The New Hokkaido Shinkansen
Travel to North of Japan with the Hokkaido bullet train
Since March 2016, the brand new Hokkaido Shinkansen line is in operation. Read more about it here, and get your Japan Rail Pass today! Available in 7-, 14-, and 21-day passes.
This first leg starts at Shin-Aomori Station and go to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station. This latter station was revamped especially for the new shinkansen; before construction in the mid-2010s, it was a tiny station called Oshima-Ono. This new station will have “relay” trains running back and forth from the main Hakodate Station, from which you can access other cities in Hokkaido.
Without the new shinkansen, it took 5hrs and 30mins from Tokyo to Hakodate, but on the Hokkaido Shinkansen it takes 4 hours and 2 minutes to reach Shin-Hakodate - Hokuto Station.
Ten return services are scheduled per day. Name of the shinkansen is Hayabusa.
The Hayate trains operate one return service per day between Morioka and Shin Hakodate and one return service per day between Shin Aomori and Shin Hakodate.
The new shinkansen stations also include Oku-Tsugaru-Imabetsu (in Honshu), and in Hokkaido, Kikonai Station. Once in Shin Hakodate, the Hakodate Liner operates 16 shuttle services per day to reach Hakodate station.
To reach Sapporo 12 return services are scheduled. The connection is very easy in Shin Hakodate station.The shinkansen line addition from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Sapporo Station is scheduled to open in 2030.
What to see ?
The morning market. There are stalls filled with fresh catches of crab and squid, as well as fruit and vegetables. It is the place to try a fish-on-rice breakfast.
Open daily, 5 a.m. until noon, closed on Sun. in winter.
The historic area of Hakodate. The sloping streets are lined with 19th century churches, consulates, shops and the homes of the Japanese and foreigners who first opened up this part of Japan to commerce.
Mt. Hakodate After Dark
Mt. Hakodate rises 334 m above sea level and provides superb views of the twinkling lights of Hakodate. You can reach the summit by the Mt. Hakodate Ropeway from Motomachi. From spring to autumn, a walking path is open and a bus service from the station is also available. Ropeway, late April-mid-Oct., daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., mid- Oct.-late April 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., ¥1160. Bus, mid-April-mid-Nov., ¥360.
Where to stay ?
B&b Pension Hakodate Mura ペンションはこだて村
Unique and charming family-run guest house. A 15-minute walk from Hakodate Station and within walking distance of main transport and sightseeing spots.
16-12 Suehiro-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0053
Tel 01-3822-8105 / bb-hakodatemura.com
Hakodate Danshaku Club 男爵倶楽部
A resort hotel right next to the station. You will have a great view of Mt. Hakodate and the port.
22-10 Otemachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido, 040-0064
Tel : 01-3821-1111 /www.danshaku-club.com/en/
Where to eat ?
Shiki Hanakatei 四季 粋花亭
A mix of eastern and western flavors served in an elegant Japanese style. Located north of the Goryokaku Koen Mae Station, on the corner of Hokushi-dori and Goryokakutokeidai-dori.
Open 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., closed Wednesdays.
Tel : 01-3851-1810 /shikisuikatei.web.fc2.com
Local seafood, handpicked and delicately fried. This is not your average tempura! From Suginachimachi Station, walk east along the road past Iai High School and Tazawa is on your left. Open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Tel : 01-3856-2023 / gourmet.hakonavi.ne.jp/japanese/tazawa