Furano Biei Rail Ticket is the perfect choice for the trip to Furano, Biei and Asahikawa.

BieiRail pass for residents
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Patchwork Hill is one of popular spots in Biei. (C) JTA/ JNTO

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.

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Overview

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:

JR Hokkaido Travel Information – Furano Biei Rail Ticket

Prices and valid period

This ticket is valid for any 4 consecutive days from April 27, 2019 to October 31, 2019. This is not available in winter season.

DurationAdultChild
4 days6,5003,250

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:

Click to view large

Trip to/from unlimited ride area

Limited Express Kamui

You may take non reserved seat on limited express train. You have several choices.

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.

Access to/from Sapporo and Asahikawa. Limited Express Kamui / Lilac

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.

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

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.

Takikawa station guide. How to catch a local train to Furano.

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 Blue Pond from Biei. The bus fare is not covered by Furano Biei Rail Ticket. (C) JTA/ JNTO

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

Furano Biei Norokko train takes you one of most popular spot, Furano and Biei. (C) 800px-Norokkogou-furano-biei / Birdman

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.

Furano Biei Norokko train, Easy rail trip around Furano area for everyone.

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.

Eligibility

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.

SegmentTransportationFare
(one way)
Sapporo – AsahikawaLimited Express
Kamui or Lilac
4,290
Sapporo – FuranoLimited Express
Furano Lavender
Express
4,290
Asahikawa to BieiLocal train540
Asahikawa to FuranoLocal train1,070
Furano to BieiLocal train640

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

Farm Tomitais very popular place in Biei/Furano area. (C) Farm Tomita/ (C) JTA/ (C) JNTO

Hokkaido Rail Pass is much more expensive than Furano Biei Rail Ticket.

Hokkaido Rail Pass. The best deal for rail trip in Hokkaido for oversea visitors

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.

e.g.
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.

e.g.
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.

Assessment

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.

Comments

  1. Low says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I am planning a 5-day trip to Hokkaido with my wife, but not sure which Rail Pass we should get. Below is our current planned itinerary:

    Day 1 – Arrival at Chitose Airport > Tomamu (Unkai Terrace)
    Day 2 – Tomamu > Furano
    Day 3 – Furano > Sapporo
    Day 4 – Day Trip to Otaru > Sapporo
    Day 5 – Sapporo > Trip back at midnight

    Would you suggest getting the JR Hokkaido Rail Pass?

    Also, please feel free to suggest any more destinations that we are able to visit, we did not make this itinerary too tight as we would like to visit on a leisurely pace. Arigato gozaimasu!

  2. Cherlyn says:

    Hello Takeshi san,

    I will be visiting Asahiyama Zoo and Biei Blue Pond on 29/12.
    I will be staying at Sapporo and have been doing some research.
    So, I’ll take the 7.30 am train from Sapporo station to Asahikawa Station then take bus from bus stop 6 to Asahiyama Zoo. Spend couple hours at the Zoo then head to Biei Blue Pond by taking train from Asahikawa Station to Biei Station and continue to take Dohoku Bus.

    My question is, is it safe to use public transport in the middle of winter to go to Biei Blue Pond? I’ve seen very beautiful pictures of it and dying to visit it. But I’m concern if I couldn’t get back at the end of the day.

    What is your recommendation, Takeshi san?

    Warm Regard,
    Cherlyn

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi (JPRail.com administrator) says:

      Hi Cherlyn san,

      The bus and the train run as usual in winter time as long as the weather is okay. Of course if the weather is severe, these are suspended. It does not run in the severe weather. Winter in Hokkaido is very cold. The train company and bus company do not operate it in this situation.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi san, good day to you.
    I will arrive at New Chitose airport on the 27 Nov @ 1600hrs. and planning to go Furano directly from the airport. Do you think i have enough time to catch the train to Furano on the same day?
    Also I will be spending 4 days in Furano and travel to Sapporo on the 1st Dec. – can you advice what kind of train ticket should i purchase ?

    Thank you so much in advance.

  4. nk'straveldiaries – Love to travel,explore new culture, people, places, pickup a few words from a new language and of course a software engineer by profession! I have traveled some places in India where I belong to, many countries in Europe, few countries of south east AsiaAsia, Gulf & Australia! I love to share the experiences that traveling leaves you with... it makes me happy :)
    Neetha says:

    Hello Takeshi-san,

    Please can you help me with the planning as below:
    I will reach New chitose Airport on 29th morning (9:30 am or so)
    My Plan is Airport-> Asahikawa->Biei->Furano->sapporo
    Biei Places I want to see: (Day 1) – 29th september
    1. Shiragone Blue pond
    2. Shirahige Waterfall
    3. Asahidake Ropeway
    Furano Places I want to see (Day 2) – 30th september
    1. Cheese factory
    2. Jam garden
    3. Farm Tomita
    4. Flower land Kamifurano
    5. Shikisai-no-oka
    6. Kanno farm
    Back to Saaporo

    Day 3- 1st october
    1. Jigokudani
    2. Lake Shikotsu
    3. Mount Moiwa

    2nd morning I have flight from New chitose Airport, Sapporo.

    I have following questions:
    1. I have to use public transport, How do I make this trip with public transport on all 3 days? Is it feasible or should I skip some places? Please suggest me.
    2. where do I find economical stay? Asahikawa or Sapporo or where to plan my stay for this itinerary
    3. Can I find some goodwill guides who will be interested to drive us around? we are 4 of us including a 3 year old kid.
    4. Which pass should I buy? for covering these places?
    5. Are these gardens beautiful at this time of the year? can I see lavenders or colorfull flower beds?
    I am confused to plan and any help, I would appreciate you a lot. Thanks.
    I want to book accommodation in a day or 2 as I dont have much time.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Neetha san,

      1. I think day 1 is too much. If you arrive in New Chitose by domestic flight, you will spend at least 1 hour to get out the airport because you have to pick up a baggage and get the ticket or pass. If you arrive by international flight, you will spend another 1 hour. It takes 2 to 2.5 hours to get Asahikawa. Asahidake is still 2 hours away from Asahikawa by the bus. Biei is 35 minutes away from Asahikawa and Blue pond/Shirahige falls are another 20 minutes away. Even if your flight arrive there on time, you cannot get Asahikawa before 13:30. Only Blue Pond and falls are realistic choice on day 1. Asahidake is too far. You may get the bus timetable to Blue Pond in the link below:
      https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/wp2/wp-content/themes/wp_biei/img/Busnoriba.jpg

      On day 2, it’s hard to go around these places by public transportation. Rental car is very popular solution.
      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6829.html

      On day 3, Jigokudani is very accessible. It is 30 minutes away from Noboribetsu station. The bus runs very frequently. You don’t need to check the timetable. But Lake Shikotsu is not. You have to take the bus from New Chitose Airport. Please find the timetable in the link below. This timetable is still valid:
      https://hyoutou-special.asia/img/bus_en.pdf

      Lake Toya is easier to combine with Noboribetsu (Jigokudani).
      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6725.html

      2. You cannot stay in Sapporo on day 1. You have to stay in Furano, Biei or Asahikawa. But your schedule is very tight on day 2. You should stay in Biei or Furano. Asahikawa has many more hotels and offers at more attractive rate. But it’s hard to go back to Asahikawa after Blue Pond.
      On day 2 and 3, you can stay in Sapporo.

      3. As I mentioned, the public transportation is not a good idea in Furano and Biei area. You may be able to get a driver and the car. But I don’t have any info of these.

      4. If you do this trip plan, Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day is recommended for the first 3 day. You have to add the regular fare to go back to New Chitose:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/hokkaido-rail-pass-the-best-deal-for-rail-trip-in-hokkaido-for-oversea-visitors.html

      Hokkaido Rail Pass covers only the trains. You have to add the fare to take the bus to go around Biei, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and in the city of Sapporo. Hokkaido Rail Pass does not cover subway and tram in Sapporo either.

      5. Lavender season is July. But you still can see some flowers. Please find some photos in the link below. It was taken in October 2017.
      https://www.farm-tomita.co.jp/farm/photo_diary.asp?id=852

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • nk'straveldiaries – Love to travel,explore new culture, people, places, pickup a few words from a new language and of course a software engineer by profession! I have traveled some places in India where I belong to, many countries in Europe, few countries of south east AsiaAsia, Gulf & Australia! I love to share the experiences that traveling leaves you with... it makes me happy :)
        Neetha says:

        Hello Takeshi-san,

        Thank you very much for taking time for replying to my query. It is very helpful for me.
        you are correct. Out domestic flight reached by 9:55. So I need atleast 30 mins to get out. we don’t have checkin baggage, its only carry on.
        I will skip Ropeway and Lake Shikotsu as per your prompt and practical answers. Thank a lot 🙂
        Also, we cannot drive as we done have IDP. So is Bicycle rental a good option?
        e-bikes , but I don’t know if we get a childs seat in the rental cycles.

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
          Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

          Hi Neetha san,

          Please expect that you will spend another 30 minutes because you have to get Hokkaido rail pass. The station has been busy in these days. You have to buy it and book a seat on the train.

          Rental bike is a good idea in Nakafurano area. Nakafurano is three stations away from Furano. In Furano, rental bike does not suit. Because it’s too far to reach by the bike. Jam factory is 20 km away from Furano station. Even cheese factory is 4 km away. In Nakafurano area, there are some rental bike stores. Google it and you can find some. I have never rented bike there so I cannot recommend any stores, But I’m sure some stores rent a bike with a child seat.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Carlo Trinidad
    Carlo Trinidad says:

    can you use this furano biei rail ticket in riding local jr trains within each city? for example can i use this ticket to get from one point in asahikawa to another point within the city? or is it only applicable for intercity stations (for example asahikawa to biei)?

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