questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

tokyo hokkaido kyoto tokyo

Tokyo Hokkaido Kyoto Tokyo


I'm traveling to Tokyo on the 24th of august for 3 weeks. We planed to go first to Hokkaido for one week. Then back to Kyoto (4-5 days) and Tokyo (4-5 days) with day trips.

We are thinking about what kind of JR Pass we need.
Is the JR Pass valid for Hokkaido? I'm wondering why there is an Hokkaido JR Pass.

Should we take one week an Hokkaido Jr Pass and then 2 weeks of JR Pass which means that we wouldnt' have the JR Pass to go from Narita Airport to Tokyo and from Toyko to Sapporo, or should we take a 3 weeks JR Pass?
If we don't have the JR Pass the first week, which is the best way to go to Sapporo, by night train, flight?

What is the "must to do" in Hokkaido for one week?

Thanks for your help

best regards


Hello Anne,

Basically there are two option for travel to Hokkaido. Either by train or by plane. Flying is by far the fastest option but ticket prices can get pretty expensive during peak moments. Train travel is longer and it almost takes a good day to travel from Tokyo to Sapporo but in a way is much more relaxed, as it does not have all the hassle involved with flying.

If you do travel from to Hokkaido by train, then I would certainly recommend a JR Pass. You can use the JR Pass for travel to and within Hokkaido. (The Hokkaido Pass is for people who only stay in Hokkaido). The JR Pass offers amazing value as the price for a one way ticket Tokyo - Sapporo is ¥ 23,940.

In Hokkaido I would certianly visit Sapporo - Otaru - Furano (during the flower season) - Hakodate and Daisetsuzan national park.

Hope this helps!

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