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.

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

  1. Hi Takeshi!

    If my friend and I have JR Passes and plan to travel from Hakodate to Tokyo, which trains can we use (only day time trains) and do we have to reserve seats?

    Neither of us know how to speak Japanese very well, so we were worried about how we can reserve tickets.

    Thank you!

    -Claire

    1. Hi Claire,

      You can take the rapid train, Hakodate Liner from Hakodate to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. And take the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Tokyo. These trains are covered by JR pass.

      Hakodate liner is a sort of the commute trains. Reservation is not required. Reservation is required to take the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Tokyo.

      Don’t worry about the booking. There are more than 20 million foreign tourists visit Japan and most of them do not speak Japanese at all. Most of them could do it by themselves and no problem.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you so much Takeshi!

        To follow up my question, how long does it take to book the reservation to take the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Tokyo? Is this accomplished through an electronic vending machine or through a ticket agent?

        Thanks again,
        Claire

        1. Hi Claire,

          You can do it online if you want. The reservation is open one month before the travel day. Please see the link below to find the online reservation:
          https://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/English/wb/common/Menu/Menu.aspx?_ga=1.4778995.1325107855.1421419524

          If you want to book a seat at the station, you can do it either at the vending machine or the reservation window. Both can be found at any major JR station. You can do it in advance before you go to Hakodate if you like.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Bonjour,
      Avec le JRPass, vous pouvez. prendre le Shinkansen Hayabusa au départ de Tokyo. Réservations obligatoires !
      Bon voyage !!!

  2. Hi Takeshi!

    I will travel from Tokyo to Sapporo on Sunday 13th October 2019 by using JR Pass (shinkansen). Could you help me if there is any shinkansen train at night from Tokyo to Sapporo? Vice versa from Sapporo to Tokyo on Wednesday 15th October 2019.

    Thank you with warm regards,
    Rudi

    1. Hi Rudi,

      Do you mean the overnight train? If so, there is no overnight trains. All trains are day time train. Please see the links below to find the timetable:
      http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_tohoku_d/index.html
      http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_tohoku_u/index.html
      https://jprail.com/destinations/hokkaido-area/hokuto-super-hokuto.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

Before you leave your comment, please see the conditions below.
  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded but nothing happens. Your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • I cannot recommend any hotels other than which I have stayed. Basically I cannot talk about hotels in this site. The number of hotels are too many to talk about by my experience.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals.
  • Please do not ask me to reply to your inquiry by email. In this website, I would like to share all information with any readers. I do not communicate with you directly.

Leave a Reply to Takeshi / JPRail.com Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*