Connect Mainland (Aomori) with Hokkaido (Hakodate). Limited Express Hakucho / Super Hakucho

Aomori, Shin-Aomori, Hirosaki
Limited Express Hakucho connect Honshu island with Hokkaido island.
Limited Express Hakucho connect Honshu island with Hokkaido island.

Limited Express Hakucho connect Honshu island with Hokkaido island.

Super Hakucho and Hakucho is no longer running after Hokkaido Shinkansen opened in March, 2016. Now Hokkaido Shinkansen connects Tokyo and Hokkaido directly. Please see the following link to see the details of this Shinkansen line.

Direct access to Hokkaido from Tokyo, Hokkaido Shinkansen (bullet train)

Hakucho/Super Hakucho is operated between Shin-Aomori (新青森) and Hakodate (函館). These trains go through the longest tunnel in Japan, “Seikan Tunnel” and connect the main island in Japan, “Honshu” (本州) and Hokkaido (北海道). All these trains are scheduled to be connected with Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin-
Aomori station and Limited Express “Hokuto” and “Super Hokuto” to Sapporo at Hakodate. These trains used to connect Hachinohe with Hakodate via Aomori. But Tohoku Shinkansen was extended to Shin-Aomori on December 4, 2010. Departure location had been changed to Shin-Aomori instead of Hachinohe.

Both Hakucho and Super Hakucho are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. But the accommodation between Hakucho and Super Hakucho is very different. So I would like to show you the difference and other details.

Route, schedule and trip time

Hakucho services operates 2 round trips and Super Hakucho services operates 8 round trips between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate. It takes around 2 hours and 10-20 minutes to get Hakodate from Shin-Aomori. “Super Hakucho” is operated by newer train 789 series. It has nicer accommodation and a bit faster.

View Hakucho / Super Hakucho in a larger map


Kanita (蟹田)*
Tsugaru-Imabetsu (津軽今別)*
Shiriuchi (知内)*
Kikonai (木古内)x
Goryokaku (五稜郭)*
Hakodate (函館)x

x:All train stop *:some train stop


Hakucho is operated by refurbished 485 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Hakucho is operated by JR East refurbished 485 series. Super Hakucho is operated by JR Hokkaido 789 series. Super Hakucho is newer and faster than Hakucho. Especially if you take Green seat, Hakucho gives you 2+2 seat configuration. But Super Hakucho gives you 2+1 seat configuration and the power outlet for the laptop or charging small batteries. It is quite different. Don’t take Hakucho. Try to take Super Hakucho.

If you take Ordinary seat, it is not much different between Hakucho and Super Hakucho. But Reserved ordinary seat on car#1 of Super Hakucho has the power outlet. If you like to use it, try to book it.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Train formation

Super Hakucho 6 cars formation


*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat

Hakucho 6 cars formation


Images – 789 series (Super Hakucho)

Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space

Images – Refurbished 485 series (Hakucho)

Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space


  1. Adrian says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I intend to spend 6 days in Hokkaido – Sapporo . Can I move around easily using local train and buses?

    Many thanks.

  2. We plan to travel to Hokkaido via Tokyo by JR Pass on 22/Mar/2016, can we go straight to Hakodate on that day(22/Mar/2016)?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi YZ Group malaysia,

      No, you can’t. Actually there is no trains between Aomori and Hakodate from March 22 to March 25. Please refer the official release from JR Hokkaido at the link below:

      So you cannot take any trains to Hakodate in this period. You have to take ferry service or flight to get Hakodate. JR Pass does not cover either way.


      Takeshi /

  3. I need to travel by train from Aomori to Hakodate on June 28. As the Hakucho is said to be disconnected by then, which will be the fastest and most convenient route? Can I use JR Rail Pass for the new Hokkaido shinkansen?

  4. Nicola says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    I have a JR Pass and have accommodation booked in Sapporo on February 6th for the snow festival. We are hoping to take the shinkansen to Aomori on the evening of the 5th, and then Ltd. Express to Hokadate, and then again onto Sapporo. We can only reserve seats to Aomori, and are worried that we will get there and the trains will be full due to the festival, and we will be stuck. How can we reserve the ltd. express trains from Aomori to Sapporo using our JR Passes? We have contacts in Japan to help us if we need them.

    Thanks for your help

  5. jack says:

    hi there,
    i am trying to search for the schedule from Shin-Aomori to Hakodate but i can’t find it anywhere and only stated there will only be 8 round trips .Would u mind share with me the schedule? by the way, is travelling on 8 of jan a peak season?

  6. jkillmer1
    Jeff Killmer says:

    Hi Takeshi.
    I love your website and the information you provide. I have a question about riding the Super Hakucho. We are planning a trip to Hakodate next month and I’m not sure how to book tickets on the Super Hakucho. When I visit the JR Hokkaido site, I can only pick up the tickets at a Hokkaido JR station. We live in Tokyo so I’m not sure how to make a reservation on that train. We live in Japan and cannot use the Japan Rail Pass.
    Thanks for your help.

  7. Eureka says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to go to Japan in early October and I’m planning to take Hamanasu night train from Tokyo to Sapporo on 3rd October 2015 return Sapporo to Tokyo on 7th or 8th October 2015.
    Do you think I still can take the Hamanasu night train on those days?
    Please advice and thank you

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Eureka,

      I think it will still run in early October. JR will revise timetable in mid October usually. But official announcement has not been released yet. I think it’s coming in late August.


      Takeshi /

  8. Irene says:

    Hi there.

    I am traveling to Hokkaido in the mid of December 2015. Saw from your page that Midnight train will be discontinued by the time I travel there. Glad that there is still daytrain to catch up in order to reach hokkaido. I am still concern on this matter by the way. So i can bounce either Hakucho or Super Hakucho right from Shin Aomori to Hakodate during day time? And from Hakodate, take either Hokuto or Super Hokuto to Sapporo.

    Thanks a lot for your help.


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Irene,

      Yes, you can. Datytime train will run until Hokkaido Shinkansen open. Of course Hokuto/Super Hokuto will run too.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Leo says:


    I’m planning to travel from Shin-Aomori to Hakodate on 27 Apr. Since online train ticket purchase is not possible, is there any way to check whether train ticket is still available or sold out? I have to cancel Hakodate hotel accommodation if no more train ticket.

    Thanks & regards,

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Leo,

      Unfortunately there is no site to check the availability in English. There is a site but it’s Japanese only.
      However you can get Hakodate anyway because this train has non reserved seat car. Even if you cannot book this train, you can take non reserved car without reservation.In peak season, there is no empty seats in non reserved car sometimes. In case that all seats are full in non reserved car, you still can ride a train as standing passengers. But Apr 27 is not a peak day. I think you can book it after you arrive in Japan.


      TAkeshi / JP Rail

      • Leo says:

        Hi Takeshi san,

        Do I purchase the Aomori to Hakodate train tickets from JR green window or JREAST ticket office in Haneda airport?
        I have changed to Apr 26 Sun, hopefully still can get ticket.

        Thanks again.


  10. missbuds – pencinta gunung, yang lebih sering ke pantai. like to travel, to keep my sanity :P
    buds says:

    hi there, i need your suggestion with my itinerary below:

    i have bought JR Pass, the ordinary one for 7 days. i want to go to Sapporo, Aomori/Hachinohe, Osaka, and Kyoto. my starting line will be from Tokyo, considering it will takes time if i use JR Pass to Sapporo, so i decided to go to Sapporo using local airlines.

    would you mind, please correct me if i’m wrong:
    1. all my train travel, to visit all the destination above can be covered by JR Pass
    2. from Sapporo, before i go to Aomori/Hachinohe i need to go back to New Chitose Ariport to exchange my receipt with the JR Pass. because i only can exchange my JR Pass there.

    btw, which one do you think the best for me to stay, Aomori or Hachinohe? before i continue my journey to Osaka and Kyoto?

    thank you very much for your kindness.

    best regards,

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