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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Limited Express Lilic Limited Express Kamui Limited Express Soya Limited Express Okhotsk Local, Rapid on Hakodate line
Limited 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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“.
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.