How to Travel to Hokkaido From Tokyo in 2023: Price Comparison
Hokkaido is a popular destination that is easy to access from Tokyo by airplane and other means of transportation. We've compared the prices for traveling to Hokkaido via airplane, Shinkansen, and car, along with travel times and benefits.
Traveling to Hokkaido from Tokyo
Photo by Pixta
Hokkaido is a major travel destination, boasting the largest land area of all the 47 prefectures in Japan. Visitors who wish to travel from Tokyo to Hokkaido are recommended to learn about how to get to the region they want to see, as cities and destinations in Hokkaido are located far apart.
Based on information available in December 2022, we've compared the best ways to travel to Hokkaido from Tokyo in terms of price, travel times, and convenience.
Flying to Hokkaido is Fast, Convenient, and Inexpensive
Our recommended way of traveling to Hokkaido is by airplane because it is fast, convenient, and inexpensive compared to the bullet train.
Flights to Hokkaido from Haneda Airport
There are eleven airports in Hokkaido and nine of them can be directly reached from Haneda Airport.
Every day, there are about ten flights to Asahikawa Airport, eight flights to Hakodate Airport, six flights to Kushiro Airport, three to Memambetsu Airport, and one flight to Nakashibetsu Airport (near Wakkanai, Mombetsu, and Nemuro).
For New Chitose Airport (Sapporo), there are daily more than 50 flights from Haneda Airport. A flight from Haneda Airport takes about one hour and a half, and a ticket for a regular seat costs between 7,640 yen and 47,640 yen.
Flights to Hokkaido from Narita Airport
There are also daily flights from Narita Airport to New Chitose Airport, Kushiro, and Memambetsu. If you take a low-cost carrier from Narita Airport, you'll be able to travel to Hokkaido for as less as 6,440 yen.
However, please be aware that traveling to Narita Airport from central Tokyo by train or bus may cost more than 1,000 yen.
New Chitose Aiport: Hokkaido's Main Transportation Hub
Hokkaido's New Chitose Airport is the third largest airport in Japan after Haneda and Narita, operating numerous domestic and international flights every day.
Inside the airport, there is a shopping mall, a ramen restaurant street, and even a hot spring bathing area! You won't get bored at this facility.
New Chitose Airport is also very convenient if you wish to go to other regions of Hokkaido. It has regular flights to Hakodate, Kushiro, Memambetsu, Wakkanai, and Nakashibetsu.
In order to reach Sapporo City from New Chitose Airport, you can take an airport limousine bus that takes you to the city in 50 to 90 minutes (1,100 yen) or the JR Rapid Airport (1,150 yen) train, which takes you to the city in 37 minutes.
Take the Bullet Train from Tokyo to Hakodate via Hokkaido Shinkansen
The Hokkaido Shinkansen route connects Honshu (the main island of Japan) to Hokkaido, allowing direct access from Tokyo Station to Shin-Hakodate Hokuto Station. The bullet train journey takes approximately four hours and costs 22,690 yen.
The flight from Haneda Airport to Hakodate Airport takes about 80 minutes. Riding the Shinkansen takes more time, but train service is usually not delayed or suspended during poor weather conditions. From this point of view, the Shinkansen is a more reliable mode of transportation. Moreover, the leisurely pace of train travel means allows riders to enjoy the scenery along the way.
Use the convenient travel passes for international visitors! Book the JR PASS and Hokkaido Rail Pass on KLOOK
Special offer until June 30!
Click here to get a 5% discount on any KLOOK purchase!
Driving to Hokkaido from Tokyo
Photo by Pixta
Hokkaido’s wide roads are famous, and many visitors to Hokkaido want to experience driving on them.
If you rent a car in Tokyo and drive north through Tohoku, then head up to Hokkaido, you can enjoy every sight along the way. However, you must keep in mind that the drive from Tokyo to Sapporo will take 17 hours without stops.
Expressway tolls to Hokkaido will cost upwards of 20,000 yen, and transporting your rental car on the Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry from Aomori to Hakodate will cost at least 18,760 yen, plus the cost of the rental car as well as the gas. This is an expensive option, so if you plan to rent a car, you must anticipate the considerable time and money investment.
If you wish to use a rental car, we suggest traveling to Hokkaido by airplane or train, and rent a car at your destination.
*The schedule of the ferry crossing the Tsugaru Strait changes every season.
Rent a car using Tabirai Rental Cars
Voucher for 10% discount on the services of Nippon Rent-a-Car
Traveling Within Hokkaido by Airplane, Train, and Car in Comparison
Photo by Pixta
If you wish to travel from Sapporo to a remote area such as Wakkanai, we suggest taking an airplane.
As mentioned above, there are daily flights from New Chitose Aiport to Hakodate, Kushiro, Memambetsu, and Nakashibetsu airports. Please note, however, that the airlines operating within Hokkaido are either ANA or JAL; since there are no low-cost carriers, the tickets may be a little expensive.
If you wish to visit several cities and destinations, traveling by train in Hokkaido is very convenient. JR Hokkaido Lines operate throughout the region. There is even a unique sightseeing train called Ryuhyo Monogatari, which allows you to see the beautiful drift ice scenery that can only be enjoyed in this region!
Moreover, international visitors can use discount travel passes that allows them to travel at great value for price: JR PASS and Hokkaido Rail Pass.
Travel by Rental Car
Using a rental car is very convenient for traveling around Hokkaido. The lavender fields in Furano, the mountainside of Asahikawa, or the splendid nature and art spots around Sapporo can all be easily accessed by rental car.
MATCHA's readers can use a 10% discount voucher for renting a car from Nippon Rent-a-Car, one of the largest rental car services in Japan.
Please be careful, however, when driving in Hokkaido in winter. This region sees severe snowfall every year and there might be frost on the roads. Because of the snow, the road might not be visible. In other words, please also consider traveling by train in combination with using a rental car.
Prepare for Your Hokkaido Trip! Book Accommodations and WiFi
If you've already booked your tickets for Hokkaido, you'll also probably want to look for hotels.
You can find good accommodation at conveninet prices by using Booking.com or Agoda.
You might also need a WiFi connection since the places that offer free internet connections in Japan are still quite limited. Renting a pocket WiFi is very convenient for travelers. Using the 20% discount voucher below to rent Ninja-WiFi, one of the most popular portable internet services in Japan.
Enjoy planning your trip and have a great time in Hokkaido!
See Tickets for Hokkaido Activities
Klook offers a variety of tours and experiences for those looking for something to do in Hokkaido. See some potential activities below:
Hokkaido Day Tour from Sapporo: Asahiyama Zoo, Shirahige Waterfall, and More (English / Chinese Guide)
Icebreaker Ship Ride and Ice Fall Festival Day Tour from Sapporo
Goryokaku Tower Admission Ticket in Hakodate
Discover more activities for Hokkaido, Sapporo, Hakodate, Otaru, and Asahikawa