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Hokkaido Skiing: Getting From Sapporo to the Area’s Top 6 Ski Areas by Train and Bus!

Hokkaido Skiing: Getting From Sapporo to the Area’s Top 6 Ski Areas by Train and Bus!

Date published: 9 February 2019
Last updated: 10 May 2019

There are a number of ski areas accessible by train and bus from the Sapporo area. But as there are not many directions posted on how to get to them, looking for the right bus boarding areas can be confusing.

Here we’ll provide directions on the best way to get to the right bus stop for going to the ski area you want to visit! The directions are rather detailed so it is a good idea to review them in advance.

■ 1. Getting to: Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort

■ 1. Getting to: Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort

This spacious ski resort has seven courses with slopes for beginners to experts as well as snow banks for sledding making it a popular resort with families. This ski area has a newly constructed snow escalator and is especially recommended for beginners. The downhill course is popular with snowboarders as they are able to enjoy a board park with a jump and moguls.

● Direct bus to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort is convenient

● Direct bus to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort is convenient

If you want to go to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, take a direct bus from either JR Sapporo Station or the Sapporo Municipal Subway Makomanai Station on the Namboku Line.

From JR Sapporo Station go to the bus terminal outside the south exit and board at the No. 17 stand. The bus terminal is on the first floor of the commercial complex ESTA, but it is better to go through the underground passage because it can be difficult to find the entrance when searching at street level.

As you head towards ESTA from the underground shopping mall, you will see the stairs going directly to each bus stop of the bus terminal near the underground entrance of ESTA. Take the stairs that go to the Nos. 13 ~ 18 bus stands.

Some of the direct buses to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort also stop at hotels in the Sapporo City center. If you are staying at a hotel in the city, you can ask at the hotel for more details.
Also note that this bus gives preference to those who have reservations. If the bus is fully booked when it is ready to depart Sapporo, it is not possible to board it without a reservation, so it is best to make a reservation in advance.

○ Bus operation period
Daily service during the ski resort operating period
○ Time required to reach ski resort
About 1 hour 30 minutes from Sapporo Station, about 1 hour from Makomanai Station
○ Reservations
Reservations are given priority (note that it is not possible to board when fully booked)
* Due to local circumstances changes may occur to the schedule and other operations. Please check the latest information on the official website for details on operating periods, times, fees, and the like.

■ 2. Getting to: Sapporo Bankei Ski Area

■ 2. Getting to: Sapporo Bankei Ski Area

Sapporo Bankai is popular with people staying in Sapporo because it is open until 10:00 p.m. and everything you need can be rented there. There are a total of 17 courses ranging from gently sloping ones that beginners and families can enjoy to advanced courses used in international competitions. At the Snow Kids Park there are sleds and snow tubes.

■ The easiest way to get to the Sapporo Bankei Ski Area is by the ban.K Bus

■ The easiest way to get to the Sapporo Bankei Ski Area is by the ban.K Bus

If you take the ban.K Bus, which departs from the Maruyama Park Station on the Sapporo Municipal Subway Tozai Line, you can get to Sapporo Bankei Ski Resort in about 13 minutes.

After you exit the ticket gate at Maruyama Park Station, follow the directions displayed in the bus terminal. After a 1 or 2-minute walk you will come to stairs and an escalator which will take you up to the bus waiting room.

The bus heading for "Bankei Ski Resort" departs from platform 4 of this bus terminal, but be aware that buses departing for other destinations also leave from here. The bus you want to take is green and has “ban.K” written in large letters on it. There may be others with ski equipment waiting to board the bus, but that does not necessarily mean that they are going to the same ski resort.

○ Bus operation period
Operates throughout the year
○ Time required to reach ski resort
About 13 minutes from Maruyama Park Station
○ Reservations
Reservations are not needed
* Due to local circumstances changes may occur to the schedule and other operations. Please check the latest information on the official website for details on operating periods, times, fees, and the like.

■3. Getting to: SNOW CRUISE ONZE

■3. Getting to: SNOW CRUISE ONZE

You can also enjoy a night view of the city from the SNOW CRUISE ONZE, a popular ski area that affords a view of the sea from the slopes. It has both gentle slopes as well as steep ones and moguls and as such can be enjoyed by beginners and experts alike.

● Free shuttle bus to SNOW CRUISE ONZE

● Free shuttle bus to SNOW CRUISE ONZE

You can take a free shuttle bus to SNOW CRUISE ONZE from the Miyanosawa Station of the Tozai Sapporo Municipal Subway. It is also possible to take this bus from Teine Station, but for our purposes we’ll explain how to go from Miyanosawa Station.

Look for Exit No. 5 in Miyanosawa Station. After going through the ticket gate and proceeding to the left, you will see an escalator when you turn to the right. Go up the escalator and go along the underground passageway until you come to Exit No. 5 which will take you up to the street level.

The shuttle bus to SNOW CRUISE ONZE is free so it departs from a place other than the normal bus terminal. It is important to go towards the No. 5 Exit and not pay attention to the bus terminal posted directions.

After going out Exit No. 5 to the street level, turn right and walk straight down the sidewalk. You are headed in the right direction if you go down the sidewalk as shown in this picture. If you go past the left side of SEIYU, you will see the signboard for Sorachi Shinkin Bank on the other side of the road.

The Sorachi Shinkin Bank signboard [vertical white board with blue lettering] is near where you can catch the free shuttle bus. The shuttle bus does not have a special bus stand. If you are not sure where to go, please show this photo to someone who can then guide you.

○ Bus operation period
Daily service between the end of November to the end of March (ski resort period of operation)
○ Time required to reach ski resort
About 45 minutes from Miyanosawa Station, about 30 minutes from Teine Station, about 19 minutes from Hoshioki Station, and about 10 minutes from Zenibako Station
○ Reservations
Reservations are not needed (if the bus is full, you can wait for the next one or use public transportation.)
* Due to local circumstances changes may occur to the schedule and other operations. Please check the latest information on the official website for details on operating periods, times, fees, and the like.

■ 4. Getting to: Sapporo Teine

■ 4. Getting to: Sapporo Teine

In the Sapporo Olympics held in 1972, Sapporo Teine was used as the venue for bobsled, luge, and ski alpine competitions. It is divided into an Olympia zone and a Highland zone which feature gondola access to each. Both zones have different kinds of slopes and courses designed to please both beginners and experts alike.

● Take the JR Hokkaido bus of the Teine Highland Line headed for Sapporo Teine

● Take the JR Hokkaido bus of the Teine Highland Line headed for Sapporo Teine

If you take the Teine Highland Line JR Hokkaido Bus from JR Teine Station you will arrive at Sapporo Teine in about 16 minutes.

Exit the ticket gates of Teine Station which are on the second floor and walk straight along the side of the waiting room. There are two exits, south and north, so turn to the right and take the South Exit. There are several stairs going down to ground level; you will want to take the ones marked South Exit 3 and there you will see the bus stand for the bus going to Teine Highland.

There are three JR Hokkaido bus stands for buses going to Sapporo Teine, so first decide where you need to get off to get to where you want to go. Information about each is as follows.

· Seikadai Ski Bamae Bus Stop
Get off here if you are going to the Dinosaur Kids Park. Note that there are no rental items, such as sleds for kids, near this bus stop. If you wish to rent regular skis and ski wear then get off at the next bus stop, Teine Olympia.

· Teine Olympia bus stop
There are several rental shops and restaurants in this area. This is convenient for using the newly established Olympia Ski Center and a good place for beginners and those who enjoy skiing at night.

· Teine Highland bus stop
There are also several rental shops and restaurants near the Highland Ski Center. We recommend this place for hard-core ski enthusiasts. Note, however, that there is no night-time skiing.

○ Bus operation period
Daily service between the beginning of December and the end of March
○ Time required to reach ski resort
About 13 minutes from Teine Station South Exit to the Seikadai Ski Ba, about 16 minutes to Teine Olympia, about 28 minutes to Teine Highland
○ Reservations
Reservations are not needed
* Due to local circumstances changes may occur to the schedule and other operations. Please check the latest information on the official website for details on operating periods, times, fees, and the like.

■ 5. Getting to: Dynasty Ski Resort

■ 5. Getting to: Dynasty Ski Resort

Dynasty Ski Resort, with its family-oriented slopes, is ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers, and has a sense of openness about it. In addition to areas where children can enjoy playing safely in the snow, snow rafting is also available, making this a popular place with families.

● Use the free shuttle bus to go to Dynasty Ski Resort

● Use the free shuttle bus to go to Dynasty Ski Resort

You can take the free shuttle bus to Dynasty Ski Resort from the Mitsui Outlet Park Sapporo Kitahiroshima outlet mall. From here it is a 10-minute ride to the resort.

Many tour buses also arrive and depart from here, so be careful not to board one of them instead of the small shuttle bus.

To get to the Mitsui Outlet Park Sapporo Kitahiroshima you can use local buses from JR Sapporo Station or Kitahiroshima Station, Fukuzumi Station on the Toyo Line of the Sapporo Municipal Subway, or from Oyachi Station on the Tozai Line. If you are coming from New Chitose Airport, it may be convenient to take an airport shuttle bus going into Sapporo as some of them also make a stop here.

○ Bus operation period
Daily service between the end of December and the beginning of March
○ Time required to reach ski resort
10 minutes from Mitsui Outlet Park Sapporo Kitahiroshima
○ Reservations
Reservations are not needed
* Due to local circumstances changes may occur to the schedule and other operations. Please check the latest information on the official website for details on operating periods, times, fees, and the like.

■ 6. Getting to: Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area

■ 6. Getting to: Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area

Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area has 10 courses for beginners to experts, but snowboards are not allowed on any of them. By taxi from the city center it takes about 30 minutes. Skiing at night is also possible and affords an excellent night view of the city and the slopes are popular because they are easily accessible.

● Take a local bus to Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area

● Take a local bus to Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area

It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area if you take the Jotetsu Bus, a local bus that departs from Makomanai Station on the Namboku Line of the Sapporo Municipal Subway.

Although there are many bus stands at Makomanai Station, there is almost no information displayed about unscheduled buses going to the ski area. Go out from the doors directly in front of the North Exit ticket gate, cross the street at the pedestrian crossing in front of you, and proceed for a few minutes in the direction of the clock tower; there you will see several bus stands.

You will want to take the bus from the No. 17 stand which goes to the Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area.

○ Bus operation period
Daily service between the end of December to the end of February and on Saturdays from early to mid-March
○ Time required to reach ski resort
About 15 minutes from Makomanai Station
○ Reservations
Reservations are not needed
* Due to local circumstances changes may occur to the schedule and other operations. Please check the latest information on the official website for details on operating periods, times, fees, and the like.

photo & text: Nobuhiro Kawashima

  • Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort
    札幌国際スキー場
    • Address 〒061-2301 北海道札幌市南区定山渓937番地先/937 Jozankei, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 061-2301
  • Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area
    札幌藻岩山スキー場
    • Address 〒005-0040 北海道札幌市南区藻岩山下1991/1991 Moiwayama, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 005-0040
  • Sapporo Bankei Ski Area
    さっぽろばんけいスキー場
    • Address 〒064-0945 北海道札幌市中央区盤渓410/410 Bankei, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 064-0945
  • Sapporo Teine
    サッポロテイネ
    • Address 〒006-0029 北海道札幌市手稲区手稲本町593-3/593-3 Teine Honcho, Teine-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 006-0029
  • SNOW CRUISE ONZE
    スノークルーズオーンズ
    • Address 〒047-0265 北海道小樽市春香町357/357 Haruka-cho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0265
  • Dynasty Ski Resort
    ダイナスティスキーリゾート
    • Address 〒061-1267 北海道北広島市仁別82-4/82-4 Nibetsu, Kitahiroshima-shi, Hokkaido 061-1267
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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