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

H5 series will run on Hokkaido Shinkansen as Hayabusa and Hayate. This fleet is same series as Tohoku Shinkansen E5 series. (C) By Sukhoi37 (Own work),  JR Hokkaido H5 series shinkansen set H1 approaching Sendai Station on a test run,CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
H5 series will run on Hokkaido Shinkansen as Hayabusa and Hayate. This fleet is same series as Tohoku Shinkansen E5 series. (C) By Sukhoi37 (Own work), JR Hokkaido H5 series shinkansen set H1 approaching Sendai Station on a test run,CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Hokkaido Shinkansen will be opened on March 26, 2016 between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. This will be the newest Shinkansen (Bullet Train) line technically. However this line is connected with Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin-Aomori. Many of trains run through Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto from Tokyo. You will be able to get Hokkaido from Tokyo directly by this Shinkansen train.

However Hokkaido Shinkansen will be partial open. You can get southern Hokkaido only. You still need to transfer to get most of Hokkaido. such as Sapporo. And also Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station is not located in downtown of Hakodate. You need to transfer to get Hakodate.

I mentioned many negative things at the beginning. But it will be much more convenient and faster than current trains. There are a few things that you need to know before taking Hokkaido Shinkansen. I would like to show you the detail of Hokkaido Shinkansen and will also give you some tips to use this Shinkansen line in this post.

*Additional info
JR Group has announced that Hokkaido Shinkansen is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass, a.k.a. JR pass.

Route, schedule and trip time

The route is shown in the map below:

Map of Hokkaido Shinkansen (C) Hisagi - CC BY-SA 3.0  or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons
Map of Hokkaido Shinkansen (C) Hisagi – CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

There will be 13 round trips in the following segment.

Tokyo to/from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto
Run as Hayabusa
10 round trips
Sendai to/from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto
Run as Hayabusa
1 round trip
Morioka to/from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto
Run as Hayate
1 round trip
Shin-Aomori to/from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto
Run as Hayate
1 round trip

As you see above, most of trains run between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Technically this train runs on two different Shinkansen lines, Tohoku and Hokkaido. But it goes directly and you cannot find the difference between these two Shinkansen lines. Hokkaido Shinkansen is like extension of Tohoku Shinkansen. You may think one Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.

The fastest train connects Tokyo and Shin-Hakondate-Hokuto in 4 hours and 2 minutes. The average trip time is around 4 hours 15 minutes.


Unfortunately there is no timetable in English available yet. But I show you the link of timetable in Japanese.

You can find the timetable at JR Hokkaido official website.

Hokkaido Shinkansen and limited express train to/from Sapporo timetable

It’s Japanese but don’t worry and see Page 3 (but shown page 2 in the PDF) of this PDF.
You will find two tables there. The first one is bound for Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and second one is bound for Tokyo.
In the first table, from left to right, the station names are shown, Tokyo (東京発), Omiya(大宮発), Sendai(仙台発), Morioka(盛岡発), Shin-Aomori(新青森発), Okutsugaru-Imabetsu(奥津軽いまべつ発), Kikonai(木古内発) and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto(新函館北斗着).
In the second table, it’s just reverse order.


The stations are same as Tohoku Shinkanse between Tokyo and Morioka. Please refer to Tohoku Shikansen.

Shin-Aomori x
Okutsugaru-Imabetsu *
Kikonai *
Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

All trains that run between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Shin-Aomori, Morioka make stops at both Okutsugaru-Imabetsu and Kikonai. Trip between Sendai and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto skips both stations. Five of ten trips between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodatre-Hokuto make a stop at Okutsugaru-Imabetsu. And six of ten trips between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodatre-Hokuto make a stop at Kikonai.

Shin-Aomori station is one station away from Aomori station by local and express trains. Please see the link below to find the info about Shin-Aomori. Currently this page shows you how to change the train to Hakodate. But once Hokkaido Shinkansen opens, transfer is not required to Hokkaido at Shin-Aomori.

Shin-Aomori station guide. How to change the train, Shinkansen, Super Hakucho and other local trains.

Location of Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station

Hakodate Liner will be operated by commute train fleet 733 series.
Hakodate Liner will be operated by commute train fleet 733 series.

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is currently existed as Oshima-Ono station. This station is under construction now and will be opened as Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto on opening day. It is five stations away from Hakodate and it is not located in downtown Hakodate.

Access train “Hakodate Liner” will run between Shin-Hakondate-Hokuto and Hakodate. You have to change this train to Hakodate. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to get Hakodate from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. All Shinkansen trains will connect Hakodate Liner. You do not need to wait the trains to Hakodate for a long time.

Train formation and accommodation

All Hokkaido Shinkansen trains are same as Tohoku Shinkansen’s trains, “Hayabusa” and “Hayate”. Please refer the following page to get the details of Hayabusa and Hayate.

Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train), the fastest train to Tohoku area from Tokyo.

201 thoughts on “Direct access to Hokkaido from Tokyo, Hokkaido Shinkansen (bullet train)”

  1. Dear Takeshi,

    My family and I are planning to go to Hokkaido from Tokyo using our JR pass. My question is, what time does the earliest train leave for Hokkaido and which station should we go to? Thanks and God bless!!!

  2. Hello

    My friends and I are going on a trip next year on 14 March to 4 April and we wish to cover Osaka, Tokyo, and Hokkaido during our stay. What pass would be the best and where may I be able to see the timetable for the trains?

    Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Aston,

      JR Pass is only deal to cover the place where you want to visit. If you visit these places by trains only, you can get the worth of even 21 days pass.

      Timetable for next spring has not been released yet. But you can find the current timetable and use it to build your plan. Please see the link below:


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi I am coming to japan next week for 9 days and I need information on train trip
    – from narita to shinjuku
    – from shinjuku to hakadote at hokaido

    Thanks for your info


  4. hi Takeshi
    i would like travel with my wife and two kids,from narita to hokkaido and back again to tokyo.what you advice route with Jr should i take,and cost me how much.
    thanks before.

    1. Hi Jusuf,

      First of all, please see the link below. You will find the info about access to Hakodate or Sapporo in Hokkaido from Tokyo.

      All timetables in Hokkaido can be found in the link below:

      If you visit southern Hokkaido, such as Hakodate, Sapporo, Noboribetsu, Toya, Otaru only, JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass is the best choice.

      If you visit these above areas and/or other part of Hokkaido, such as Furano, Asahikawa, Kushiro, Abashiri, Tomamu, JR Pass is the best choice.

      Even 14 days JR pass is cheaper than round trip fare between Tokyo and Sapporo.


      Takeshi /

  5. Dear Takeshi,

    Would like to inquire again regarding my friends itinerary. Will stay at Japan for 7 days.
    Day 1 – arrival at Narita
    Day 1-3= Tokyo
    Day 4= Kyoto -Kinkakuji, fushimi inari, Gion , overnight stay at Kyoto
    Day 5= Arashiyama then back to Tokyo
    Day 7= Tokyo then to Narita airport
    Would you suggest a national JR pass or just the JR east west pass is enough. Then avail the Kyoto Raku bus?
    Thanks a lot!

  6. Hello JR Team,

    I would like to travel with my wife with JR PASS.
    1. from tokyo the final shinkansen time to hakodate can you advice what time is the latest train from tokyo? and the next day to go to sapporo from hakodate.
    2. then in return. from sapporo, we would like to go directly to kyoto. what is the best time for that travel.
    3. does all the trip covered by JR PASS?

  7. Dear Takeshi,
    I am planning to go to Hokkaido. I was wondering if I were to purchase the JR Pass will I be able to use the JR pass from Airport all the way to Hokkaido? Oh and will I be able to use the JR pass in Hokkaido itself too? Are there any JR lines in Hokkaido?

  8. Dear Takeshi

    Im planning to go hokkaido & tokyo with my family (2adult+2 kids (1yr &4yrs)

    From Sappora (New Chitose Airport) to Kiroro resort to stay for 2 nights & then from there going to tokyo(shinjuku)

    Can guide me which station and what pass should i buy,thanks

    1. Hi Rikka,

      Please see the link below about access to Kiroro resort.

      You may use JR-East South Hokkaido Rail Pass for Sapporo to Tokyo.

      Sapporo to Tokyo is a quite long trip. Kids may be tired.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi,

        My friend is planning for a 8D7N stay at Tokyo & Osaka.
        1. Plan to go also to Kyoto. Would it be okay to get the JR East West Pass only?
        2. If will include Mt Fuji- is it better to get the National JR pass?
        Thanks a lot!

        1. Hi Terry,

          If you have round trip between Tokyo and Osaka, JR pass is your choice.

          If you have one way, single ticket or Platt Kodama is your choice for Tokyo-Osaka.

          You may add local deals with Platt Kodama or single ticket. There are many deals available. But you should make the detailed itinerary first before choosing the deals.

          For trip to Fuji, JR Pass covers partially. Express bus is most common way.


          Takeshi /

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