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

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

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

Ordinary seat at car#2 “Dome Car”

Ordinary seat in compartment at car#3 lower deck

Ordinary seat in semi compartment at car#3 upper deck

Salon space at car#3

Entrance deck

Baggage space

Sanitary 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

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)

Ordinary seat at double deck car (Car#3)

Salon space

Baggage space

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

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

Baggage space

Vending machine

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. ployapi
    Ppp says:

    If i want to go to furano from sapporo on 9 aug 2017. Does it have a Direct Train To Furano From Sapporo? And how do i book the ticket or can buy on that day? Many thanks

  2. el says:

    Hi Takeshi!

    We’ll be going to Furano/Biel this coming July 10-12. Random question but do you think its better to drive from Sapporo to Furano or just take the train?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Jay says:

    Hi Takeshi, may I know is JR Hokkaido entitled to Lavender Express without extra charge? TIA.

  4. 3ggi3pot
    Eggie Gonzales says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    What track # at the Sapporo station do I need to go to ride the Furano Lavender Express? I tried to search on Hyperdia but could not find any of the Crystal Express fleets (i.e. Crystal Express, North Rainbow Express and Niseko Express). I could only see results for Ltd Exp Lilac 3 and no departure time of 752am.

    Finally, how much is the round trip fare (Sapporo to Furano, vise versa) for the Furano Lavender Express? I want to know because I’m trying to figure out if the 7-day JR Pass will pay off for my planned trip.

    Thanks in advance for your help Takeshi!

  5. Aaron says:

    Hi Takeshi san, I am planning to travel to Furano and Biei on 10th July 2017, no information so far on the train schedule and but based on last year’s schedule as follows:
    Sapporo>Furano via Furano Lavender Express No.1 07:55-09:55
    Furano>Lavender (Farm)Bataka via Furano-Biei Norokko Train No.2 11:52-12:14
    Lavender (Farm)Bataka>Biei via Furano-Biei Norokko Train No.4 14:22-15:05
    Biei round trip via Twinkle Bus Biei Takushin-kan Course No.3 15:30-17:10
    Are these schedule still valid for this year or when is the July train schedule be out and do I need to make reservations. Thanks

  6. Ellen says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will travel to Furano and Biei at the end of June.
    Do you know when the JR Hokkaido Twinkle Bus starts this year? How frequent the Twinkle bus is everyday?

    Thanks a lot!
    Regards, Desrene

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