pay as you go” a better choice?

    Thank you!

  6. Jchan says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    I also have a question regarding Takinoue and Kamiyubetsu. If I take a train form engaru station, how much do you think taxi fair will cost in total from engaru station>Kamiyubetsu>takinoue>engaru station?

    thank you for your help

  7. Ka says:

    Dear Takeshi
    Kindly give us your opinion on our following itinerary for a Hokkaido trip on July 16th – 25th 2016.

    16th – Arrive at Chitose airport, visit Doremon land and shop in airport, stay in Sapporo
    17th – Visit Sapporo hot spots
    18th – Otaru day trip
    19th – Rent a car and drive to Furano and Biei hot spots, then stay in Asahikawa
    20th – Visit Asahikawa Zoo, then drive to Sounkyo Onsen Village
    21th – Walk around Sounkyo area then drive back to Noribetsu (4 hour drive, which worries me a little but I don’t know how else to solve this problem)
    22nd – Visit Noboribetsu hot spots
    23rd – Drive to Lake Toya early morning, visit Mt Usuzan, then drive to Hakodate in the evening.
    24th – Visit Hakodate hot spots
    25th – Take Shinkansen to Tokyo.

    Mr Takeshi, do you think we should drive back from Sounkyo and return the car in Sapporo, then take trains after that to Noboribetsu, then Lake Toya, then Hakodate? Or is driving all the way a better choice? There will be 3 of us (adults) travelling together.

    • Hi Ka,

      Actually I have never driven in Hokkaido. I cannot compare which one is better for your trip, car or train.
      Drive is more convenient than train but I have no idea about the cost of rent a car. So I cannot compare the cost either.

      Takeshi /

  8. Jolie says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,
    Sorry for contacting you again.
    We, 2adults & 2kids, have finally planning holiday in Hokkaido between 28/July-4/Aug as the below itinerary:
    – D1 (28/Jul): Arrive Kansai airport at 21:40 approximately
    – D2 (29/Jul): Universal studio
    – D3 (30/Jul): take early flight to Chitose airport –> Sapporo sightseeing –> Otaru sightseeing
    – D3 (31/Jul): Otaru –> Asahikawa Zoo + Sightseeing
    – D4 (1/Aug): Asahikawa –>Biei –> Farm Tomita (or Furano)
    – D5 (2/Aug): In Sapporo (???)
    – D6 (3/Aug): Flight to Tokyo, Narita –> Fuji-san
    – D7 (4/Aug): Take flight at 9:15am leave for Bangkok

    I am now confusing what kind of transportation to minimize cost in Japan. It’s our first time to travel to Japan, we appreciate if you could help and let us have your advise on our itinerary.
    Thank you

  9. Joe Chan says:

    Hi Takeshi:

    Here is my final itinerary for travel in April 2016:

    Day 01 Hokkaido arrival
    Day 02 Hokkaido train to Abashiri
    Day 03 Abashiri
    Day 04 Abashiri train to Utoro Hot Spring


    Please can you advise us ?

    Thank you

    Joseph Chan

  10. Sharifah M Yokoyama says:

    I’m pretty excited cos we’ve just booked a flight to Sapporo.
    Will arrive from Singapore on 20 Dec and will leave Chitose on 27 Dec.
    It’s going to be my 2 daughters (aged 21 & 16)
    It’s our 1st time in Sapporo:))
    Any good proposal from you?
    What’s the best advise about accomodation?

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