questions & answers: itinerary check

do i need to buy hokkaido railway pass?

Do I need to buy Hokkaido Railway Pass?

Hi, I'll be travelling to Hokkaido in late April, below is my itinerary. Would you give me some advices as what type of rail passes to buy. Thank you!

Day 1: Arrived at New Chitose Airport around 1pm, visit Rera outlet, take evening train to Hakodate
Day 2: Visit Tower Goryokaku, Church, Red Brick house, Hakodateyama yakei
Day 3: Leave Hakodate and take train to Noboribetsu in afternoon
Day 4: Leave Noboribetsu and take train to Sapporo
Day 5: Visit Shiroi Koibito Factory, then commute to Otaru
Day 6: Sightseeing at Sapporo
Day 7: Take train to New Chitose Airport from Sapporo and fly back home in afternoon

As I'll be taking long hours train, I'm planning to buy the reserved seats. I'm not sure if buying a Hokkaido Rail Pass is better. Also as I'll be bringing two 26" luggage, when I take the train, is there any shelves where I can store my luggage?

For Day 5, I'm not sure how to commute from Sapporo JR station to Shiroi Koibito Factory by bus or train. Plus from Shiroi Koibito Factory to Otaru.

Thank you!


Hi there,

A JR Hokkaido pass could make sense if you travel longer distances in Hokkaido. For instance a one way ticket Sapporo - Hakodate is ¥ 8,830. The Hokkaido pass is available for different periods of time you can find all the details here. Possible you could use a 3 day pass for your travel to Hakodate and Noboribetsu. However in Sapporo just buy normal tickets as the Hokkaido pass offers poor value for travel around Sapporo.

As for luggage, most trains have enough room to accommodate a couple of suitcases and I've never had a problem myself getting around.

Have a good time in Japan!

Expert button 2

Thank you very much for your replied Daniel.

I would like to know if 4 day flexible Hokkaido Railway pass cover the fees of JRバス? As I do plan to take 高速おたる号(西町北20丁目->小樽) after visiting Shiroi Koibito Factory. Thank you. If not cover, how much will it cost?



Hi again,

Unfortunately I don't think that this is covered. The Shiroi Koibito is not that far from Sapporo station so expect a couple hundred yen.

More details on how to access the park can be found here.

Expert button 2

Thank you Daniel~


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