If you think about making a day trip or a few days trip to Furano and Biei from Sapporo, this deals, “Furano Biei Rail Ticket” is the best deal. This ticket includes unlijmited ride in these areas and round trip from Sapporo.
In this post, I will tell you the detailed information about this deal. I also show you the comparison between this ticket and Hokkaido Rail Pass.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Prices and valid period
- 3 Valid train and railway lines
- 4 How to purchase Furano Biei Rail Ticket
- 5 Eligibility
- 6 Compare regular fare and Furano Biei Rail Ticket
- 7 Compare Furano Biei Rail Ticket and Hokkaido Rail Pass
- 8 Assessment
Furano Biei Rail Ticket is valid for 4 days which includes these following rides:
- Unlimited ride of local and rapid train in Furano, Biei, Asahikawa and Takikawa areas
- Round trip between Sapporo and this unlimited ride area by limited express non reserved seat
You may find PDF brochure of this ticket in the link below:
Prices and valid period
This ticket is valid for any 4 consecutive days from April 28, 2018 to October 31, 2018. This is not available in winter season.
Child rate is applied to 6 to 11 years old. Child who is 5 years old and younger is free of charge.
One day means midnight to midnight, technically 0:00 to 23:59. Even if you start using the pass at 23:00. you will spend one full day for just one hour. So try to start in the morning. It does not make sense to start to use in late evening.
Valid train and railway lines
Please see the coverage area map below:
Trip to/from unlimited ride area
You may take non reserved seat on limited express train. You have several choices.
- Limited Express Kamui and Limited Express Lilac
- Limited Express Furano Lavender Express
If you go to Asahikawa first, you can take eiter Limited Express Kamui or Lilac. These trains are basically same which run between Sapporo and Asahikawa. It runs very frequently, every 30 minutes in the morning and evening.
If you go to Furano first, you may take Furano Lavender Express. This train is only train which connect Sapporo and Furano directly. However this train is seasonal operation train. This does not run every day. Please check the timetable before you go.
If you want to go to Furano from Sapporo but Furano Lavender Express does not run on that day, you can take Limited Express Kamui or Lilac to Takikawa. And you may catch a local train to Furano at Takikawa.
Local train does not run frequently between Takikawa and Furano. Please check the timetable before you go.
Takikawa is the first station when you enter unlimited ride area. In unlimited ride area, you cannot take limited express train. For the round trip between Sapporo and unlimited ride area, you can ride the train to the final destination even if you are in unlimited ride area. However once you get off the train, you cannot take limited express train any more. Limited express train ride is allowed for only trip to/from Sapporo.
You CANNOT make any stopovers between Sapporo and unlimited ride area. Once you exit the station between Sapporo and unlimited ride area, the ticket is invalid.
You have to take a bus to get some places, such as Blue Pond in the photo above. Furano Biei Rail Ticket covers only train. Any bus trips are not covered by this pass.
Train ride in unlimited ride area
You may take local train or rapid train as many as you want. You can make stopover as many as you want. Rapid train does not meany a limited express train. It is a sort of local train but it skips some stations and it offers faster trip than local train. Most of rapid trains are operated by local train fleet. But in summer season, some rapid trains are operated by limited express fleet. You can take this kind of train by this ticket without any extra charge.
When you go to Biei, you may think about taking Furano Biei Norokko Train.
This train has both reserved seat and non reserved seat. You can take non reserved seat car only. All seats on reserved seat car cannot be allowed to take by this ticket.
How to purchase Furano Biei Rail Ticket
You may purchase this ticket at the ticket office in any major JR Hokkaido stations, such as Sapporo, New Chitose Airport, Otaru. Even if you purchase this ticket in Otaru, New Chitose Airport or other than Sapporo station, this ticket covers only round trip between Sapporo and unlimited ride area. You cannot start using this ticket farther than Sapporo. But you can start using this any other stations on the way to unlimited ride area from Sapporo.
This ticket is sold until October 28, 2018. The last day of using this ticket is October 31, 2018 and it is valid for 4 days. That is why the last day of sales is October 28, 2018.
This ticket is available for any tourists. Actually this ticket is sold as Furano Biei Furii Kippu (ふらの・びえいフリーきっぷ) for local travelers. Many of deals are available for the foreign tourist who enter Japan as short term stay. But anyone can purchase this ticket.
Compare regular fare and Furano Biei Rail Ticket
It is very easy to get the worth of this ticket. Please see the fare table for major segments.
|Sapporo – Asahikawa||Limited Express|
Kamui or Lilac
|Sapporo – Furano||Limited Express|
|Asahikawa to Biei||Local train||540|
|Asahikawa to Furano||Local train||1,070|
|Furano to Biei||Local train||640|
You may get the worth by only round trip to Furano or Asahikawa. You may get the worth by Sapporo-Asahikawa-Furano-Sapporo too. Most of you have this circle plan or get Furano or Asahikawa and visit Biei. You can get the worth by any type of tours. If you have plan to visit Furano and/or Biei, just buy this ticket anyway.
Compare Furano Biei Rail Ticket and Hokkaido Rail Pass
Hokkaido Rail Pass is much more expensive than Furano Biei Rail Ticket.
Even 3 days of Hokkaido Rail Pass is 16,500 yen. The price is 10,000 yen higher than Furano Biei Rail Ticket. Hokkaido Rail Pass is not the choice for the trip to Furano and Biei obviously. However if you think about a few day trips from Sapporo, Hokkaido Rail Pass is better choice than Furano Biei Rail Ticket.
Day 1 – Day trip to Asahikawa from Sapporo
Day 2 – Day trip to Furano and Biei from Sapporo
Day 3 – Day trip to Noboribetsu onsen and Lake Toya from Sapporo
Hokkaido Rail Pass offers unlimited train travel in all part of Hokkaido. If you use Furano Biei Rail Ticket, you cannot make two round trips between Sapporo and Furano/Asahikawa. It includes only one round trip. But you can do it by Hokkaido Rail Pass. And also if you visit other than Furano, Biei and Asahikawa, Furano Biei Rail Ticket does not help at all.
If you think about visiting Hakodate and stay overnight there, you need Hokkaido Rail Pass anyway. You can get the worth of 3 days Hokkaido Rail Pass by round trip between Sapporo and Hakodate. If you add Furano and Biei after trip to Hakodate, which pass is the best choice?
Hokkaido Rail Pass 3 days (16,500 yen) + Furano Biei Rail Ticket (6,500 yen) = 23,000 yen
Hokkaido Rail Pass 5 days 22,000 yen
Hokkaido Rail Pass Flex 4 days 22,000 yen
Hokkaido Rail Pass 7 days 24,000 yen
If you can complete Hakodate, Furano and Biei in 5 days, Hokkaido Rail Pass 5 days is the best choice. But if you will spend 7 days, Hokkaido Rail Pass + Furano Biei Rail Ticket seems to be the best choice. But Hokkaido Rail Pass covers reserved seat on limited express train. If you travel in peak season, that makes you be comfortable because you can secure your seat. Hokkaido Rail Pass 7 days is 1,000 yen higher but you can get bigger benefit.
Flex 4 days may be the best choice. You can pick any 4 days in 10 days period.
Day 1 – Sapporo to Hakodate (use pass day 1)
Day 2 – Hakodate sightseeing
Day 3 – Hakodate to Asahikawa with stopover at Noboribetsu (use pass day 2)
Day 4 – Asahikawa sightseeing
Day 5 – Trip to Furano and Biei (use pass day 3)
Day 6 – Asahikawa to Otaru and back to Sapporo (use pass day 4)
You may use Flex 4 days pass like this.
The price of Furano Biei Rail Ticket is very affordable. However if you travel several spots other than Furano, Biei and Asahikawa, Hokkaido Rail Pass is better choice.
The price of Furano Biei Rail Ticket is very attractive. This is highly recommended if you intend to stay in Asahikawa, Furano and/or Biei. This is a perfect choice for small trip to these areas from Sapporo.