Dec 28, 2015
*Updated Sep, 2017 - Sapporo (Hokkaido) is a long way from Tokyo (over 800 km as the crow flies). Getting there by any means other than a plane, is likely to turn into something of an adventure. Still, it will be an adventure worthwhile, as Sapporo is regarded by many to be one of the most user-friendly cities in the country, and a gateway to Japan’s great outdoors. And if adventure doesn’t appeal, well, a flight will have you there in less than two hours. So, how much does it cost to travel from Tokyo to Sapporo? We take a look at the transport options and the budgets that might be required. (All fares and costs listed in Japanese Yen)
Flight to Sapporo
Prices here are based on booking one month before departure. Booking earlier will likely make things cheaper, as may be the case with waiting until the last minute.
Sapporo is serviced by New Chitose Airport (CTS) although this is a little misleading as the airport is a good 30 - 40 km southeast of the downtown area. The airport is also referred to as Shin Chitose Airport.
The flight time between Tokyo and Sapporo is around 1 hrs 30 mins - 45 mins.
The table below details the costs of flight from Haneda to New Chitose Airport with ANA
|Flex Roundtrip Fare||N/A||69,580|
|Premium Flex Fare||46,790||93,580|
|Premium Basic Fare||30,690||63,780|
Flights with JAL from Haneda to New Chitose
|One way||13,390 - 22,690||22,490 - 32,490|
|Return||26,180 - 45,580||43,880 - 64,980|
LCC flights to Sapporo
Jetstar fly from Narita Airport in Tokyo to New Chitose. One way fares from 6,370 yen. Return fares from 12,740 yen.
Skymark Airlines operate out of Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Flights to Sapporo (New Chitose) are around 40,000 yen return (~ 17,000 yen discount / last minute). A standard one way fare with Skymark is around 20,000 yen.
Vanilla Air have departures from Narita Airport. Returns between 10,000 - 18,000 yen. One way fares between 5,000 - 9,000 yen.
Air Do is the regional Hokkaido airline operating out of New Chitose and with flights to / from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Expect returns from around 25,000 yen (Tokyo - Sapporo - Tokyo). One way fares from ~ 12,000 yen.
JR Rapid Airport trains make the run between New Chitose Aiport and JR Sapporo Station in around 35 mins. An unreserved seat costs 1,070 yen. A reserved seat is 1,590 yen.
Limousine bus services from the airport terminals to downtown Sapporo hotels and the Susukino area cost around 1,000 yen.
Shinkansen from Tokyo to the Hakodate area
As of March 26, 2016 it is possible to take a Shinkansen from Tokyo as far as JR Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station on Hokkaido. It starts out as a Tōhoku Shinkansen (until Aomori) before turning into the Hokkaido Shinkansen. Journey times from Tokyo to Hakodate are around four hours. Trains are called Hayabusa. Fares from Tokyo Station are listed below ...
|Reserved seat||Green seat||Gran class|
From Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Sapporo Limited Express Super Hokuto services take around 3 hours 45 mins ...
|Unreserved seat||Reserved seat||Green seat|
Total costs for Shinkansen and trains from Tokyo to Sapporo
At the cheapest end ~ 31,000 yen
Top end ~ 50,700 yen
The Japan Rail Pass is valid for all of the Shinkansen and trains above although for Gran Class seats supplementary fares will be required.
Tokyo to Sapporo by bus
There are no bus services from Tokyo to Sapporo. If you’re up for it, it’s possible to take a bus to Aomori. From there, take a ferry to Hakodate (in Hokkaido) and then a bus into Sapporo.
English-language-friendly WILLER operate overnight services between Disneyland and Shinjuku Station (Busta) all the way to Aomori Station, terminating at Aomori Port. The journey takes around 11 hours. At the time of research we could only find two seat types the costs of which are detailed below ...
|RELAX[WIDE]||5,700 - 6,500|
|Oct - May||June - Sep|
With vehicles ...
|Vehicle type||Oct - May||June - Sep|
|Motorbike up to 750cc||2,400||4,000|
|Motorbike over 750cc||3,200||8,000|
See more at the Seikan Ferry homepage (Japanese)
Ocean Road Ferry (津軽海峡フェリー) offer more comfort with fares to reflect this. Crossings take 1 hour 40 mins starting from 2:40 until 22:25. Fares are much more seasonal compared to Seikan Ferry. The fares listed in the table below reflect the range of fares ...
K-cars can be boarded for between 13,160 - 18,920 yen. All other cars up to 6m cost between 16,460 - 23,660 yen to board. Drivers (one per vehicle) board in "standard" class (included in the vehicle boarding cost). Higher classes of cabin require a supplementary payment. Children (under 12) can board for half of all the prices listed above.
Hakodate to Sapporo by bus
Both day and night buses ply the routes from Hakodate to Sapporo. From Hakodate, most services depart from Hakodate Station but with limited service departing from the Hakodate ferry terminal. Journey times around four - six hours with costs around 4,000 yen. Japan Bus Online can handle reservations for a variety of services in English.
Total costs for bus-boat-bus journey from Tokyo to Sapporo
At the bottom end travellers might be able to make the journey for around 11,000 yen. At the top end, with a nice cabin on the ferry from Aomori to Hakodate costs will go up to around 30,000 yen.
Alternative options for travel from Tokyo to Sapporo
During holiday periods, those who are really up for an adventure should check out the seasonal Seishun 18 Kippu which can see you travel as far as possible on local trains for as little as 2,730 yen per day (5-day package to be purchased at 11,850 yen). People have used this ticket to get all the way from Tokyo to Sapporo (we know some of them - although they didn't use the same ticket to get back to Tokyo). Learn more about the Seishun 18 Kippu with an earlier article on City-Cost - here.
MOL Ferry operate overnight "Sunflower" ferries from Oarai (Ibaraki) to Tomakomai (Hokkaido). Departures are in the evening with journey times around 19 hours. Fares are seasonal with economy cabins between 8,740 - 14,910 yen per person. Suite rooms from 36,000 - 44,230 yen.
From Tokyo Station to Oarai Station: 110 mins + / ~ 4,000 yen
From Tomakomai Station to JR Sapporo Station: ~ 70 mins / ~ 2,000 yen
How much does it cost to drive from Tokyo to Sapporo? Well, expect to pay 15,000 - 17,000 yen in highway tolls from Tokyo to Aomori (source Nippon Expressway Company / NEXCO). The drive takes over eight hours for those that know the way. From the Hakodate region of Hokkaido, to Sapporo, driving will cost around 6,000 yen expressway tolls (same source) and involve around 3.5 hours of expressway (highway) driving. There are no expressways immediately leaving Hakodate. The nearest entry point is in Ōnumakoen (大沼公園) about 10km to the north.
We found it difficult to find rent-a-car shops in Japan that could handle a Tokyo - Sapporo drop off. For round-trip drives, expect costs of up to 40,000 yen for a simple k-car over the period of one week.
(NB* This post was updated as of Sep, 2017)
How much does it cost to travel from Tokyo to Sapporo?, let us know your answers. We'd love to hear them. Share your travel tips and budgets in the comments.
Further reading ...
See our ‘How Much | Travel’ series for more destinations from Tokyo and beyond ...
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It is a greatly helpful summary for the transportation cost. Thanks! But I am afraid the fares and information for JAL flights mentioned above may be incorrect... The lowest price for Tokyo (Haneda) - Sapporo (New Chitose) flight is always below 8,000 yen (currently, 7,500 yen). Here is the page where I am always checking for their latest fare deals. http://www.jal.co.jp/en/dom/waribiki/super_sakitoku.html Hope other expats here won't miss these deals, too. :D