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 train 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
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 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 runs between New Chitose airport and Sapporo, Otaru. Please see the map below to find the operation route:
There are four trip an hour in daytime. Two of these four trips runs between New Chitose Airport and Otaru. Other two trips connect the airport and Sapporo. The travel time to major stations are the following:
to Minami Chitose – 3 to 4 minutes
to Sapporo – approximately 40 minutes
to Otaru – approximately 1 hour 15 minutes
This Rapid Airport is operated by the commute train fleet 721 series or 733 series. Most of Rapid Airport have the reserved sheet that is called “U seat”. U seat offers much better seat. It is same level as the limited express train ordinary sheet.
And also only car of U seat has a baggage space. If you use Japan Rail Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass, or JR-East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can take U seat without any extra payment. You can book a seat in advance or even in last minutes, like 10 minutes before the departure time. Just go to Midori no Madoguchi (JR train reservation window) to book it. You can find Midori no Madoguchi at most of major stations throughout Japan.
Please see the timetable at JR Hokkaido website to get the full timetable of Rapid Airport.
You can take Rapid Airport without reservation. If you take Rapid Airport by 721 series, the seat is not bad.
But if all seats are occupied, you have to stand up.
If the train is by 733 series, non reserved seat is just a common commute train.
You cannot choose 721 series or 733 series. The timetable does not show which train set will be used.
Transfer to the trains to other major cities in Hokkaido
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:
- Toya (Lake Toya)
- Nemuro (via Kushiro)
Sapporo station is the second transfer points if you visit these following cities:
- Furano(via Asahikawa or Takikawa)
- Biei (via Asahikawa)
- 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.