questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

which rail pass should i get for a 15d tokyo & hokkaido trip?

Which Rail Pass Should I Get for a 15D Tokyo & Hokkaido trip?

Hi there, I'll be travelling to Tokyo & Hokkaido in July & the following is my itinerary. I'll be taking a flight between Tokyo & Hokkaido so I'm not sure if buying the JR Pass is the right way to go. Would appreciate your advice on what types of rail passes to buy to make it worthwhile since there's so many available, e.g JR Pass, Hakodate 1-day pass, Sapporo-Otaru welcome pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass, Hakone Round-course, SUICA+NEX etc....(help!)


Itinerary (more or less fixed since I've started making some hotel bookings):

Day 0: Late arrival at Tokyo Haneda airport. Stay overnight at capsule hotel in airport
Day 1: Check-in at hotel in Shinagawa & visit the Harujuku or Shinjuku area
Day 2: Fly off from Narita airport to Hokkaido's New Chitose airport. Rent a car & drive to Furano.
Day 3: At Furano/Biei with rental car
Day 4: Continue visiting Furano with rental car. In late afternoon, drive from Furano to Sapporo city (Return car in evening) - staying near Sapporo JR station
Day 5: At Sapporo. Plan to visit Clock Tower, TV Tower, Odori Park, underground mall (Pole/Aurora town)
Day 6: Day trip to Otaru (back to Sapporo at night)
Day 7: At Sapporo. Plan to visit Hokkaido Shrine, Maruyama Park, Ishiya Shiroi Koibito Park, Tanukikoji
Day 8: Leave Sapporo for Hakodate. At Hakodate, plan to visit Red Bricks Warehouse, Kitaichi Glass Sangokan, Fort Goryokaku, go up Mt Hakodate via ropeway
Day 9: Leave Hakodate for Lake Toya
Day 10: Leave Lake Toya for Noboribetsu Onsen
Day 11: Take Donan bus from Noboribetsu to New Chitose airport. Fly back to Tokyo. Staying at Shinagawa for rest of trip.
Day 12: Disneyland Tokyo
Day 13: At Tokyo. Plan to visit Tsukiji Market, Sensoji, Tokyo Tower, Odaiba
Day 14: Day trip to Hakone (back to Tokyo at night)
Day 15: At Tokyo (Shinjuku/Ginza area) before night flight home from Haneda airport.


Hi there,

I see that you already have a very well planned and detailed itinerary.
The JRPass may not be the best option for you, since most of your long distance travel is by car and airplane.
Also all of your train travel will be in Hokkaido, so it may be worth getting a 3 day JR Hokkaido Rail-pass for your visit to Hakodate, Lake Toya and Noboribestsu.

Also a Hakone Free Pass may be useful if you plan on traveling around in the Hakone area, it is very easy to save money with it, even if you go for just one day.

I don't have much to add for the rest, as it all is already carefully planned!

Have a great time in Japan!

Expert button 2

Thanks very much Daniel-san! :) So just to confirm, with the 3-day JR Hokkaido Rail pass, I won't be needing the individual Hakodate day pass, or the Sapporo-Otaru welcome passes anymore? Is it worth to get the Sapporo-Otaru pass anyways for my travels around Sapporo city itself?


Hi again!

I meant the 3 day Hokkodate pass for day 8-9-10. Besides this the Sapporo-Otaruu ticket that you mentioned is also a great way to get around, however only when you go to Otaru (on day 6), for the other days I think buying single tickets will be the best or maybe a one day metro pass if you plan on using the metro a lot. The city center of Sapporo is not that big and you can reach most places on foot within the city.

Expert button 2

Thanks again Daniel-san! Looking forward to my trip :)


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