New Chitose Airport is the main point of arrival for most visitors for their flight to Hokkaido. From there, as you might expect, there are a ton of different transportation options available, so it can be pretty hard to choose which is right for you.
We put together this guide to help you find out how to get from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo and other popular sightseeing spots.
- Table of Contents
- 5 New Chitose Airport Transportation Options
- 1. Train: Getting Japan Railways (JR) trains at New Chitose Airport
- 2. New Chitose Airport Bus
- 3. New Chitose Airport Taxi
- 4. New Chitose Airport Rental Car
- 5. Connecting Flight at New Chitose Airport
- Travel issues? Head to the New Chitose Airport Information Center
- Getting to Popular Hokkaido Tourist Spots from New Chitose Airport
5 New Chitose Airport Transportation Options
1. Train: Getting Japan Railways (JR) trains at New Chitose Airport
Japan Railways (JR) runs trains to all of Hokkaido’s major cities and their surrounding areas. The 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.
For overseas tourists, JR offers passes for unlimited use of reserved seats on limited express trains and the JR Hokkaido Bus (except on some routes).
There are two types of Hokkaido Rail Pass: those that can be used for 3, 5, or 7 consecutive days from the start date of use, and the “Flexible 4-day” pass, which can be used any 4 days out of 10 from the date of issue.
Limited express trains heading for more northern areas like Asahikawa and the Sea of Okhotsk (Kitami & Abashiri) are less frequent.
Hokkaido Rail Pass Fares
3-day pass: Adults 17,400 yen, Children 8,700 yen
5-day pass: Adults 23,480 yen, Children 11,740 yen
7-day pass: Adults 25,710 yen, Children 12,850 yen
Flexible 4-day pass: Adults 23,480 yen, Children 11,740 yen
*Child rates apply to ages 6 - 11
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 large 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 to 19:00 and 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
Highway buses are a very convenient and reasonably priced way of arriving at specific locations within Sapporo, Niseko, 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.
■ How to access 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.
■ How to access 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.
Main destinations of each bus company
Chuo Bus: Major points in Sapporo, Chitose/Lake Shikotsu, Niseko/Rusutsu ski bus (reservation required)
Hokuto Kotsu: Major points in Sapporo, Jozankei hot spring, Obihiro/Tokachigawa hot spring, Asahikawa, Kitami/Abashiri
Donan Bus: Muroran, Noboribetsu hot spring, Shizunai/Urakawa, Hobetsu, Tomakomai
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 fee is about 5,500 – 9,200 yen for rentals up to 12 hours, about 6,500 – 11,000 yen for 24 hours, and an additional 5,500 – 9,200 yen per day thereafter. Additional fees may apply during peak seasons.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to find parking everywhere you go and, even in Hokkaido, parking spaces are limited in urban areas. Be aware 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. Connecting Flight at New Chitose Airport
Hokkaido is huge but you can reach six regional airports in approximately 35-50 minutes: South to Hakodate; Kushiro, Nakashibetsu, and Memanbetsu to the east; and Wakkanai and Rishiri in northern Hokkaido. Flying is a convenient way to save time if you have a restricted itinerary.
Of course, cost is an issue with regular fares almost twice the price of other modes of transportation. If you want to get the best value, check the airlines’ websites for early discounts.
If you encounter any issues, head to the Information Center.
Travel issues? Head to the New Chitose Airport Information Center
The Hokkaido Tourist Information Center is just outside the international arrival 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.
Getting to Popular Hokkaido Tourist Spots from New Chitose Airport
(1) Sapporo city center
Let's take a look at how to get to some of Hokkaido’s major sightseeing destinations using each method of transportation. First, Sapporo city center, the heart of Hokkaido. Getting to JR Sapporo Station by train, bus, and car is simple. (Transit times do not include time required for transfers. Please check in advance because departures may be infrequent.)
● JR: About 40 minutes on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport - Sapporo), estimated cost 1,150 yen
● Bus: About 1 hour 15 minutes 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 9,260 yen (highway toll 2,660 yen and half-day car rental 6,600 yen)
Hakodate is a popular destination, with its Morning Market that 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 hours 20 minutes on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport - Minami Chitose, 5 minutes) and Express (Minami Chitose – Hakodate, 3 hours 15 minutes ) trains, estimated cost 8,050 yen
● Car: About 3 hours and 45 minutes 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 13,780 yen (highway toll 5,530 yen and one-day car rental 82,50 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 hours 45 minutes on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport – Otaru, 1 hour 15 minutes) and Hakodate Main Line (Otaru – Kutchan, 1 hour 15 minutes), then the Kutchan Ekimae – Hirafu bus (15 minutes), estimated cost 3,280 yen
● Bus: About 3 hours 33 minutes on the Ski Bus New Chitose Airport - Niseko Hirafu), estimated cost 2,650 yen
● Car: About 2 hours and 10 minutes via Route 16, Route 276, and Route 478/631, estimated cost 6,600 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 3 hours and 45 minutes on the Chitose Line Rapid (New Chitose Airport - Minami Chitose, 5 minutes) and Limited express approx. 3 hours (Minami Chitose – Kushiro, 3hours) lines, then Kushiro Station – Kushiro Marsh Observatory bus (40 minutes), estimated cost 9,610 yen
● Car: About 4 hours via the E5 the E38 expressway between New Chitose Airport IC and Akan IC then to via routes 240, 222, and 53, estimated cost 13,560 yen (highway toll 5,310 yen and one-day car rental 8,250 yen)
● Airplane: About 2 hours and 10 minutes via New Chitose Airport - Kushiro Airport (45 minutes), Kushiro Airport - Kushiro Station bus (45 minutes), and Kushiro Station - Kushiro City Marsh Observatory bus (40 minutes ), estimated cost 23,720 yen (air fare 22,100 yen; bus fare 1,620 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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