Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station guide. How to change between the Hokkaido Shinkansen and the conventional train to Sapporo and Hakodate

Station information
Overview of conventional train platforms
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Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station exterior (C) Rsa GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is the hub to Hakodate and Sapporo when you get Hokkaido. This station is connected with Sapporo and Hakodate by conventional train, and Tokyo, Sendai and Aomori by Hokkaido Shinkansen.

I would like to show you how to change the trains in Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station with many photos.

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Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station is located to the north from Hakodate for 20 minutes by rapid train.

This is Hokkaido Shinkansen’s terminal station. You can catch Shinkansen train to Tokyo, Sendai, Shin-Aomori.

If you arrive in this station by Hokkaido Shinkansen, you can catch rapid train, “Hakodate Liner” to Hakodate. You also can catch Limited Express train “Super Hokuto/Hokuto” to Sapporo, Toya, Noboribetsu, Onuma-Koen and Oshamanbe.

This station has two parts which are Hokkaido Shinkansen platforms and ordinary train’s platforms. Before reading the following chapters, please refer the link below.

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station map (Japanese)

The station map in the link above is shown in Japanese but it helps you to understand the station structure.

And also the following movie shows you all part of Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. The movie starts from track #1 to Shinkansen track #11.

The Hokkaido Shinkansen tracks and platforms

Shinkansen platform #12

There are two tracks, #11 and #12 and two platforms. Usually track #12 is used for arrival train and #11 is used for departure train. If you arrive by Shinkansen from other station, such as Tokyo, Ueno, Sendai, Shin-Aomori, you will arrive at track #11. If you depart from this station by Shinkansen, you will depart from track #11.

Hokkaido Shinkansen train at platform #11

Track #12 is connected with other platforms by the bridge. You need to go up by elevators, escalators or stairs to transfer to other train. Track #11 is connected to the conventional train platform which is for track #1 and #2. You can just go through Shinkansen transfer gate. You do not need to go up and down.

Escalators to track #11

However if you do not change trains at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. If you enter Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station and catch Shinkansen train, you will enter the gate at 2nd level and go down to platform #11. Because all ticket gates except one of two Shinkansen transfer gates are located at the second level. I will explain about exits and ticket gates later.

Conventional lines tracks and platforms

Overview of conventional train platforms

There are two platforms for four tracks, #1 to #4.

Track #Lines / TrainsDestination
1Hakodate LinerHakodate, Goryokaku
2Limited Express Hokuto / Super HokutoHakodate, Goryokaku
Sapporo, Toya, Noboribetsu, Oshamanbe, Onuma-Koen
3Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto
Sapporo, Toya, Noboribetsu, Oshamanbe
Hakodate, Goryokaku, Onuma-Koen, Oshamanbe
4LocalHakodate, Goryokaku, Onuma-Koen, Oshamanbe

Most of you use track #1 or #2. Hakodate Liner is the rapid train which connects Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Hakodate. This train always arrives and departs at track #1.

Hakodate Liner at track #1
Track #1 and #2

Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto go both ways Hakodate and Sapporo. Most of Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto arrive and depart at track #2 and a few of those are at track #3.

Super Hokuto to Sapporo arrive at platform #2.

Track #3 and #4 are used for local trains mostly.

Exit, ticket gate and transfer gate

Shinkansen ticket gate. You use this gate if you start your trip from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto by Shinkansen.

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station is two level structure. All platforms are located on the ground level and all exits are located on 2nd floor.

There are two exits at both parts, Shinkansen gate and conventional line gate. If you need to exit the station, you can use these exits.

There are two transfer gates at the ground level and the second level. This gate is located between Shinkansen platform and conventional line platforms.

Shinkansen tranfer gate at the ground level. This gate connects platform #1 , #2 and Shinkansen platfrom #11 directly.

When you change Shinkansen trains and conventional trains, you need to go through this gate because the fare system between Shinkansen and conventional line is different. If you use JR Pass or JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can show your pass when you go through the gate.

Shinkansen transfer gate at second level. The entrance for pass holders can be found in the middle of photo.

How to change the trains

You will have usually 15 to 20 minutes to transfer the trains at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station. This transfer time is set by JR Hokkaido and you can change trains easily by this transfer time.

From Shinkansen to conventional line trains

You can find how to change from Shinkansen to the convenitional trains in the movie below:

You arrive at the track #12. After arrival, go up to the bridge by escalators, elevators or stairs.

And go through Shinkansen transfer gate.

And proceed the platform where you need to catch the train to your destination.

From conventional line trains to Shinkansen

If you take Hakodate Liner, you will arrive at track #1. You can go through Shinkansen transfer gate at the ground level and proceed Shinkansen platform track #11. You can move without up and down.

Hakodate Liner arrives at Track #1.

If you take Limited Express Hokuto / Super Hokuto, you will arrive at track #2 in most of cases. It is same platform as track #1. You can proceed to Shinkansen platform without up and down.

If you arrive at track #3 or #4. you have to go up to the bridge and go through Shinkansen transfer gate at the second level. And then you can proceed to Shinkansen platform.

Entrance to Shinkansen transfer gate to track #11

Facility in the station

There are two small stores beside the Shinkansen transfer gate on the ground level and inside the Shinkansen ticket gate on the second level. The store beside the Shinkansen transfer gate can be accessed from both the Shinkansen platform and the conventional trains platform. If you go to Hakodate, it is very short trip. Food and drink are not issues. If you take the Shinkansen, you can get drink and food on board but the number of items are very limited. If you travel to other direction, such as Sapporo, Noboribetsu, Toya, Oshamanbe, Onuma-Koen, on-board wagon service is not available in most trains. You may not get anything to eat and drink for a few hours.

If you can exit the ticket gate, there are some more stores. You may find some local foods and premium Eki-Ben (box meal) in these stores.

Bento Cafe 41 Garden

Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station was called Oshima-Ono station before Hokkaido Shinkansen opened. It was renamed when the Hokkaido Shinkansen opened. Oshima-Ono station was one of local stations and there was not any stores and facilities around the station. Now there are a few restaurants and hotel in the station building. But this area is still under development. Please do not expect many facilities around the station.

I hope this post helps you to understand Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station.


  1. Irene Lee says:

    Dear sir,
    My family needs to return our rented Nissan car at Shin Hakodate station and take a train to Sapporo n Tuesday.
    Can you advise what are the timings for the Super Hokuto to Sapporo in the mornings and do we need to reserve our seats? Is t he Nissan car rental office in the station itself?
    Thank you very much.

  2. So glad I found this site with so much helpful information and helpful answers to questions.
    I have a couple of questions please, as I am determining if we get a limited JR East/Southern Hokkaido pass or a full JR pass (in which case I will get a Green class pass). Given that the limited pass is not available for Green Car travel, could you please tell me…
    1. Is there Green class on the Shin-Hakodate to Sapporo trip? If there is, is there much difference between Ordinary and Green?
    2. If we want to travel by train to Abashiri (not covered by the limited pass I know), is there Green Class on that train too or not?
    3. Are there additional seat booking fees for Ordinary class?
    4. Is it hard to book seats for Ordinary class? We arrive in Tokyo mid-June and will book our trains on arrival – the first one, Tokyo to Sapporo will be 5 days after we arrive.

    I appreciate any advice you can give me.

  3. ash says:

    what a superb detailed article – it will help when we visit Japan next month!
    thank you, takeshi-san!

  4. Dang Le says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    Our group of 4 will visit Kyoto, Hyogo, Mt Fuji, Hakone and Osaka 4/2 thru 4/14.

    I’d appreciate your answers to my questions below, to make sure I get a clear understanding of JR Pass benefits versus regular railway fares.

    All bookings as shown on

    1. Apr 2 – Tokyo 14:03 – Kyoto 16:45 – Shinkansen Hikari 475 – Fare Y 8210 + Seat Fee Y 5590 + Green Seat Y 10,170. TOTAL = Y 23,970

    If we have the Green JR Pass (1st class) do I have to pay the Seat Fee and the Green Seat Fee for 2 pax on this train? Do we need to make advance reservations ? And how much they cost?

    2. Apr. 8 – Kobe (Hyogo) 08:00 – Mishima 11:18 – Fare:¥ 7,560 Seat Fee:¥ 4,620, Green Seat: Y 9,840. TOTAL = Y 22,020

    If we have the Green JR Pass (1st class) do we have to pay the Seat Fee and the Green Seat Fee for 4 pax on this train? Do we need to make advance reservations ? And how much they cost?

    3. Apr. 14 – Osaka 12:02 – Narita Airport 16:31 – Fare:¥ 9,610 Seat Fee:¥ 7,090, Green Seat on Hikari 520: Y 10,170, Green Seat on LTD Narita Express 37: Y 3240. TOTAL = Y 30,110

    If we have the Green JR Pass (1st class) which of these above fees we have to pay? Do we need to make advance reservations for 4 pax? And how much they cost?

    4. Apr .11 – Odawara 08:08 – Osaka 10:41 – Fare:¥ 7,560 Seat Fee:¥ 5,060 Green Seat Fee: Y 9840. TOTAL = Y 22,640

    If we have the Green JR Pass (1st class) which of these above fees we have to pay? Do we need to make advance reservationsfor 4 pax? And how much they cost?

    5. Does the MT FUJI SHIZUOKA PASS cover the bus fare from Mishima to Kawaguchiko STA on the Mishima/Kawaguchiko Liner Express Bus?

    6. If not, do the HAKONE FUJI PASS or Hakone PASS cover it?

    Thank you for providing a great service to JR customers while always being very courteous & friendly !

    Houston – USA

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Dang san,

      If you pay Green seat fee, seat fee is not required.
      e.g. Tokyo to Kyoto
      are Y 8210 + Green Seat Y 10,170. TOTAL = Y 18,380

      All other part of the trip are same. Seat fee is not required. If you use JR Pass Green, everything is covered. No extra cost is required.

      Advanced reservation is not required but recommended. I usually book all when I exchange JR pass. You cannot book before you come to Japan. But it’s not hard to book Shinkansen and Narita Express.

      Both Fuji Hakone Pass and Fuji Shizuoka Pass do not cover Mishima-Kawaguchiko express bus. Only single fare is your choice.


      Takeshi /

  5. Dear Takeshi-san, I am returning to Tohoku this Oct/Nov and intend to buy the JR East pass (5-day) again. Please can you see if I am right to use it as follows:

    Day 1, 20 Oct – arrive Tokyo

    (1st use) – Day 2 – Tokyo to Aomori

    Day 3 – Aomori city to Hakkoda, overnight in ryokan in Hakkoda mountain

    Day 4 – Hakkoda to Lake Towada/Oirase Stream (2 nights)

    (2nd use) – Day 6 – Lake Towada to Lake Tazawa (JR Tazawa-ko Station) /Dakigaeri Gorge, 2 nights

    (3rd use) Day 8 – Dakigaeri Gorge to Geibikei Station (2 nights)

    (4th use) Day 10 – Geibikei to Omoshiro-Yama (2 nights),

    (5th use) – Day 12 – Omoshiro-Yama to Tokyo

    Thank you very much
    P.S. Thank you for your valuable advice last year. I had a fantastic trip!

  6. Azman AJ says:

    HI Takeshi,

    Very useful info. Thank you so much.
    It helps for my coming trip March/April 2018.

  7. katakwasabi – i'm a wasabi-green frog~ tehee
    KD says:

    Hi takeshi,
    Are there any lockers at shin hakodate hakuto station? I plan to store my luggage while i explore hakodate for a few hours before i head to sapporo. Thanks – KD

  8. HSBCBClub
    Eva says:

    I’m staying Hakodate and need to get to Tokyo early the next day. The timetable says the Super Liner gets into Shin Hakodate at 6:27 and the Shinkansen leaves at 6:35. Is that too short for a transfer? That appears to be the first train out of Hakodate in the morning.

  9. Rachel says:

    Great article and very helpful. Is the trip to and from Tokyo very scenic? As we would like to do this trip back down to Tokyo in March and deciding if the long travel is worth it rather than another internal flight.

  10. Jenny says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Thanks for the article. Most helpful. Can you tell me when were the photos taken? March or April 2017? Or earlier. The travellers looked so well rugged up!

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