Direct transfer to Furano from Sapporo. Limited Express Furano Lavender Express / Furano Koyo Express

KIHA183 Crystal Express has higher passenger's deck and double passenger's deck. (C) Sonic Rail GardenFurano, Tomamu, Shintoku
KIHA183 Crystal Express has higher passenger's deck and double passenger's deck. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
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KIHA183 Crystal Express is one of the trains to use for Tomamu-Sahoro Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

KIHA183 Crystal Express is one of the trains to use for Tomamu-Sahoro Express trains. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Furano Lavender Express (フラノラベンダーエクスプレス) and Furano Koyo Express (フラノ紅葉エクスプレス) are limited express trains to Furano (富良野) directly from Sapporo (札幌). These trains can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. Furano is one of very popular spot in Hokkaido for the tourists. These trains are the seasonal operation trains because the lavender season in summer time and the fall color leaves in September are busy periods. So when you build your itinerary, please check the latest operation date before you put this train in your plan.

Seasonal trains information.

I will show you some images of this train and tell you the details.

You can access to Furano from Asahikawa too. There is another cruising train from Asahikawa to Furano. Please find the information at Furano Biei Norokko train.

Route and schedule

This train connects Sapporo with Furano in 2 hours. Furano Lavender Express is operated from June to August. There are three round trips in peak periods from mid July to the end of July. But only one round trip is operated in early and late season. One round trip is continued to operate from September to mid October as Furano Koyo Express. Please check the most updated the date of operation at Seasonal trains information.

Stations
Sapporo (札幌)X
Iwamizawa (岩見沢)X
Takikawa (滝川)X
Ashibetsu (芦別)X
Furano (富良野)X

Operation dates

These express trains are operated from July to mid October. Please check the most updated information at Seasonal trains information.

If you go to Furano other than these months, you need to take Limited Express Super Kamui between Sapporo and Takikawa. And then you need to take local train between Takikawa and Furano. You have only 10 round trips a day between Takikawa and Furano. Please check the timetable before you go.

If you stay in Sapporo and you need to take local train from Takikawa to Furano, your sample itinerary is the following;
08:25 Depart from Sapporo by Limited Express Super Kamui 5
09:14 Arrive at Abashiri
09:37 Depart from Takikawa by the local train
10:48 Arrive at Furano


View Furano Lavender Express in a larger map

Accommodation and train formations

Furano Lavender Express and Furano Koyo Express are operated by three types of trains. These three trains are specialized for the trains to resort area. They have higher passenger’s deck and huge glass windows. Let’s see the detail and images of all three trains.

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

KIHA183 Crystal Express

KIHA183 Crystal Express has higher passenger's deck and double passenger's deck. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

KIHA183 Crystal Express has higher passenger's deck and double passenger's deck. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train is 4 cars formation. Car#1 and #4 have the passenger’s deck on 300 mm higher than regular floor. Car#2 is called Dome car. This car has 900 mm higher passenger’s deck. It is almost upper deck on double deck. Car#3 is double deck car. It has several compartment at lower deck, some semi compartment seats at upper deck and salon space. Usually upper deck on Car#3 is assigned as non reserved seat. If you use Japan Rail Pass, you can use compartment with 4000 yen per room extra. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm. This car had the observation deck at both end. But it is not allowed to access these deck now. JR Hokkaido had an accident at railroad crossing in 2010. The train had a heavy damage at the end. Since then, the observation deck is not accessible for safety reason.

Images

Ordinary seat at car#1 and 4
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4 KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#1 and #4

Ordinary seat at car#2 “Dome Car”
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat at car#2 Dome car

Ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck

Ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck
KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck KIHA183 Crystal Express ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck

Salon space at car#3
KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3 KIHA183 Crystal Express salon space at car#3

Entrance deck
KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck KIHA183 Crystal Express entrance deck

Baggage space
KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space

Sanitary space
KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space KIHA183 Crystal Express baggage space

Train formation

1234
H(R)D(R)B(NR)/SLH(D)
C(R*)/SL

H=Higher passenger’s deck car D=Dome car B=Box seat car C=Compartment SL=Salon space
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat (R*)=Reserved ordinary seat in compartment (Additional room charge 4000yen per room on regular fare or Japan Rail Pass)

KIHA183 North Rainbow Express

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 is 5 cars formation. Car#1, #2 #4 and #5 have higher passenger’s deck than regular floor. Car#3 is double deck car. It has ordinary seats at upper deck and salon space at lower deck. Usually upper deck on Car#3 is assigned as non reserved seat. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm.

Images

Ordinary seat at higher deck car (Car#1,2,4 and 5)
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat

Ordinary seat at double deck car (Car#3)
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car KIHA183 North Rainbow Express ordinary seat on double deck car

Salon space
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express salon space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express salon space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express salon space

Baggage space
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express baggage space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express baggage space

Sanitary space
KIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary space KIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary spaceKIHA183 North Rainbow Express sanitary space

Train formation

12345
H(R)H(R)D(NR)H(D)H(D)
SL

H=Ordinary seat on higher passenger’s deck car D=Ordinary seat on double deck car SL-Salon
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat

KIHA183 Niseko Express

KIHA183 Niseko Express is the oldest train in three trains to use for Furano Lavender Express (C) Sonic Rail Garden

KIHA183 Niseko Express is the oldest train in three trains to use for Furano Lavender Express (C) Sonic Rail Garden

This train is 3 cars formation. All three cars have 200 mm higher passenger’s deck than regular floor. This train is very basic. It does not have any double deck or salon space. All seats are ordinary class seat. It does not have any green car. The seat configuration is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 960mm.

Images

Ordinary seat
KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat KIHA183 Niseko Express ordinary seat

Baggage space
KIHA183 Niseko Express baggage space KIHA183 Niseko Express baggage space KIHA183 Niseko Express baggage space

Vending machine
KIHA183 Niseko Express vending machine KIHA183 Niseko Express vending machine

Sanitary space
KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space KIHA183 Niseko Express sanitary space

Train formation

123
H(NR/R)H(NR/R)H(NR/R)

H=Ordinary seat on higher passenger’s deck car
(R)=Reserved ordinary seat (NR)=Non reserved ordinary seat

Comments

  1. Vannie says:

    Hi,

    I will be travelling to Hokkaido in July, visiting Hakodate, Toya, Otaru and Sapporo. I will like to go to Furano as well. Do you think I should get a JR pass? Also, can we use the Sapporo Lavender Express using the JR pass?

    Thanks.

  2. Chin Swee Len says:

    Dear Sir

    We would like to take the direct train service to Furano from Sapporo on July 2 return on July 3. Has the timetable been updated? Would you be aware whether these train services are accessible for wheelchair disabled?
    Thank you

  3. Raymond Loke says:

    Hi Takeshi San,

    I will be visiting Hokkaido in august 2016. I plan to stay in Furano for 3 to 4 days.

    Is there any direct train from Furano to Asahikawa? Plan to visit Asahiyama Zoo from furano.

    Thanks in advance

  4. Anna says:

    Hi Takeshi San,

    I am planning to visit Sapporo/ Furano on August. Would it be too tiring to go from Sapporo to Furano on two days (going back on forth on 2 days) following the routes that are found here? if you have any advice on the routes to take to make this an easier trip it will be so appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Lenny elvilia says:

    Hi, Takeshi-san

    i am planning to visit Sapporo from Tokyo.
    so, here are my current plan,
    11 july Tokyo – Sapporo (by plane)
    12 july Sapporo
    13 july Sapporo – Otaru day trip
    14 july Sapporo – Furano (by train)
    15 july Furano trip
    16 july Furano – Sapporo (by train) then Sapporo – Tokyo (by plane)

    i would like to ask for your advises:
    1. from sapporo – furano i must take Furano lavender express,
    must i buy an advance ticket for this train?
    2. should i buy any passes for this trip?
    3. from sapporo to otaru, which transportation should i use?

    Thank you so much

    Regards,
    Lenny

  6. Kelly says:

    Hi,
    I’m travelling to Hokkaido on the 21 May. Would like to visit Sapporo/Hakodate/Otaru/Furano spending 6 days there.Should I buy the Hokkaido Pass?

    • Hi Kelly,

      You may use FLEX 4 days pass or 5 days pass. 7 days is too expensive.
      If you make a day trip to Otaru from Sapporo, you don’t need to use the pass. Single fare is okay.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Chin Swee Len says:

    Dear Sir

    We are in Tokyo June 21 to June 29, July 4 to 6 and in Sapporo June 29 to July 4.
    In Sapporo we want to travel to Furano on 2 July then return to Sapporo July 3. We notice we need to make a change for Furano but your website does mention a direct train service to there.
    Should we get the JR Hokkaido pass for our time in Sapporo?
    We appreciate your information and advice.

    • Hi Chin Swee Len,

      Hokkaido Rail Pass is too expensive to use for Sapporo-Furano return. Single fare is much cheaper and it’s about 10000 yen.
      At this point, I have no idea that this train will run on your travel date. The operation dates will be released in late May.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Jenn says:

    First off, thank you for these articles helped a lot for travel plans! Awesome tips and travel guide! Thank you!!!

    I am traveling from Kyoto to Tokyo (stay overnight in Tokyo) then go to Hokkaido (hope to get into the new Hokkaido Shinkansen). I’d like to see Sapporo and Furano. I am getting JR Pass. If I get JR Pass are the train rides valid to use Hokkaido Shinansen and trains going to Sapporo and Furano? Would greatly appreciate your suggestions of what to take going to those places using my JR Pass!

  9. Jane says:

    How much is ticket of furano lavender express? Plan to visit furano in one weekend this June. 3 adults + a 12 years old. Don’t plan to buy a JR pass or Hokkaido rail pass since this is a short trip in Hokkaido. Thanks

  10. SLim says:

    Hi
    I am flying into Tokyo on 29 Apr 2016 and planning to take the new Shin AmoriHakodate-Kokuto shinkansen to Hakodate. Will then travel to Noboribetsu/Lake Toya / Otaru / Sapporo/ Furano spending 8 days. Should I buy the JR Pass or the Hokkaido Pass? or just do single fare all the way?

    • Hi SLim,

      7 days JR pass will work. I think you will stay in Tokyo at the beginning and Sapporo at the end. So you can choose either arrival or departure day out of 7 days pass. If you stay in Sapporo at the last and take a flight from New Chitose, you may add single fare for the last day and use 7 days pass for the first 7 days.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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