The subways that run beneath the central part of Sapporo are essential for sightseeing. You can access almost all of the major sightseeing spots of the city by subway. The subway is easy to use at an affordable cost guaranteed to make your sightseeing even more enjoyable.
1. Sapporo’s subways are convenient for sightseeing! Three things you should do beforehand
The subway lines run from the city center in all directions of the compass. The trains depart frequently and are ideal for sightseeing as there are subway stations at nearly all major sightseeing spots and within easy walking distance.
- Tip 1: There are 3 lines in total!
- The three municipal subway lines are the Namboku Line, Tozai Line, and Toho Line with fares beginning at 200 yen. The time between stations is about one to three minutes.
The central stations are Sapporo Station and Odori Station.
- Tip 2: Remember Sapporo Station!
- Sapporo Station is directly connected to the JR Sapporo Station, so it is an easy three-minute walk underground after you arrive at JR Sapporo Station via the JR Rapid Airport Train that departs New Chitose Airport. Once at the subway Sapporo Station you can board either the Namboku Line or the Toho Line.
- Tip 3: Remember Odori Station!
- Odori Station is located right in the middle of Odori Park, a sightseeing spot around which there are many things to see and places to eat. At Odori Station you can transfer to any of the other lines, including the Tozai Line. If you are looking for somewhere to eat, the Susukino Station is right in the middle of the Susukino district which is famous for offering all sorts of entertainment.
2. Map of Municipal Subway Lines
Each line is color coded and transfer stations are clearly indicated. The line color and route for each is given below. When transferring from Sapporo Station, you go out once through the yellow transfer ticket gates and can enter within 30 minutes. When transferring at Odori Station there is no need to go out the ticket gates.
- Namboku Subway Line (Green)
- This is a very convenient line for sightseers as it runs north and south going through Odori Station, Susukino Station, and Nakajima Park Station.
- Tozai Subway Line (Orange)
- Odori Station is at the heart of the Tozai Line. It goes through the Nishi 11-chome Station at Odori Park and the Maruyama Park Station that is right in the Maruyama area. The Sapporo Central Wholesale Market Outer Market is within walking distance of the Nijuyon-ken Station.
- Toho Subway Line (Blue)
- This line, like the Namboku Line, also runs north and south through the city. It runs parallel with the Namboku Subway line going through Sapporo Station, Odori Station, and other stations before and after them. Fukuzumi Station is the southern terminus and the closest station to the Sapporo Dome.
3. Major Sightseeing Spots and Nearest Subway Stations
Most sightseeing spots are located along the Namboku subway line. The Sapporo Station, Odori Station, and Susukino Station on the Namboku Line and the Odori Station, Tozai Line in front of the Bus Center Station on the Namboku, Tozai, and Toho Lines are all connected by underground passageways. Several exits lead to above ground so that they are close to areas you wish to visit thus minimizing the distances you need to walk. This is especially convenient when it rains or snows. The time it takes to get to major sightseeing spots from the nearest stations is given below.
Sapporo TV Tower
Very close to Exit No. 27 of Odori Station of the Namboku, Tozai, and Toho Lines
Close to Odori Station on the Namboku, Tozai, and Toho subway lines. Also close to Odori Nishi 11-chome on the Tozai Line
7-minute walk from Odori Station on the Namboku, Tozai, and Toho Lines
Close to the Namboku Line Susukino Station. Also accessible from the Toho Line Hosui-Susukino Station
Nijo Fish Market
3-minute walk from the Odori Station on the Namboku, Tozai, and Toho Lines
4-minute walk from the Kita-Juni-jo Station and 8-minute walk from the Kita-Juhachi-jo Station on the Namboku Line
Close to the No. 3 exit of Nakajima Park Station on the Namboku Line
Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill
10 minutes by bus from the Fukuzumi Station on the Toho Line
4. Guide to riding subways
In the case of cash, purchase the ticket from a vending machine. When using an IC Card for transport that has previously been charged up with cash, touch the card to the ticket gate when entering. It is possible to purchase SAPICA IC cards from vending machines in the Sapporo Metropolitan subway stations. Cost of the card is 2,000 yen (500 yen is a deposit on the card; 1,500 yen available for ticket fares. Deposit is returned when card is returned). Note that the SAPICA IC card can only be used within the Sapporo city limits and suburbs.
When using cash
1. Look for a ticket vending machine near the ticket gate of the subway station and check the fare for the place you want to go to on the route map above
2. You can select English on the ticket vending machines in addition to Japanese. The English button is at the bottom left of the screen
3. To pay in cash, touch the green "Metro only" button
4. The screen shows the fare amounts, so touch the fare amount for the place where you want to go; insert the money and the ticket comes out
5. Put the ticket with the printed side up into the ticket gate. Remember to retrieve the ticket as you pass through the gate as you will need to use it again when you later exit
6. When you descend to the platform verify which side has trains going in the direction you want to go
5. Special Sapporo Metro Subway Tickets
5. Special Sapporo Metro Subway Tickets
One-Day Ticket for Subway use and Donichika Pass (one-day subway pass for weekends and holidays)
The One-Day Ticket for Subway Use can be used for unlimited rides on the subways for one day. As the fares begin at 200 yen, this ticket is good if you plan on riding the subway five or more times. The cost of the ticket is 830 yen for adults and 420 yen for children.
The ticket is sold in subway ticket vending machines. The One-Day Ticket / Donichika Pass button is at the top of the left side of the vending machine. After you touch it, a screen will appear saying For Subway Use 830 yen in green. Insert the correct amount, then touch the button and the ticket will come out.
The Donichika Pass is a one-day unlimited use subway pass limited for use on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and at the end of the year (December 29 ~ January 3). It is more reasonably priced that the One-Day Ticket because it is only for weekends and holidays. It costs 520 yen for adults and 260 yen for children.
The pass can be bought in the same way as the One-Day Ticket. Touch the orange colored Donichika Pass 520 yen button on the screen, insert your money, touch the button, and the ticket will come out.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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