Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Sendai

First night in Akihabara, Tokyo. It was rain and wet snow mixed.

I usually have quick trip to Japan in mid February. In this year, I had another quick trip, 3 nights 4 days and visited Hokkaido. In this trip, I visited Sapporo snow festival, Biei, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and Hakodate. This was super busy trip and this is not recommended for all travelers. However you may get some idea from my trip report. I hope my trip experience help you to build your plan.

Arrival at Narita airport

Narita Express arrive at Sobu underground platform in Tokyo station.

Narita Airport Terminal 2 17:19 (Narita Express 40) 18:18 Tokyo

First of all, I arrived at Narita airport by Japan Airline international flight. I would line to tell you about the first day in Tokyo.

My flight arrived 30 minutes earlier. My original itinerary was supposed to be the following:

16:30 Arrival at Narita airport
18:19 Departure from Narita Daini station by Narita Express #44
19:17 Arrival at Tokyo station

But my flight arrived 40 minutes earlier than original arrival time. And everything went very smoothly. I spent less than 30 minutes to clear immigration and custom. After arrival, I picked up my WI-FI router and exchanged JR pass. And I could hop on one hour earlier Narita Express.

Shopping and dinner in Akihabara

After I arrived in Tokyo station, I went to Akihabara to shop. I had received a big shopping list from my wife and my daughter. I had to finish my business.

I was very starving after I finished shopping. I dropped by this casual restaurant.

This restaurant is called “Densetu no Stadon” that means “The Legendary Stamina Rice Bowl”. They serve many kinds of meat over the rice in the bowl. In this restaurant, you have to choose the menu and purchase a ticket at the vending machine before you enter the restaurant. English screen is also available. You can pick the menu very easily.

I picked garlic salt pork on the rice, large size rice and large size meat.

I was very satisfied but it was a bit too much. Even though I have a big stomach, it was too much. I recommend that regular size is okay for most of you if you go to this restaurant. 🙂

Trip to Sendai by the Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa

Tokyo 21:36 (Hayabusa 37) 23:07 Sendai

I hopped on Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai. My trip was quite busy.

I could stay in Tokyo on arrival day. But I wanted to have a little extra time in the morning. If I stay in Sendai, I could take 8:00 departure train from Sendai. I could have a breakfast before I left hotel. That is reason why I traveled Sendai on arrival day.

I arrived in Sendai station.

There were some snow on the ground.

I checked in JAL City Sendai. It is a standard class of Japan Airline’s hotels and very common “Business Hotel”. I had JAL coupon to cover my hotel cost. That was why I picked this hotel.

The first day had been completed. It was a quite long day!

Continue to the post, Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 2, from Sendai to Oshamanbe.

10 thoughts on “Trip to Hokkaido in 2017 winter – Part 1, from Narita Airport to Sendai”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    1) I last minute plan to visit lavender farm in Hakkaido by next week. Is this the right time ?

    2) Or should i go for the sun flower field?

    3)May I know which JR Pass should I use?

    Thanks in advance

    Best Regards,

    1. Hi Jess,

      1. Still okay but not sure for next week.

      2. I don’t have any info about Sun Flower.

      3. If you look for the deal for visiting Biei/Furano only, Biei Furano ticket is recommended:


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    Thank you. I will try to book when exchange my JRPass in Narita. Just now i opened the web all in Japanese.. haha… i cannot read it.

    Thank you very much

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be travelling to Japan on the 17th of Jan – 30th of Jan, and here is my itinerary.

    17 Jan Tokyo
    18 – 22 Jan Hokkaido
    22 – 25 Jan Tokyo
    25 – 26 Jan Takayama
    26 Jan – 29 Jan Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe
    29 – 30 Jan Narita
    30 Jan Back to JKT

    I have bought 14 days JR Pass, could you please advise which train that i need to reserve in advance (I.e. Shinkansen from Tokyo to Sapporo or from Takayama to Kyoto)?

    And do you think i need to buy kansai pass to strolling around the city or use my JR pass will do?

    Please advise. Thanks in advance for your respond.



    1. Hi IK,

      Advanced reservation is not required. But if want, you can book it for Tokyo and Hokkaido potion in JR East reservation online site.

      You cannot book online for other part of your trip even if you want.

      Please see the link below to find the coverage of JR pass in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. You may find that you need other deal or not.


      Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Sorry.. 1 more questions.. how if i didnt book seat. Is it okay? Will the seats always be available?

            Thank you very much.

            1. Hi IK,

              Some of trains require reservation, such as Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Narita Express. All seats are reserved and you cannot take the train without reservation.

              In Hokkaido, trains are busy. Sometimes it’s hard to find the seat in non reserved seat car.

              I understand you don’t want to fix the trip plan. But reservation is recommended anyway.


              Takeshi /

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