Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass

Cape Soya is northernmost point in Japan. (C) By Rsa [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

I introduced Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass in the previous post. That covers eastern Hokkaido and available for anybody who arrive in New Chitose airport or Kushiro airport by Peach Air or Vanilla Air. In this post, I will show you very similar deal which is Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass. This is designed for the trip to northern part of Hokkaido. If you are under 25 years old, you can get this pass at U25 discount rate.

I would like to show you how you use this pass. Continue reading Peach / Vanilla Kita Hokkaido Free Pass

Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass

Farm near Furano, typical scenery in Hokkaido (C) Furano / JNTO

I explain many deals in this site but these are mostly available for overseas tourist only. In this post, I would like to show you the deal for both resident and overseas tourist in this post. This deal, Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass is designed for the trip to eastern part of Hokkaido. If you are under 25 years old, you can get this pass at U25 discount rate.

I would like to show you how you use this pass. Continue reading Peach / Vanilla Higashi Hokkaido Free Pass

Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

Patchwork Hill is one of popular spots in Biei. (C) JTA/ JNTO

If you think about making a day trip or a few days trip to Furano and Biei from Sapporo, this deals, “Furano Biei Rail Ticket” is the best deal. This ticket includes unlijmited ride in these areas and round trip from Sapporo.

In this post, I will tell you the detailed information about this deal. I also show you the comparison between this ticket and Hokkaido Rail Pass. Continue reading Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

Takikawa station guide. How to catch a local train to Furano.

Takikawa station building exterior (C) Mister0124 [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Takikawa is not well known as the tourist spot. And this station is not a mega terminal station. But this station is the junction of Sapporo, Asahiawa and Furano. If you travel to Furano from Sapporo, you may need to transfer train at this station, Takikawa. If you do so, you may want to know what this station looks.

In this post, I would like to explain about Takikawa station with some photos.

Takikawa station overview

Takikawa is located in the middle of Hokkaido between Sapporo and Asahikawa. Trains depart and arrive at Takikawa from the following destinations:

  • Hakodate line to/from Sapporo, Asahikawa
  • Nemuro line to/from Furano, Shintoku, Obihiro, Kushiro

*Nemuro line is closed between Higashi-Shikagoe and Shintoku since storm hit this area in 2016. There is no direct trains running from Takikawa to Shintoku, Obihiro and Kushiro at this point. If you go to Obihiro or Kushiro, you may go to Sapporo and catch Limited Express Ozora or Tokachi to Obihiro and Kushiro. It may be faster.
Substitute bus is available for this closed segment.

Station structure, tracks and platforms

 The platforms from the bridge walkway

Before I start to explain about this station, I would like you to refer the station map in JR Hokkaido official site. It is in Japanese but you may find what Takikawa station looks like.

JR Hokkaido official site, Takikawa station map

 The walkway on the bridge
 Digital signage shown in both Japanese and English

Takikawa station is one level structure. All platforms and the station building are located on the ground floor. There is a walkway bridge over the platforms. This walkway connects all platforms and station building. There are elevators at all platforms for your convenience.

 Stairs at the platform for track #4 and #5
 Elevators are equipped at all platforms.
Find your hotels in 500 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Asahikawa
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Platforms

Track #Line / TrainDesitnation
1Local train on Nemuro lineAshibetsu, Furano, Higashi-Shikagoe
4,5Limited Express Lilic
Limited Express Kamui
Limited Express Soya
Limited Express Okhotsk
Local, Rapid on Hakodate line
Sapporo, Iwamizawa
6,7Limited Express Lilic
Limited Express Kamui
Local, Rapid on Hakodate line
Limited Express Okhotsk
Limited Express Soya
Fukagawa, Asahikawa
Abashiri
Wakkanai

Track #1 is attached with the station bulding.

 The view from track #1

Track #2 and #3 are used for the freight trains and there is no platforms for these tracks.

Furano line train mostly depart from track #1. But some of them depart from track #4.

 Platform at Track #4 (left) and #5 (right)

Track #4 and #5 are used for westbound, Iwamizawa and Sapporo. These tracks share same platform. Track #6 and #7 for eastbound, Fukagawa, Asahikawa, Abashiri and Wakkanai and these tracks share same platform too. If you come from Sapporo and need to change train to Furano, you need to move from track #6 or #7 to track #1.

Ticket gate/Exit

 Ticket gate

Takikawa station has only one ticket gate. It is a small station and very simple layout.

The station building has the waiting space but this station does not have any stores and kiosks.

 Waiting space

There is no convenience stores and shops around the station. You do not have any chances to buy nearby this station. I recommend you to prepare something to eat before coming to this station if you need.

I have taken a local train from Furano to Takikawa. You can find my trip report in the link below. I hope it will give you some idea.

I am glad if this post assist you to build your plan.

Asahikawa station guide. Guide to change trains and buses to Asahiyama Zoo and Sounkyo.

Asahikawa station from north side

Asahikawa is the second biggest city in Hokkaido. Asahikawa is well known as Asahiayama zoo which is one of most popular zoos in Japan. And also Asahikawa is the gateway to Biei, Furano, Sounkyo and Daisetsu mountain.

Many trains runs between Sapporo and Asahikawa. And also train which goes to Wakkanai and Abashiri stop at Asahikawa. You may change trains at Asahikawa.

In this post, I would like to explain about Asahikawa station and surrounding the station with many photos. Continue reading Asahikawa station guide. Guide to change trains and buses to Asahiyama Zoo and Sounkyo.

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 5, Asahikawa to Takikawa via Biei

Furano line local train at Asahikawa station

This post is continued from Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 4, Sapporo Snow Festival and stay in Asahikawa.

On day 3, I started my trip from Asahikawa and my destination was Hakodate. On the way to Hakodate, I dropped by Bibaushi (Biei area), Noboribetsu and Lake Toya. In this post, I would like to show you the first part of day 3 trip which is walking in Biei. Continue reading Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 5, Asahikawa to Takikawa via Biei

Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 4, Sapporo Snow Festival and stay in Asahikawa

This post is continued from the post, Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 2, from Sendai to Oshamanbe

After arrival in Sapporo, I proceeded to Sapporo Snow Festival. I would like to show you this snow festival and move to Asahikawa. Continue reading Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 4, Sapporo Snow Festival and stay in Asahikawa

New Chitose Airport access guide. How to get Sapporo, Otaru and other cities in Hokkaido.

New Chitose airport station is located at the underground of the terminal building. (C) JP Rail

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 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.

Continue reading New Chitose Airport access guide. How to get Sapporo, Otaru and other cities in Hokkaido.

Access to Wakkanai from Sapporo. Limited Express Soya / Sarobetsu

When you go to Wakkanai at North end of Hokkaido, these trains take you there. Soya (宗谷) and Sarobetsu (サロベツ) take you to Wakkanai. Soya is operated between Sapporo and Wakkanai. But Sarobetsu runs between Asahikawa and Wakkanai.

Both trains are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Let’s see the details about these trains. Continue reading Access to Wakkanai from Sapporo. Limited Express Soya / Sarobetsu

Direct transfer to Abashiri for Drift ice in Shiretoko by Ryuhyo Limited Express Okhotsk no Kaze

KIHA183 North Rainbow Express is one of the trains to be used for Furano Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express is one of the trains to be used for Furano Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train has not run in the last few years. Please do not use this train in your trip plan.

This is a seasonal operation of Limited Express Okhotsk that connect Sapporo (札幌) and Abashiri (網走) in Hokkaido. This train is operated from late January to early March for Ryuhyo (流氷=Drift ice) viewing. The operation, like time required and route, is completely same as Limited Express Okhotsk. But this seasonal train is operated by specialized car. The accommodation is much better than regular train of Limited Express Okhotsk.

You can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Let’s see the details. Continue reading Direct transfer to Abashiri for Drift ice in Shiretoko by Ryuhyo Limited Express Okhotsk no Kaze

Furano Biei Norokko train, Easy rail trip around Furano area for everyone.

Furano Biei Norokko train goes on Furano line. (C) 800px-Norokkogou-furano-biei / Birdman
Furano Biei Norokko train takes you one of most popular spot, Furano and Biei. (C) 800px-Norokkogou-furano-biei / Birdman

Furano is one of most popular spot in Hokkaido. Especially July is the busiest season because the bloom of Lavender. You can enjoy Furano in not only summer season but also autumn. You may see the fall color leaves in September. The scenery in autumn is breathtaking too. Furano can be accessed directly from Sapporo by Limited Express Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express from July to mid October. There are three round trips in the peak season. But if you want to have a nice rail excursion and enjoy the scenery from the train, I recommend you to take this train “Furano Biei Norokko train”. Of course you can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. Let’s see the details about this train.

Continue reading Furano Biei Norokko train, Easy rail trip around Furano area for everyone.

Ekiben (Boxed meal at the station or in the train) in Hokkaido

Oshamanbe Kanimeshi is one of the most well known Ekiben in Japan.
Oshamanbe Kanimeshi is one of the most well known Ekiben in Japan.

Bento (弁当) is the classic boxed meal in Japan. Especially Bento that is sold at station is called “Ekiben”. “Eki” (駅) means station and “Ben” (弁) is an abbreviation of the Bento. Major department store hold an exhibition that show many Ekiben from all over Japan very often. Ekiben is one of the food culture in Japan. Nobody knows how many Ekiben we have in Japan now. According to Ekiben archives, it says more than 3000 Ekiben in Japan. Even though I pick up the popular Ekibens, it is too many to share the information with you in one post. First of all, I would like to show you the popular Ekiben in Hokkaido with you. Continue reading Ekiben (Boxed meal at the station or in the train) in Hokkaido

Express train to/from Abashiri and Sapporo. Limited Express Okhotsk / Taisetsu

Limited express train Okhotsk
Limited express train Okhotsk

Limited Express Okhotsk and Taisetsu take you to Abashiri from Sapporo and Asahikawa. Abashiri is well known as drift ice viewing in winter time. And also when you go to the world heritage site, Shiretoko, you may use this train to Abashiri and transfer to the local train to Shiretoko-Shari. If you need the information about the access to Shiretoko, please see one of my posts, “How to get Shiretoko“.

You can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. I would like to show you the information about these trains. Continue reading Express train to/from Abashiri and Sapporo. Limited Express Okhotsk / Taisetsu

Express train to/from Sapporo and Asahikawa. Limited Express Kamui / Lilac

Limited express train Kamui
Limited express train Kamui

These limited express trains, Kamui and Lilac connect Sapporo (札幌) and Asahikawa (旭川). Kamui and Lilac run on exactly same route. The only difference is accommodation. Lilac has Green seat and Kamui does not. But the reserved ordinary seat of Kamui is called “U seat”. It has better seat with some equipment. But it is a sort of Reserved Ordinary seat. So even Japan Rail Pass Ordinary can be used to take this seat.

In this post, I show you the details of these train. Continue reading Express train to/from Sapporo and Asahikawa. Limited Express Kamui / Lilac