sapporo clock tower

How to access to Hakodate and Sapporo in Hokkaido by railway.

Sapporo in winter time is so beautiful.
Sapporo shows very beautiful scenery in winter time.

Hokkaido is very popular destination in these days. Especially Sapporo is very well known because it is the biggest city in Hokkaido and it holds the biggest winter festival in the world. Hakodate is located in southend of Hokkaido. This small city is also very popular among tourists. It is also the gate city of Hokkaido if you take a train or a ferry.

If you have JR Pass, JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, the train trip to Hakodate or Hokkaido is fully covered. Actually we can get Sapporo in same day from Tokyo and even Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya by the Shinkansen and the limited express trains. However it is such a long long trip. I would like to show you the sample trip plan. You will find the trip time to reach Hokkaido from Tokyo, Nagoya Kyoto and Osaka.

Train connection between Tokyo and Sapporo by the Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen and the limited express Super Hokuto

The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa requires a seat booking. You cannot take this train without a seat booking.

The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen runs between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is the gateway station of Hokkaido and the Shinkansen terminal station near Hakodate. The limited express Super Hokuto runs between Hakodate, Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Sapporo.

The earliest connection from Tokyo to Sapporo

06:32 DepTokyo
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 1
10:53 Arr / 11:09 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The limited express Super Hokuto 9
14:41 ArrSapporo

The earliest connection from Sapporo to Tokyo

06:00 DepSapporo
The limited express Super Hokuto 2
09:14 Arr / 09:35 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 16
14:04 ArrTokyo

As you saw, the trip time between Tokyo and Sapporo is more than 8 hours.

Train connection between Tokyo and Hakodate by the Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen and the rapid train Hakodate Liner

Hakodate Liner at platform #1 in Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. Hakodate Liner is a sort of the commute trains. You cannot book a seat on this train.

The Shinkansen terminal station, Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is 15-25 minutes away from the center of Hakodate. The rapid train, Hakodate Liner connects Hakodate and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. The transfer time at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is 10 to 20 minutes. You may feel 10 minutes is tight to change the trains. But this is on purpose. You can make it in 10 minutes.

The earliest connection from Tokyo to Hakodate

If you go to Hakodate, the rapid train, “Hakodate Liner” takes you to Hakodate from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in 15 to 25 minutes.

06:32 DepTokyo
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 1
10:53 Arr / 11:10 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The rapid train Hakodate Liner
11:25 ArrHakodate

The earliest connection from Hakodate to Tokyo

06:07 DepHakodate
The rapid train Hakodate Liner
06:29 Arr / 06:39 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 10
11:04 ArrTokyo

The trip time between Hakodate and Tokyo is just less than 5 hours

Please refer the post below to learn more about Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station and Hakodate station.

Train connection between Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Sapporo, Hakodate by the Tokaido Shinkansen, Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen and the limited express Super Hokuto or Hakodate Liner

There are many Shinkansen trains running between Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo. But I think most of you use JR Pass. Therefore I would like to show you the trains connection that is covered by JR pass fully. The train route is same between Tokyo and Hokkaido. I just add the train connection between Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo

The earliest connection from Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya to Sapporo

06:08 DepShin-Osaka
06:23 DepKyoto
07:18 DepNagoya
The Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 504
09:10 Arr / 09:36 DepTokyo
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 11
13:34 Arr / 14:11 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The limited express Super Hokuto 13
17:41 ArrSapporo

The earliest connection from Sapporo to Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka

06:00 DepSapporo
The limited express Super Hokuto 2
09:14 Arr / 09:35 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 16
14:04 Arr / 14:33 DepTokyo
The Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 517
16:17 ArrNagoya
17:13 ArrKyoto
17:26 ArrShin-Osaka

The earliest connection from Shin-Osaka/Kyoto to Hakodate

06:08 DepShin-Osaka
06:23 DepKyoto
07:18 DepNagoya
The Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 504
09:10 Arr / 09:36 DepTokyo
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 11
13:34 Arr / 13:47 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The rapid train Hakodate Liner
14:02 ArrHakodate

The earliest connection from Hakodate to Kyoto/Shin-Osaka

06:07 DepHakodate
The rapid train Hakodate Liner
06:29 Arr / 06:39 DepShin-Hakodate-Hokuto
The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 10
11:04 Arr / 11:33 DepTokyo
The Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 511
13:17 ArrNagoya
14:13 ArrKyoto
14:26 ArrShin-Osaka

You can make a trip between Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Hokkaido. But please keep it in your mind that you will spend one whole day in the trains if you go to Sapporo.

Timetable

You may find the timetables in the links below.

The Tohoku-Hokkaido Shinkansen (between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto)

JR East official site – the timetable

The limited express Super Hokuto (between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Sapporo)

JPRail.com PDF timetable (valid until mid March, 2020)

The Tokaido Shinkansen (between Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka)

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

I hope this post will help you to build your trip to Hokkaido.

156 thoughts on “How to access to Hakodate and Sapporo in Hokkaido by railway.”

  1. hye mr. takashi,

    i wanted to go sapporo on march 2017. at the same time, we are planning to go tokyo as well. how long the journey will take by train and how much it cost per person?are u suggest us to go tokyo or hokkaido more better?we will like tp spent there about 9-10 days.

      1. I’ll be going, Tokyo (narita) – sapporo – hakodate – Osaka – Tokyo (fly back to my Country). Thanks for ur tips. The train map and timings are useful.

  2. Hello, I will like to travel from New Chitose Airport or Sapporo by train to Hakodate (just one way as we then plan to drive back). Can you advise on which option is faster and easier? I am travelling with my 1 year old daughter, will she need a ticket?

  3. Dear Sir/Madam

    I will be arriving Osaka(Kansai) airport at Osaka time 4pm on 4 June16 . I am proceeding to Hokkaido after that.

    I will be at Hokkaido for about 6 days and after that proceed to Osaka to visit nearby places like Kyoto and my last day of trip will be 16 June 2016. I now wan to weigh the pros and cons of taking JRRail to Hokkaido or taking domestic flight. I understand with March 2016 , there is a JPL Rail pass to Hokkaido. If I am not wrong, it stops at Sapporo, Hakkodate and Chitose, correct me if I am wrong? If I opt to take JPRail, what is the fastest route I can take and how many hours of train ride will that be? Does the train have a cabin for sleeping or shower and will that come with extra cost? how do we reserve the seat?

    Is there a need for me to rent a car at Hokkaido since most of parts of Hokkaido is covered by JPRail? Can I have your advice

    1. Hi Eunice,

      Hokkaido is quite far from Osaka. I think you mean Hokkaido Shinkansen will open on March 26, 2016. But it’s still far.
      Tokyo 06:32 Dep
      (Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa 1)
      Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 10:58 Arr
      Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 11:09 Dep
      (Limited Express Super Hokuto 9)
      Sapporo 14:41 Arr

      This is the sample itinerary to get Hakodate (Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto) and Sapporo. This is shown in the post above. Reverse itinerary is also shown in the post above. If you start from Osaka, you need to add 3 more hours. So I usually recommend to stay at least one night at some points on the way to Hokkaido. Otherwise it’s quite far.

      Overnight train used to run but not any more. All overnight trains to Hokkaido were/will be discontinued by March.

      This is the reality if you use JR pass.

      Most of popular places in Hokkaido can be reached by trains. I think rent a car is more convenient but I’m not familiar with it so I cannot compare.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Where can I find the new timetable for Hokkaido Shinkansen?
    I am travelling from Narita Airport to Hakodate on 4 May 2016.

  5. Hi, If I want to go to Hakodate from Sapporo, which way is the easier and cheaper? And from Hakodate, is there any train to Otaru?

  6. Dear Takeshi

    Arrive to New Chitose Airport, Depart from Sapporo Airport to Nagoya. Can I just stay at Sapporo, day trip to Furano, Hakodate, Otaru, Noboribetsu? Should I just get a 3 days pass.?

  7. Hi! We wanted to go to Sapporo and will be coming from Nagoya on last week of January next year. Can you please advise what’s the easiest and fastest way to get there?

    1. Hi gorjus_danyce,

      Nagoya is located in the middle of Osaka and Tokyo. So just follow the sample itinerary between Osaka/Kyoto and Sapporo. You can take Shinkansen from Nagoya to Tokyo too.
      If you really want to travel faster to Sapporo, I think domestic flight is available from Chubu airport to Sapporo. But flight info is out of topic in this site.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. We are planning to arrive at Narita in February 2016 for the Sapporo snow festival and take the Shinkansen. We are worried that there will not be reserved seats to get to Sapporo for the 4 adults. Do you know how busy the train will be at that time since it is your busy season?

    1. Hi Matsunaga,

      Actually I have never taken JR trains during snow festival in Hokkaido. But limited express trains in Hokkaido are very demanded in even regular week days. Especially train to Sapporo on Friday and Saturday, and train from Sapporo on Sunday are busy. I think Shinkansen and Super Hakucho (Shin Aomori to Hakodate) are okay. But it may be hard to get the seat for Hokuto (Hakodate – Sapporo). There is nothing we can do before arrival. Try to book as soon as possible after you arrive in Narita.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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