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.

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

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

  1. Hi,
    can you share timetable for Limited Express Super Hokuto (from/to Hakodate to/from Sapporo)? or if it is not possible, can you inform us what is the earliest schdule from Hakodate to/from Sapporo and vice versa?

  2. Dear Takeshi

    Me and my wife are planning to going to Japan on april 27. we already have some itinerary but i really thankfull if you want to help us on our plan 🙂
    We will arrive at osaka at 16:40 and out from osaka too..
    My wife want to see the cherry blossom on hokkaido, and after i check, the full bloom is on early may so we make this itinerary..

    27 april – osaka ( 16: 40 )
    28 april – kyoto
    29 april – osaka / kyoto to tokyo
    30 april – tokyo
    01 may – tokyo to hakodate
    02 may – hakodate / sapporo
    03 may – hakodate to tokyo
    04 may – tokyo
    05 may – tokyo to fuji ( kawaguchiko / gotemba )
    06 may – fuji ( kawaguchiko / gotemba )
    07 may – fuji to osaka
    08 may – osaka – home

    Our question is
    1. do we need the JR pass 1 week or 2 week?
    2. What transportation we have to take if we go to hokkaido from osaka by plane or by shinkanshen? if you recommend by plane, can you tell us the cheapper rate for plane, because we consider the rate too
    3. Do you have bus / train schedule from kawaguchiko to gotemba? because we are planning on round trip for couple of time.
    4. should we stay at kawaguchiko or gotemba?
    5. while we at hokkaido, is it possible to see a good cherry blossom view only at 2 may? or we should stay longer at hokkaido?

    1. Hi Andes,

      1. 14-day pass is required because you will spend 9 days from Kyoto to Osaka. (April 29 to May 7). This portion must be covered by JR pass.

      2. If you take the Shinkansen, you can find the route in the post above. If you take the flight, you can take it from either Osaka or Tokyo. I cannot say how much because the rate is varied by the availability. It’s always changing.

      3. Please see the link below:
      http://bus-en.fujikyu.co.jp/pdf/rosen/gotemba/pamphlet_201811.pdf

      4. It depends on your trip plan. If you also visit the places in Hakone, Gotemba is better.

      5. Please see the forecast in the link below:
      https://www.japan-guide.com/sakura/
      You will be see it in Hakodate so far.

      At the end, you will travel during super supre busy season. This is the first ever 10 consecutive days Golden Week.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/2019-busiest-period-to-travel-by-train-tips-to-book-your-seat-in-even-during-the-busy-period.html

      I don’t think you can find the good flight rate. If you use the Shinkansen, you cannot book for Kyoto to Tokyo, and Mishima (near Fuji) to Osaka in advance. But you can book it for Tokyo to Hakodate, Hakodate to Sapporo return and Hakodate to Tokyo online. You can start to book one month prior to travel date. I highly recommend to book a seat online right after one month prior to travel day in the link below:
      https://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/English/wb/common/Menu/Menu.aspx?_ga=1.4778995.1325107855.1421419524

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi, thx alot for the answer.
        I already give the information to my wife, bu we think that 14 day pass is alot for us 🙂 We think we want to stay longger at Osaka so we have not buy the 14 day pass.

        do you have any suggestion for my trip if i only buy JR pass only for 7 days?

        what city we should have to go first? and the last city will be osaka and kyoto..

        1. Hi andes,

          I think it’s hard to shrink to 7 days to visit Tokyo, Fuji and Hokkaido. It’s not impossible but it will be very tight to visit these places from Osaka/Kyoto in 7 days. If you really want to complete in 7 days, you should do the following plan:

          day 1 Osaka
          day 2 Osaka – Hakodate
          day 3 Hakodate – Sapporo – Hakodate
          day 4 Hakodate – Tokyo
          day 5 Tokyo
          day 6 Tokyo – Fuji
          day 7 Fuji – Kyoto

          You can cut one day in Tokyo and add one day in Fuji. It’s totally up to you. But it’s tight anyway. Especially on day 2, you will spend many hours in the train as you saw the trip schedule from Osaka to Hakodate in the post above.

          After day 8, you can spend your time in Kyoto and then Osaka. Of course you can stay in Osaka and make day trip to Kyoto. It’s up to you. There are some deals for Osaka and Kyoto. But you have to make sure where you stay and how you visit these places first.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hello Takeshi san !

    I am planning to go to Hakodate from ShinOsaka.

    If I get it right I must change train at Kyoto.
    Do I have to change again at Shin Hakodate Hokuto (wath is the Hakodate liner ? )

    Ans last, where do I get off the train ? I assume it is at Hakodate..
    My hotel is near Hakodate city hall.

    Thank you in advance.

    Anne Smith

    1. Hi Anne san,

      You have to change trains at Tokyo (not Kyoto) and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. You can get off at Hakodate. Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is not Hakodate.
      Hakodate city hall is about 10 minutes away from Hakodate station by walk.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Dear Takeshi, what should i use for the transportation on Jan 1, 2019 from Hakodate to Sapporo and how much is the price for adult and kid? and what should i use for the transportation on Dec 30, 2018 from Sapporo to Hakodate?

    1. Hi Irene,

      You can take Limited Express Super Hokuto.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/hokkaido-area/hokuto-super-hokuto.html

      Actually Hokkaido Rail Pass 3 days is cheaper than a regular fare. You can find the price of the pass and a regular fare in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/hokkaido-rail-pass-the-best-deal-for-rail-trip-in-hokkaido-for-oversea-visitors.html

      I strongly recommend you to book a seat for especially to Hakodate on 30th Dec. Train will be super super busy on this day. You can book it online at the link below:
      https://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/English/wb/common/Menu/Menu.aspx?_ga=1.4778995.1325107855.1421419524

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. hi, i have plan going to sapporo from nagoya. is there any overnight train?
    do you have any idea best time going from nagoya to sapporo?
    thanks

      1. i think need stay in Tokyo one night then go to sapporo. because 10 hours too tired
        and i have another question, can i reserved the ticket from tokyo or sapporo?
        thankyou so much ^^

  6. I am planning to travel from Tokyo to Tomakomai in October 2017 and would like to know the best route to get there using the JR Pass. Thank you.

  7. may i know how much is the ticket for this per person? Adult how much and kids in 7 years old how much? and how far is this train station from the sapporo city?

    The earliest connection from Sapporo to Kyoto/Shin-Osaka

    Sapporo 06:00 Dep
    (Limited Express Super Hokuto 2)
    Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 09:11 Arr
    Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 09:31 Dep
    (Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa 16)
    Tokyo 14:04 Arr
    Tokyo 14:33 Dep
    (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 517)
    Kyoto 17:13 Arr
    Shin-Osaka 17:26 Arr

  8. Hello!
    You mentioned that we can travel overnight from Osaka to Sapporo, where I can I get a comprehensive info around the fee and timetable of the trains?
    I’m visiting Japan for just 3 days and wanted to gauge if I can visit Sapporo on a budget with the limited time I have.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Vina,

      Please see the chapter, “The earliest connection from Shin-Osaka/Kyoto to Sapporo” in the post above. Shin-Sapporo is a few stations away from Sapporo. You can take same route and all trips are covered by JR Pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. I tried to search for your suggested “the earliest connection from Shin-Osaka/Kyoto to Sapporo” in http://www.hyperdia.com. However, I cannot find such route. May I ask if there’re any conditions or limitations to the services in the route, such as weekend/weekday or month?

        I’ll be traveling from Kyoto to Sapporo with JR Pass on June 28 2017. Thank you.

          1. Dear Takeshi,

            I suppose that it is very late in Japan right now. So, thank you for your prompt reply.

            May I ask one more question? My first preference is actually a sleeper train to Hokkaido. I found Cassiopeia. Unfortunately, it is discontinued. Are there any other sleeper trains to Hokkaido (with or without JR pass)?

            Thank you very much.

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