Navigating from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo can be a breeze if you know the options at hand. Whether it's the speed of express trains, the affordability of buses, or the convenience of taxis, this guide explores all your options. We'll cover costs, travel times, and insider tips to make your journey to Sapporo as smooth as possible. Let's dive in and find the transport that best fits your needs.
- Table of Contents
- Overview of New Chitose transfer options
- 1. Train: Getting Japan Railways (JR) trains at New Chitose Airport to Sapporo
- 2. New Chitose Airport Bus
- 3. New Chitose Airport taxi
- 4. New Chitose Airport rental car
- 5. Book an airport transfer at New Chitose Airport
- Mini guides: New Chitose (CTS) to popular Hokkaido destinations
Overview of New Chitose transfer options
Begin your journey with an understanding of the various transport options available from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo. From fast and efficient trains to affordable buses and convenient taxis, here's an overview that will help you choose the best transport based on your preferences, budget, and schedule.
- ・JR Special Rapid Airport (33 minutes at the fastest; 1,150 yen; buy tickets at the airport)
・JR Rapid Airport (37 minutes at the fastest; 1,150 yen; buy tickets at the airport)
* Recommended to book a U Seat for an additional 840 yen during peak seasons to ensure a seat
- ・Hokuto Kotsu (around 1 hour 17 minutes to Sapporo Station; 1,100 yen; buy tickets at the airport)
・Chuo Bus (around 1 hour 14 minutes to Sapporo Station; 1,100 yen; buy tickets at the airport)
- ・Around 1 hour; around 9,000 yen; pickup at the airport
1. Train: Getting Japan Railways (JR) trains at New Chitose Airport to Sapporo
Japan Railways (JR) runs trains to all of Hokkaido’s major cities and their surrounding areas. The Special Rapid Airport train from New Chitose Airport can reach JR Sapporo Station in as little as 33 minutes.
Changing trains at the adjacent Minami-Chitose Station and taking a conventional limited express train will also make it possible to travel between major cities in a relatively short time.
Note that the JR trains in Hokkaido are covered under the Japan Rail Pass. If you intend to travel just around Hokkaido, JR also offers the Hokkaido Rail Pass, which allows unlimited use of limited express trains in Hokkaido for 5 or 7 days.
Limited express trains heading for more northern areas like Asahikawa and the Sea of Okhotsk (Kitami & Abashiri) are less frequent.
Hokkaido Rail Pass Fares
・5-day pass: Adults 19,000 yen (purchased abroad) / 20,000 yen (if purchased in Japan)
・7-day pass: Adults 25,000 yen (purchased abroad) / 26,000 yen (if purchased in Japan)
*Passes for children are available and are half the price of the adult rate. Child rates apply to ages 6 - 11. Some trains may require an additional fee.
Getting to JR New Chitose Airport Station
As soon as you exit the International Arrival Gate, you’ll see a sign with directions to the other transportation methods with JR and domestic flights posted in the middle of the sign. As you walk along the central passage, you’ll be able to follow more signs reading “JR Train.”
The corridor is long, but there are moving walkways and carts available to make transit smoother.
Proceeding along this route, you will arrive at the Domestic Terminal and more signs directing you to the JR Trains. There are escalators and elevators to floor B1 and JR New Chitose Airport Station.
Take note, the escalator only goes halfway and then you’ll need to use the stairs, so if you have a lot of luggage, use the elevator!
JR New Chitose Airport Station has a tourist information desk with staff who can speak English, Chinese, and Korean available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Not all languages may be supported on a daily basis; subject to availability.) The Hokkaido Rail Pass can be purchased here as well.
Ticket machines, fare tables, and electronic departures boards all feature foreign language support as well. The fare from New Chitose Airport Station to Sapporo Station is 1,150 yen for adults (570 yen for children).
2. New Chitose Airport Bus
Buses are a very convenient and reasonably priced way of arriving at specific locations within Sapporo, Niseko (only in winter), Tokachigawa Onsen, etc. Reservations are required for some routes.
Also, be aware that seats are limited and may be full during Golden Week, Obon, and New Year's holidays.
Some express buses can be boarded from both the International and Domestic Terminals, while others only depart from the Domestic terminal. Check in advance where you need to get on your highway bus.
Getting to the bus terminal at the International Terminal
The main transportation signboard just outside the International Arrival Gate provides direction to the “Routing Bus / Group Bus” to the right. Head that way to reach the first-floor bus stop.
There’s an information counter on the ground floor where you can ask about routes and buy tickets. Foreign language signs and guidance are available.
Getting to the bus terminal at the Domestic Terminal
To use buses that only leave from the Domestic Terminal, first head down the central walkway to the Domestic Terminal – the same as going to the JR lines.
Information counters for Chuo Bus, Hokuto Kotsu, and Donan Bus are located on the first floor of the Domestic Terminal Building.
The information counters have automated ticket vending machines, and staff members are always present and can offer some simple foreign language assistance.
Chuo Bus and Hokuto Kotsu tickets can be used on both routes as long as they are within the same fare range.
- Chuo Bus: Major points in Sapporo, Chitose/Lake Shikotsu, Niseko/Rusutsu ski bus (reservation required)
- Hokuto Kotsu: Major points in Sapporo, Jozankei Onsen, Obihiro/Tokachigawa Onsen, Asahikawa
- Abashiri Bus: Kitami/Abashiri
- Donan Bus: Muroran, Noboribetsu Onsen, Hobetsu, Tomakomai
Note that while the bus is not necessarily much cheaper over the train, a major advantage is that the bus also stops at select hotels along the route, which may be convenient for some visitors.
- Hokuto Kotsu: Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo, Hotel Royton Sapporo, Sapporo Prince Hotel, ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Sapporo, Sapporo Grand Hotel, Hotel Resol Trinity Sapporo, Hotel Abest Sapporo, Premier Hotel TSUBAKI
- Hokkaido Chuo Bus: Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo, Sapporo View Hotel Odori Koen, Sapporo Grand Hotel, Sapporo Prince Hotel, Premier Hotel TSUBAKI, Royton Sapporo, Hotel Monterey Edelhof Sapporo, ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo, Hotel Resol Trinity Sapporo
3. New Chitose Airport taxi
If you have trouble finding other suitable transportation options and want door-to-door transit to your destination to be as easy as possible, or if your budget allows, you can take a taxi.
Each company operating from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo offers a flat-rate fare (about 9,000 yen).
Recently, more taxi fares can be paid by credit card or electronic payment methods.
To use a taxi or rental car, head left from the international arrival gate and follow the signs.
The ground floor taxi stand can be reached by escalator or elevator.
4. New Chitose Airport rental car
With an international driver’s license and a car navigation system with foreign language options, you can freely move anywhere from the airport, reach your destination smoothly, and even enjoy a side trip along the way.
There are rental counters for 12 companies in both the International and Domestic Terminals.
The average rate is about 5,500 – 9,900 yen for rentals up to 12 hours, about 7,150 – 12,100 yen for 24 hours, and an additional 6,050 – 9,900 yen per day thereafter. Additional fees may apply during peak seasons.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to find parking spots; even in Hokkaido, parking lots are limited in urban areas. Also note that popular tourist destinations may have queues waiting for parking.
In recent years, the frequency of accidents involving tourists has increased. Be sure to follow traffic rules and signs, and exhibit good driving manners.
5. Book an airport transfer at New Chitose Airport
Airport transfers are an economical way of getting from the airport to Sapporo and other areas. These are especially convenient for family trips or for larger traveling parties with plenty of luggage.
Travel issues? Head to the New Chitose Airport Information Center
The Hokkaido Tourist Information Center is just outside the international arrivals gate. There are pamphlets on major tourist spots, hotels, ski resorts, and other information about Hokkaido, transportation, and the airport’s facilities. After having your sightseeing questions answered here, you can get started!
There’s also an information center in the Domestic Terminal amidst the souvenir shops that can provide guidance.
Mini guides: New Chitose (CTS) to popular Hokkaido destinations
Let's take a look at how to get to some of Hokkaido’s major sightseeing destinations using each method of transportation.
First, Sapporo, the heart of Hokkaido. Getting to JR Sapporo Station by train, bus, and car is simple. (Transit times do not include the time required for transfers. Please check in advance because departures may be infrequent.)
・JR: About 39 min on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport - Sapporo), estimated cost 1,150 yen
・Bus: About 1 hour 14 min via Express Bus (New Chitose Airport - Sapporo Station terminal), estimated cost 1,100 yen
・Car: About 1 hour using the National Road E5 expressway between New Chitose Airport IC (interchange) and Sapporo Kita IC, estimated cost 6,930 yen (highway toll 1,430 yen and half-day car rental 5,500 yen)
Hakodate is a popular destination, with its Morning Market, which sells fresh seafood, and Goryokaku Park, where you can feel the history of the late Tokugawa period. Access from New Chitose Airport to Hakodate Station is as follows. (Buses are not included because there is no direct route from New Chitose Airport to Hakodate, and you would first have to go to Sapporo before taking a bus to Hakodate.)
・JR: About 3 hr 20 min on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport - Minami Chitose, 4 min) and Express (Minami Chitose – Hakodate, 3 hr 14 min) trains, estimated cost 8,050 yen
・Car: About 3 hr 45 min using the National Road E5 expressway between New Chitose Airport IC and Onumakoen IC, then from Onumakoen IC to Hokkaido Route 149 and National Route 5, estimated cost 12,680 yen (highway toll 5,530 yen and one-day car rental 7,150 yen)
Niseko is a popular skiing destination. Here’s how to get to the Niseko Grand Hirafu resort, including the convenient winter-only ski bus.
・JR: About 2 hr 45 min on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport – Otaru, 1 hour 16 min) and Hakodate Main Line (Otaru – Kutchan, 1 hour 17 min), then the Kutchan Ekimae – Hirafu bus (18 min), estimated cost 3,280 yen
・Bus: About 2 1/2 hours on the Ski Bus New Chitose Airport - Niseko Hirafu), cost depends on the company
・Car: About 2 hr 10 min via Route 16, Route 276, and Route 478/631, estimated cost 5,500 yen (standard half-day car rental)
4. Kushiro Marsh
Kushiro Marsh has magnificent natural scenery. The wetlands are vast, so here are directions to the Kushiro Marsh Observatory on the west side. Again, no direct bus service is available from the airport; transit via Sapporo is required.
・JR: About 4 hr 12 min on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport - Minami Chitose, 3 min) and Limited express 3 hr 26 min (Minami Chitose – Kushiro) lines, then Kushiro Station – Kushiro Marsh Observatory bus (39 min), estimated cost 9,620 yen
・Car: About 4 hours via the E5 the E38 expressway between New Chitose Airport IC and Akan IC, then via routes 240, 222, and 53, estimated cost 12,460 yen (highway toll 5,310 yen and one-day car rental 7,150 yen)
・Airplane: About 2 hr 10 min via New Chitose Airport - Kushiro Airport (45 min), Kushiro Airport - Kushiro Station bus (45 min), and Kushiro Station - Kushiro City Marsh Observatory bus (40 min), approx. cost 23,910 yen (airfare 22,270 yen; bus fare 1,640 yen)
New Chitose Airport is just the first step in Hokkaido sightseeing. By choosing the right means of transportation from there, you can reach to your chosen destination faster and cheaper for a more enjoyable and fulfilling trip!
Manuscript: Mika Hosokawa,
Photography: Kazumasa Wakamatsu,
Editing (Original JP): Minna no Kotobasha
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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