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JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

Singapore, Singapore
13 posts
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JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

Hi TA forumers

I am currently planning for a trip in Hokkaido for 1 week in June 2013 and was abit confused with the JR.

1) Would it be advisable to get a JR pass considering that I would only be covering these places (the route will be as follows)

New Chitose Airport (0 day)

Otaru (1day)

Sapporo (1day)

Chitose (1 day)

Noboribetsushi (1day)

Sapporo (2 days)

New Chitose Airport (0 day)

2) Also, with regards to JR, assuming I'm going from the New Chitose Airport to Otaru Station, how do i go about it? I was using the Hyperdia app and it advised me to use routes such as LTD, Semi Rapid Ishikari Liner, JR Rapid Aiport 191, LTD exp super hokuto 15 etc. All I need is to get from the airport to the Otaru station, so I was abit confused. Based on my research, I thought that it was a straight forward route from AP15 (New Chitose Airport) to Otaru (S15) using JR.

Hope someone could clarify my doubts!

Thanks so much!

PS: is my itinery above too sparse? Is there any way I could improve upon it? I've only 5 solid days in Hokkaido :(

Tokyo, Japan
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8,622 posts
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1. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru


From New Chitose Airport To Otaru

My first thought is you don't need a "Nationalwide Rail Pass" to get around "just one region" of the country.


Sapporo, Japan
Destination Expert
for Sapporo, Hokkaido
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2,626 posts
83 reviews
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2. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

Hi - there are trains every 20 mins from Chitose Airport to Sapporo and Otaru - you just come thru Arrivals and follow everyone downstairs to the station.

Coming in June - why not do at least a day trip or a one night stay in Furano and Biei and enjoy the mountains and early flowers?

You probably don't need the JR Rail Pass for the places you mention. Otaru and the airport are very near, Noboribetsu and Furano can be day trips. Chitose??? Visitors don't usually go to Chitose for anything, there is an outlet shopping mall only - 5 mins from the terminal building.

Use Hyperdia to work out costs.


Singapore, Singapore
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441 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

If you are only taking trains in Hokkaido (and not the rest of Japan), you can get the JR Hokkaido Rail pass (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_01.html), which is cheaper than the nationwide JR Pass.

For short train travels (New Chitose Airport to Sapporo, Sapporo to Otaru), you don't need to use the JR Hokkaido Railpass for these days since the train fares for these journeys will not be too expensive and therefore not cost effective if you were to use JR Hokkaido Railpass for them.

But if you are only travelling to Sapporo, Otaru, Chitose, Noboribetsu, I don't think you even need to get the JR Hokkaido Railpass since they are not too far apart from each other. Even a Ltd Exp train from Noboribetsu to Sapporo costs 4160yen, therefore it doesn't justify paying 15000yen for a 3day pass.


travelblog: goawaysam.blogspot.com

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
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57,251 posts
160 reviews
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4. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

It is generally very difficult to get the JR Hokkaido Pass to pay off. You can use Hyperdia (see link provided by Nao at #1) to add up individual ticket costs, then compare the total to the cost of the JR Hokkaido Pass.

Singapore, Singapore
13 posts
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5. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

thanks so much for all the reply peeps! i learnt alot just thru ur comments ^^

Singapore, Singapore
13 posts
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6. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

I'm currently doing away Chitose.. and am considering doing away Noboribesu too. I would just like to check with you guys, assuming I'd want to head to the Furano/Biel/ Asahikawa area, which region should I settle down and set off as a base in order to explore the sights in this area? Do bear in mind too that we do not have cars, hence we are relying heavily on the JR or any tour buses if possible. I realised we are heading to Noboribesushi just for the hot spring, hell gorge etc which is not really that worth the jouney?

Tokyo, Japan
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24,039 posts
54 reviews
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7. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

Everyone's preferences are different. Noboribetsu attracts tourists just for its hot springs and hell gorge (there are other attractions like the Ainu Folk Village in Shiraoi, though). I would probably recommend Toyako Onsen (onsen town by Lake Toya) over Noboribetsu if you want something more than hot springs.

What I might suggest doing with JR Hokkaido Pass 7 days:

Day 1: Arrival by air to Hakodate. See the port town with hills, and Goryokaku fort for a bit of history. Stay in Hakodate.

Day 2 (JRHPD1): Hakodate morning market. Activate Pass; visit Onuma Lake Park. Afternoon train to Toya. Bus to Toyako Onsen by Lake Toya. Stay in Toyako Onsen.

Day 3 (JRHPD2) : Toya to Shiraoi, visit Ainu Folk Village. Shiraoi to Noboribetsu. Stay in Noboribetsu Onsen.

Day 4 (JRHPD3): Noboribetsu to Sapporo. See Sapporo Beer Museum, Prefectoral Building. Sushi and Ramen. Stay in Sapporo.

Day 5 (JRHPD4): Morning: Ishiya Chocolate Factory. Afternoon: Otaru Town, plus perhaps Nikka Whisky Factory.

Day 6 (JRHPD5): Biei and Furano. Stay in Biei/Furano

Day 7 (JRHPD6): Biei/Furano-Asahikawa. Asahidake Onsen & Ropeway or Asahiyama Zoo.

Day 8 (JRHPD7): Fly out from Chitose

You may cut Noboribetsu day and Asahikawa/Asahidake Daisetsuzan day and try to fit things in 5 days foir the 5 days version of the JRH Pass.

8. Re: JR Train - sapporo, airport, otaru

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