New Chitose Airport access guide. How to get Sapporo, Otaru and other cities in Hokkaido.

New Chitose airport station is located at the underground of the terminal building. (C) JP Rail

New Chitose airport (新千歳空港) is the biggest airport in Hokkaido and the primary gateway for the trip to Hokkaido by flights. Some of you start your trip from this airport.

In this post, I would like to share the guide of the access between this airport and Sapporo and Otaru. I will also show you how to take the trains to most of major cities in Hokkaido.

Access between the terminal building and the station

There are lots of signages between the terminal building and the station.

This station is directly connected to the terminal building. You can get the station from the terminal building easily just inside the building. You can move without any outer jacket even in the freezing weather.

As you have seen the picture above, the station is located at the underground level. You can simply take the stairs, escalators or elevators from the arrival level. There are lots of signage. You cannot miss it. Please see the following links to get the maps and more information.

Platform and ticket gate of New Chitose Airport station

New Chitose airport station ticket gate (C) JP Rail

New Chitose airport station is quite small. There is only one ticket gate and one platform. If you want to exchange Japan Rail Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass, and/or JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can do it at JR Hokkaido information desk. It is located by the ticket gate.

Rapid Airport which is the train between New Chitose Airport, Sapporo and Otaru

Rapid Airport at Sapporo station

Rapid Airport train runs between New Chitose airport and Sapporo, Otaru. Please see the link below to find more information:

Rapid Airport train for New Chitose Airport to/from Sapporo and Otaru

Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in New Chitose Airport
Hotels in Otaru
Hotels in Sapporo

Please see the timetable at JR Hokkaido website to get the full timetable of Rapid Airport.

Transfer to the trains to other major cities in Hokkaido

All trains stop at Minami-Chitose station. It is very easy to transfer. (C) JP Rail

You can access to Sapporo and Otaru from New Chitose Airport directly. But if you go to other cities, you have to change trains. There are several transfer points.

First of all, Minami-Chitose station is the transfer point for the following places:

  • Hakodate
  • Noboribetsu
  • Toya (Lake Toya)
  • Hakodate
  • Tomamu
  • Obihiro
  • Kushiro
  • Nemuro (via Kushiro)

Sapporo station is the second transfer points if you visit these following cities:

  • Asahikawa
  • Furano(via Asahikawa or Takikawa)
  • Biei (via Asahikawa)
  • Abashiri
  • Wakkanai
  • Shiretoko-Shari(via Abashiri)

And Otaru station is the last transfer point for Niseko, Kutchan and Yoichi.

The airport shuttle bus

If you are looking for the direct access to your accommodation, airport buses may be better. You can find the detailed information at New Chitose Airport Buses information page.

I hope this airport guide make your trip planning be easier.

270 thoughts on “New Chitose Airport access guide. How to get Sapporo, Otaru and other cities in Hokkaido.”

  1. Hi Takeshi san, may I know is there luggage locker or counter at toya jr station? If there are, may I know what is the biggest size ? Bcos I will be stopping by for lake toya from Hakodate while on the way to Sapporo. And I have 2 big luggage with me. Thank you

    1. Hi Anne san,

      There are lockers but the number of lockers are very limited. Please see the link below to find the photo.

      As you see it, there are only two large size lockers. Those may be taken when you are there.

      I think there are some more lockers in Toyako bus terminal but I don’t the size and number of lockers. You may not find any spaces to store the luggage in the worst case.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi san,
    I would like to have your advice for my below itinerary. We’re (8 adults and 4 kids) going to Sapporo from Tokyo and we plan to arrive at New Chitose airport on May 14, 2018. This is our itinerary:
    14 May – Tokyo to Sapporo by plane
    15 May – Sapporo to Asahikawa by Shinkansen
    16 May – Asahikawa to Furano
    17 May – Asahikawa to Biei
    18 May – Asahikawa to Sapporo
    19 May – Stay one more day at Sapporo
    20 May – Sapporo to Tokyo

    My questions are:
    1. Is it better to travel from asahikawa to Furano and Biei or direct from Sapporo ?We don’t mind to stay at Asahikawa since we have never been there.
    2. I read on this web that Furano Lavender Express train to Furano and Biei only operates on Jun 16 and 17 ( is this correct ? ), and it matches to my itinerary and we have to go and see Furano/Biei Lavender farms. I have tried to read several time of Asahikawa-Furano-Biei Lavender Express train but I still can’t get correct understanding which way is better to start in order to get to Lavender farms 🙁 would you please help me to make the correct direction and train schedule I have to take from either Sapporo or Asahikawa, as all member of my group are very depended on me for this route. We don’t want to miss to see lavender farm even it’s not season now, but at least can see other flowers which might be on season.
    Many thanks in advance for your willingness to help me on this.

    1. Hi Mev san,

      If you take Furano Lavender Express, you can get Furano from Sapporo directly. It does not stop by Asahikawa. It runs on Jun 16 and 17. In your trip plan, you showed you will travel in May. But it’s June right? As long as you travel in June, it’s okay. Furano Lavender Express does not run in May.

      Biei is located between Furano and Asahikawa. So you can access to Biei from either way. But Lavender farm is closer to Furano than Asahikawa. If you get there from Asahikawa, you can take a local train from Asahikawa. By the way, you will take limited express train from Sapporo to Asahikawa. It’s not Shinkansen. You can find the timetable for Sapporo-Asahikawa and Asahikawa-Biei-Furano in the link below:

      If you want to see Asahikawa, you can take the route from Asahikawa. Otherwise you can get Furano from Sapporo directly by Furano Lavender Express.

      You also can find some more info in the link below:


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi San,
        Many thanks for your good advice. Yes, you’re right about my trip shall be written Jun, not May. Sorry for confusing and apologize also for late response as I’m new on this web so I don’t know how to come to find your reply or get a notification when you reply to my request 🙁

        Last night we decided to travel from Sapporo to Furano directly by Furano Lavender Express.

        My questions now are:
        1. How to get from Sapporo directly to Biei ?
        2. Does the Furano Lavender express stop at Biei ? Or can we use this train to go to Biei? If not, which train we shall take to Biei ? We try to travel with train as much as we can, rather than rent a car and have to drive ourselves.

        Thanks bunches in advance for your time and kind advices.

        1. Hi Mev san,

          You cannot get Biei from Sapporo directly. You have to change trains at either Furano or Asahikawa. If you take Furano Lavender Express, you have change to Furano line local train to Biei at Furano. Furano Lavender Express does not go on Furano line.


          Takeshi /

          1. Dear Takeshi san,
            Many thanks for the useful explanation.
            Does it mean that going to Biei is best from Asahikawa, than using Furano Lavender Express considering this train has limited route in June ?
            I would like to confirm with you, if my understanding is correct for train from Asahikawa to Biei based on below time table, which you sent it to me:
            1. does it mean the train leaving from Asahikawa at 5:39 am and next train is 6:40 ?
            2. Leaving Biei is at 6:23 am?
            3. Arriving at Furano at 7:08 am ?

            If I travel from Sapporo to Biei, it means that I have to travel to Asahikawa first, then catch a train to Biei from Asahikawa ? Or I can take Furano Lavender Express from Sapporo to Furano, then change to Furano line to Biei towards Asahikawa ? Do you think is it possible to see Furano and Biei in one day ?

            Again many thanks for your patient to reply me.


            1. Hi Mev san,

              Biei is located between Furano and Asahikawa. You can take either route, Sapporo-Furano-Biei or Sapporo-Asahikawa-Bie. You have understood JR Hokkaido timetable correctly.

              It’s not impossible to see Furano and Biei in one day.


              Takeshi /

              1. Dear Takeshi san,
                Thank you so much for your patient and useful information and explanation for my above questions.


                  1. Hi Takeshi,
                    I am planning to travel from Sapporo to Asahikawa (1 Aug) and will stay 3 nites.
                    Would like to visit farm and cheese factory in Furano from Asahikawa.
                    Then, i will return to Sapporo on 4 Aug.
                    which train should I take?
                    Should I take the Furano Biel (4 day pass)?
                    Please advise. Thanks

  3. Hi Takeshi san,

    May I know is there any changes for seat reservation? We bought the Hokkaido 7days Pass already..

    Beside that, what’s the difference of Ordinary Car vs Green Car for the seat reservation?

    1. Hi Lisan san,

      If you book a seat already, you can change the reservation when you pick up a ticket. If you intend to book after you arrive in Japan, you can change it after you made it.

      The way of reservation is same for Green and Ordinary. But Hokkaido Rail Pass does not cover Green seat. If you want to take Green seat, it’s not smart way to use Hokkaido Rail Pass. Because Hokkaido Rail Pass covers only base fare. You have to pay for whole amount of seat fee of Green seat. The extra charge is not the difference of Green and Ordinary.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi takeshi-san,

    I’m planning to go to noboribetsu area and otaru during new year (31 dec and 1 jan) and thinking to get the roundtrip discount ticket for noboribetsu and the otaru roundtrip discount ticket. Is this a good choice?

    And is the otaru roundtrip discount ticket can be used for reserved seat or need additional fee?

    Thanks before

  5. Hi Takeshi san,

    I bought a 7days Hokkaido pass.. I plan to use on Sapporo to Hakodate by Express Super Hokuto.. may I know how can I do the seat reservation from outside Japan? Can I do the reservation now? My travel date will be 05/02/2018.

  6. Hi Takeshi san,

    i’m going to Hokkaido on 04/2/2018-11/2/2018.
    Would like to cover these places
    Sapporo, Otaru, Asahikawa, Furano, Biei, Noboribetu, Hakodate

    Can you advise how should i arrange the itinerary and which transport is more convenience?

    1. Hi Lisan san,

      You may divide two different portions which are Asahikawa/Biei/Furano and Noboribetsu/Hakodate.

      If you start your trip from New Chitose, you can stay in Sapporo at the beginning and the end. You can spend 2 to 3 days for Asahikawa/Biei/Furano and another days for Noboribetsu and Hakodate. Noboribetsu is located between Hakodate and Sapporo. Otaru can be visited as day trip from Sapporo.

      You may use Hokkaido rail pass 7 days. You don’t need to include staying in Sapporo and trip to Otafu in 7 days coverage period. Just try to include outside Sapporo area in 7 days.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Can you advice the transport from city to city for me? I checked there is some express train.. are they operate during my trip? Can this using the 7days Hokkaido ticket also? Is this will more time saving for my trip?

        5/2 Sapporo – Hakodate
        (Super Hokuto)
        6/2 Hakodate – Noboribetsu
        (Super Hokuto)
        7/2 Noboribetsu – Furano
        (Super Hokuto->Sapporo->Furano Lavender Express)
        8/2 Furano – Asahikawa
        (Furano Biei Norokko)
        9/2 Asahikawa – Otaru
        (Express Kamui->Sapporo->Rapid Airport)

        1. Hi Seow san,

          Super Hokuto and Kamui are scheduled trains and these run all year round. But Furano Lavender Express and Furano Biei Norokko train run in summer time only. You need to take a local train between Takikawa and Furano, Furano and Asahikawa.

          I think you will travel during Sapporo snow festival. Train will be very busy during this period, especially Super Hokuto. Advanced booking is highly recommended. You can do it online:


          Takeshi /

            1. Hi Li san,

              I think 5 days pass is okay. Do you have any other trip before/after this trip plan? If so, you may use 7 days pass but you don’t need to have a pass for short trip, like New Chitose to Sapporo, Otaru to Sapporo. Single fare is okay for this kind of trip.


              Takeshi /

  7. Takeshi San, we r first time free travel style in Hokkaido, coming on d 20 Oct, tat is tis fri evening to new chitose airport. Kindly can guide us which train to go to otaru? Must we drop off at Sapporo’s station to change train to otaru or jus direct from new chitose airport station to otaru station? Thx

  8. Hello.
    I will be in Hokkaido from 19 to 23 Dec
    Chitose Airport to Biei
    20 to 22Dec
    Biei to Tomamu(day trip) and then to Sapporo
    Sapporo to Otaru (1night) then to kiroro ski resort (day trip) and 23 Dec to Chitose Aiport

    What kind of transportation do you suggest? I have 2 adults & 2kids (6&10yrs)

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Suhaila,

      Unfortunately there is no deals which is cheaper than regular fare.

      By the way, when you go to Tomauu from Biei, you will take a train from Biei to Higashishikagoe via Furano, bus from Higashishikagoe to Shintoku and train from Shintoku to Tomamu. The train and bus do not run very frequently between Furano and Shintoku. Please see the chapter of “Nemuro line between Higashishikagoe and Shintoku” in the link below:


      Takeshi /

      1. thanks Takeshi for the swift reply. Do you advise if i rent a car from from chitose airport to biei (1night) & then to tomamu next day and return the car at sapporo.

  9. routing as follows and if it is feasible to buy the jr pass:
    cts – noborietsu
    noborietsu – hakodate
    hakodate – otaru …should I take the jr train or take flight?
    otaru – asahikawa
    asahikawa – Sapporo….
    just wondering from hakodate – otaru onwards should I just stay at Sapporo and do day trip out to asahikawa and otaru?

    1. Hi Cindy,

      You may use Hokkaido rail pass.

      You didn’t mention how many days you will stay there, so I cannot say which type of JR pass is the best one for you.

      I think day trip to Otaru and Asahikawa from Sapporo is better choice. You can find the trains’ timetable which you need in the link below. You can find the trip time for each segments.


      Takeshi /

      1. 11 dec nobo
        12-14 dec hakodate
        14-16 dec otaru
        16 -18 dec asahikawa
        18-21 dec sapporo

        Is it feasible to get the jr pass?
        If i change to 14-21 dec in sapporo and do day trips to otaru and asahikawa will it be too many days in sapporo?

        Just wondering if i should reverse to
        11-13 dec hakodate
        13 -14 dec nobo

        Is it troublesome to take train wirh kids ? Is train very frrequent? How do i find the induvidual fare?

        1. Hi Cindy,

          You can use this plan. You also can make day trips to Otaru and Asahikawa from Sapporo too. I cannot say it’s too many days or not. It’s totally up to your taste. Some need lots of days and other do not.
          Regarding train frequency, I gave you the link of timetable. Please refer it.

          As long as you have a seat, kids will be okay. But some trips are long, like more than 3 hours. Kids may be tired and bored.

          You can find the info about regular fare calculation in the link below:


          Takeshi /

          1. Takeshi san,
            I just want to make one final confirmation before going to Hokkaido on June 14
            So the train from Tomamu to Furano is NOT LIKELY TO BE OPERATIONAL by June 14?
            Tiong SK

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