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Hokkaido Pass

JR HOKKAIDO Pass


Hokkaido Passes will allow you unlimited travel in the wild North Island
Hokkaido area railway network map

The Hokkaido Rail Pass is a discounted pass that covers the entire area of Hokkaido, Japan's most northern island. From the area in the south of Naka-Oguni to the most northern town of Wakkanai, as well as Hokkaido's main cities Sapporo and Hakodate, using a Hokkaido Rail Pass you can access one of the most unique and scenic regions Japan has to offer. 

Pass Usage

The rail pass is only available to international tourists to Japan, and offers unlimited access to JR Hokkaido rail lines, as well as some buses for 5, or 7 consecutive days. This pass offers great value for those who want to explore Hokkaido. Most travel within Hokkaido is not by Shinkansen, and is mainly through local and express trains, as well as bus services. 

 

5 days

Adults: $127

Children: $64

7 days

Adults: $165

Children: $83

The Hokkaido Region: Japan's Northern Island

Hokkaido, Japan's second-largest island, and the largest prefecture, is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty. With numerous national parks, coastal plains, volcanic plateaus and unique wildlife, this region has a remarkable number of natural treasures.

Hokkaido is the most northern of Japan's main island of Honshu and is connected via the underground Seikan Tunnel that allows access to the area via Shinkansen that travels underneath the Tsurugu Strait.

With a different climate from the rest of Japan, Hokkaido has various activities and attractions depending on the season. During the cold winter months, visitors to the region can experience the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts or see the Japanese red-crowned cranes at Kushiro marshland. In the summer, the area is less humid than other parts of Japan, ideal for those who enjoy outdoor activities, cycling, camping and hiking. Due to the cooler climate, this is the last region in Japan to see the cherry blossoms in spring, usually the during the first week of May. 

 


 

 

Sapporo: The Capital of Hokkaido

The capital and largest city of Hokkaido is Sapporo, home to the aforementioned Snow Festival that attracts domestic and international travelers alike. Here, impressive and detailed snow sculptures are on display, often found in the shape of international landmarks and pop culture characters of international fame.

The distinctive Tanukikoji Shopping Street is found in here as well, an excellent location for local retail as well as a fantastic photo opportunity with its bright and colorful lights.

Also admire the unique and gorgeous architecture that Sapporo has to offer. It's proximity to Russia and geographic separation from the rest of Japan gives much of Hokkaido a bit more of a Western feel, although still distinctly Japanese. Large, European influenced buildings and wider roads compared to the rest of Japan give Hokkaido, and especially Sapporo, a feel all its own. 

Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Sapporo, the Capital of Hokkaido, Japan

@flickr/ David McKelvey


The Hakodate Area

 

Also often visited is the town of Hakodate, home to the mountain of the same name. The view of the city from Mount Hakodate is stunning, especially at night with the city lights illuminating. Much of the city is situated on a strip of land on the Peninsula, sandwiched between two prominent bodies of water lending to its beauty.

Hakodate also hosts a prominent morning market during the day and beautiful historic district around the bay area. With the access granted by the Hokkaido Rail Pass, a trip out to this area can serve as an excellent day trip or a nice overnight venture to see one of the island's most charming destinations. Hakodate is located on the South area of the island, near Aomori, and is accessible from Sapporo via train that can be ridden and reserved using the Hokkaido Rail Pass. 

 

Hakodate, Hokkaido

The Peninsula of Hakodate, Hokkaido

@flickr/ sam.naylor

 


The Furano Area

 

Another popular destination is that of Furano, found right in the center of the island. Furano offers some of the best natural scenery to be seen in Japan, with wide-open fields that are synonymous with Hokkaido along with splashes of vibrant colors brought on by plots of lavendar and other flowers. The rural setting of Furano also make it a popular destination for winter sports with its abundance of ski resorts and slopes.

The aptly named Furano Ski Resort features 28 different ski trails and is separated into the "Furano Zone" and "Kitanomine Zone." It is one of the most popular ski resorts in all of Hokkaido. Travel to Furano can be done via a short train ride from Hokkaido's capital, accessible and able to be reserved via the Hokkaido Rail Pass, and makes for a great day of outdoor fun. 

Flower Fields of Furano

Flower Fields of Furano

@Wallpaper Flare


 

A Culinary Capital of Japan

 

Hokkaido is also often cited as a major culinary destination for gourmets. The wide, open area of the island is perfect not just for nature, but agriculture. Some of the most luxurious of Japan's revered melons are grown in Hokkaido, and the area is world-famous for its dairy produce like milk, cream, and cheese. The northern area of the large island also boasts cold and nutrient-rich waters for cultivating amazing seafood.

Much of Japan's most luxurious eateries source ingredients such as fish and shellfish from this region. Through the Hokkaido Rail Pass, you'll have access to much of the island's most revered culinary destinations, to try some of the best gastronomic experiences Japan has to offer. 

Explore the north area of Japan with a JR Hokkaido Pass and discover the region's cultural heritage, where travelers will experience a distinct culture with stark differences compared to mainland Japan. 

Seafood from Hokkaido

Seafood and Miso Soup from Hokkaido

@Wikimedia


Conditions of the JR Hokkaido Pass

Eligibility 

- The pass user must hold a passport issued by a foreign government.

※外国での永住権を持っているお客様を含め、日本国籍のお客様は使用できません。

- The pass user must enter in Japan as a "短期滞在 (Temporary Visitor) ".

* "短期滞在 (Temporary Visitor) " is a status of residence defined under Japanese immigration law.

- Individual customers are not allowed to purchase or exchange more than one of the same passes for the same use period.

- You must present your passport to receive a pass.

 

Exchange

- We will send the paper voucher to your home address. (The paper voucher is not the ticket, you cannot use it without exchanging it first). Please be sure to allow sufficient time for delivery.

You can redeem your voucher for the pass in these locations:

  • New Chitose Airport Station, daily from 8:30am to 7pm
  • Sapporo Station, daily from 8:30am to 7pm
  • Noboribetsu Station, daily from 7am to 4:15pm
  • Asahikawa Station, daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm
  • Obihiro Station, daily from 9am to 5pm
  • Kushiro Station, daily from 10am to 6pm
  • Abashiri Station, daily from 5:50 am to 10:30pm 
  • Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station, daily from 9am to 7pm
  • Hakodate Station, daily from 10am to 6pm

Validity

What is included and excluded with the JR Hokkaido Pass?

  • All Limited Express, Rapid and local trains on JR Hokkaido lines
  • JR Hokkaido buses within Sapporo
  • JR Hokkaido Express buses between Sapporo-Otaru (Chuo buses are not included)
  • Not included: Buses between Sapporo-Asahikawa, Sapporo-Monbetsu, Sapporo-Hiroo, Sapporo-Kiroro, Sapporo-Obihiro, Sapporo-Erimo, Shin-Sapporo-Atsubetsu Stadium, JR Shiroishi Station-Sapporo Dome, and any temporary buses.
  • If you ride trains that overlap with the JR East lines, the boarding portion of the ticket will include the last station of the JR Hokkaido line which is Naka Oguni station, and the fare will cover the first (or last) stop on the JR Hokkaido line.
  • There is an extra charge for sleeper trains and for the Twinkle Buses. 

Seat Reservations 

  • With the pass, no additional fee is required when making seat reservations.
  • Non-reserved Ordinary class cars can be accessed freely by simply showing the pass.
  • You will need to purchase a ticket for both the express train and a reserved seat if you wish to board the Green Car (first class).
  • To access the platforms, show your pass to the JR Hokkaido staff at the ticket gate.
  • For a reserved seat, show you pass to JR Hokkaido staff at the ticket office.
  • It is a personal rail pass and cannot be shared or transferred. Please always carry your passport when using the pass, as station and train staff may ask to check it.

Cancellation  

  • An unused voucher is refundable for one year from the date of issue.
  • The voucher can be refunded if it has never been exchanged in Japan.
  • A cancellation fee of 15% of the purchase price will be applied.
  • No refund is possible for a voucher received by us more than one year from the date of issue.
  • No refund is possible for a lost or stolen rail pass.

Common Questions