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

Station information
Overview of platforms. All platforms are covered by huge roofs.
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.


Limited Express Kamui at the track #5. It connects Sapporo and Asahikawa.

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

  • Hakodate line to/from Sapporo, Takikawa
  • Sekihoku line to/from Kitami, Abashiri
  • Soya line to/from Wakkanai, Nayoro
  • Furano line to/from Furano, Biei

And also you can access to Asahiyama Zoo, Sounkyo gorge and Daisetsu mountains by bus from Asahikawa station. I will tell you about the bus stops later.

The following movie shows you whole part of Asahikawa station. It covers almost same content as this post. It may be easier to understand how you change trains and buses in Asahikawa station:

Station structure, tracks and platforms

Overview of platforms. All platforms are covered by the huge roofs.

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 Asahikawa station looks like.

JR Hokkaido official site, Asahikawa station map

Asahikawa is a viaduct station and that is three levels structure. All platforms are located on third floor. There is a walkways on second floor which is inside gate. This walkway connects all platforms. You can access to the ticket gates on the ground floor at both side of the station, east side and west side from this walkway. All platforms, walkway and ticker gates are connected by stairs, escalators and elevators.

Escalators from platform


1,2Local on Furano lineBiei, Furano
3,4The Limited Express Lilic
The Limited Express Kamui
Local, Rapid on Hakodate line
Sapporo, Iwamizawa, Takikawa,
3,4The Limited Express Taisetsu
The Limited Express Okhotsk
Local and Rapid on Sekihoku line
Kitami, Abashiri
3,4The Limited Express Sorbetsu
The Limited Express Soya
Local and Rapid on Soya line
Nayoro, Wakkanai
5,6The Limited Express Okhotsk
Local and Rapid on Sekihoku line
Kitami, Abashiri
5,6The Limited Express Soya
Local and Rapid on Soya line
Nayoro, Wakkanai
7Some local trains and freight trainsAll destination

Track #7 is not used usually.

Limited Express Lilac and Limited Express Taisetsu at same platform to transfer these trains easier (C) RJD-JR-Asahikawa.Taisetsu-Lilac.JPG (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

The Limited Express Lilic and Kamui arrive and depart at the track #3 or #4. Asahikawa departure Limited Express trains, Taisetsu bound for Abashiri and Sarobetsu bound for Wakknai also arrive and depart at the track #3 or #4. You can transfer these trains at same platform.

Furano line local train at the track #1

Ticket gate/Exit

Lots of signage and you cannot miss your way.

Asahikawa station has two ticket gates at east and west. If you stay in or drop by Asahikawa, you can exit the station from these ticket gates. And there are two exit at west and east side.

Walkway on second floor connects all platforms and ticket gates.

Asahikawa station is not a mega terminal station. You can get east side of the station from west ticket gate and other ways too. If you exit at wrong gate, it is not a big deal. Both ticket gate connects to south and north side of the station. But south side of the station faces Chubetsu river. There is only taxi stops at south side of the station. Many of you access to north side of the station. Downtown of Asahikawa is located at north side. Most of hotels and bus stops are located at north side too

East ticket gate from walkway on 2nd floor
West ticket gate from walkway on 2nd floor
East ticket gate from walkway from outside ticket gate
West ticket gate from walkway from outside ticket gate

Bus stops at Asahikawa station

Bus stops at the east side of north exit

Many bus services are available at Asahikawa station. Asahikawa has Asahiyama Zoo which is very popular. And also Asahikawa is the gateway to Sounkyo gorge and Daisetsu mountains. You can find the bus stops for these destinations in front of Asahikawa station building.

You can go through east ticket gate and proceed to north side. You will find the bus stops. The bus bound for Asahiyama Zoo departs from bay #6.

You can find the information, such as timetable of the bus to Asahiyama Zoo in the station.

I found this information a the walkway inside the ticket gates on 2nd floor when I was there. There were some more information in the station.

The bus bound for Sounkyo and Daisetsu mountains depart from bay #7. Please see the link below to find the timetable of this bus.

Dohoku Bus, Sounkyo – Kamikawa line

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


  1. Chloe says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I am aware that there are buses from Asahikawa Station to Asahikawa Zoo.

    Are there any buses from the Zoo back to the station? Is it the same bus?

    Thank you!

  2. Jan Mok says:

    Hi Takeshi san,
    Konnichi wa. I will be flying to Asahikawa to stay for 3 nights to visit Biei and Furano and then move to Sapporo to stay. May I ask is it possible to buy a 4-day Furano Biei rail ticket at 6500 yen from Asahikawa station. My departure point will start from Asahikawa instead of Sapporo for a round trip?

    If is not possible, can a Hokkaido Rail Pass at 16500 yen for 3 days most worth it? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Jan Mok san,

      Unfortunately you cannot use this deal. This is sold in Sapporo area only.

      Hokkaido Rail Pass is way too expensive for your trip. The best option is using S ticket.

      And you may add the regular fare to visit Furano/Biei from Asahikawa. The regular fare is around 1,000 yen for Asahikawa to Furano or Biei one way trip. There is no better options available unfortunately.


      Takeshi /

      • Jan Mok says:

        Honto ni arigatou!
        My guessing is right. I made a wrong choice, should have flown to New Chitose Airport first and stay in Sapporo then move to Asahikawa so that ticket is appropriate to use. Now I have to spend more on transportation. No choice I will purchase round trip fares which cheaper and also travel by bus in Furano, Biei.

  3. diana says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I plan to visit Ice Pavillion near Kamikawa station, do you know is there any place where I can store my luggage for a while? Since some source said that no coin locker available in Kamikawa station. or perhaps can I bring my luggage to Ice Pavillion while visiting that place? after that, I will go to Sounkyo.

    thank you in advance!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Diana,

      As you researched, there is no lockers in Kamikawa station. As I checked, there is no lockers at Ice Pavilion either. When you visit there, you have to take your luggage all time. Unfortunately there is no choices.


      Takeshi /

  4. Adeline says:

    Hi Mr Takeshi,

    Can I take train, what train to take, how to take, what is the train time schedule :

    1) Asahikawa station to Asahikawa zoo
    2) Asahikawa zoo to Otokoyama Sake Brewery
    3) Otokoyama Sake Brewery to snow crystal museum?

    Thank you

  5. Dear Takeshi san,

    Can I seek your advise on how to get from Asahikawa Station to Otokoyama Sake Brewery by bus? Which bus bay and bus number should I take? I saw the bus timetable but I don’t know which column to look at.

    Thanks much!

  6. Esther says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    From Asahikawa we want to go to hokkaido ice pavillion by jr okhotsk taitetsu or jr sekihoku line.
    Did hokkaido rail pass cover this journey ?

    Thank you in advance.

  7. Tay says:

    Hi, may I know what are the buses route can be used free with the hokkaido JR pass? Are following included?
    1. Bus from asahikawa station to asahiyama zoo
    2. Biei station to Blue pond
    Thank you.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Tay,

      Hokkaido Rail Pass does not cover both bus lines. Hokkaido Rail Pass covers JR Hokkaido Bus only but these bus services are very limited. Don’t think about using the bus by this pass.


      Takeshi /

  8. Will the JR ticket office at Asahikawa take my JR Pass voucher and issue me the pass?

  9. Mev says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    I am so happy to find your posting for this as I am going today to Asahiyama Zoo today.

    Do you have a link for bus schedule in english? I got one but in japanese and also the schedule from 2017 and dont know whether is stilk valid.
    Am on the way to Ashikawa from Sapporo now.

    I would to thank you for all your advise for my trip until now I can be at Sapporo with your help and information. Million thanks for this.

  10. joey says:

    Hi, I am planning the following routes from Sapporo to Furano.
    10.00 am – Sapporo JR to Asahikwa
    11.25 am – Arrive Asahikawa
    11.33 am – JR Furano line for Furano
    12.41 pm – Arrive
    I only have 8 mins to change train (11.25 am to 11.33am), is there sufficient time? Are the platforms far away? Do I need to exit the station to purchase tickets for Furano or can I purchase all the tickets at Sapporo Station?

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