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Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Singapore, Singapore
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310 posts
105 reviews
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Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi all,

I read somewhere that it is possible to travel to Hokkaido by Train from Tokyo. Can somebody share some light into this? I will be flying from Singapore to Tokyo, spending a couple of days before continuing my journey to Sendai then to Hokkaido.

Any information related to this aspect will be most helpful....

Thank you.

Roy

Sapporo, Japan
Destination Expert
for Sapporo, Hokkaido
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1. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi Roy

If you do searches on this Forum about it you'll find a lot of inf0 - trains leave Ueno Station and go north...Shinkansen as far as Aomori, and then express trains on to Hakodate and Sapporo.

It takes about 10 hours and you can do it with a JR Pass - although you have to pay extra for reserved seats and sleeping berths. You can't make reservations from outside Japan.

Have you looked on the Japan Railways website?

Amanda

Singapore, Singapore
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310 posts
105 reviews
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2. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Thks and that was helpful :)

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

A good search tool for train routing - grace.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/hyperWeb.cgi

Singapore, Singapore
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310 posts
105 reviews
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4. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi guys,

I will be in Japan during 21-31 December 2008. Understand that this will be during the Golden Week holidays.

I will be travelling between Tokyo to Hakodate (Shinkansen to Hachinohe and Limited Express to Hakodate) on 23 December 2008.

Would it be very difficult to reserve a seat during this period if say I drop by the JR Office on 21 December to book a seat?

Appreciate your help.

Roy

Tokyo
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2,346 posts
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5. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Info on train travel from Tokyo to Hokkaido:

http://tinyurl.com/68dlw6

You can make a booking for the Tokyo - Hachinohe bullet train segment online: http://tinyurl.com/4lewbg

As for JR train reservation, tickets go on sale one month prior to the travel date.

Regarding the Hachinohe - Hakodate segment on the limited express 'Hakucho', (meaning swan, btw), you can't book a seat online. So you might want to catch a 30 minutes or 1 hour earlier Shinkansen Hayate from Tokyo than what I list as a connection, and queue up for the non reserved seating section on the Hakucho on the platform for awhile to get a seat. Hachinohe is one of the terminuses for the Hakucho train, so getting a seat isn't difficult.

Singapore
8 posts
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6. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi optimistk

I'm quite lost. Any idea if there is a Hokutosei express sleeper service (11 hrs 30 m) from Ueno to Hakodate? Does the JR pass covers this train and all those you mentioned?

Thank you.

Dgal

Singapore, Singapore
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310 posts
105 reviews
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7. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi singaporedgal,

If you are holding a JR Pass, you need to top up JPY 9,450 for an overnight sleeper from UENO to Sapporo. Hope it helps.

As the journey is too long and probably not too worth the price for the sleeper surcharge, probably you can break the journey to Hokkaido by 1st stopping by at Hakodate before continuing to Sapporo.

Roy

Tokyo
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2,346 posts
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8. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

>>If you are holding a JR Pass, you need to top up JPY 9,450 for an overnight sleeper from UENO to Sapporo.<<

I'm afraid it's not...

The sleeper surcharge for a JR Pass holder is 12,150 yen.

Breakdown:

A special limited express surcharge of 2,150 yen applies to the Hokutosei and the Cassiopeia. Then the two non-JR (quasi-public) companies, IGR and Aoimori Railways impose the 490 yen and 250 yen limited express surcharges respectively in addition to the base fares of 2,300 yen and 660 yen respectively. The sleeper charge is 6,300 yen.

I'm also puzzled...

Singapore, Singapore
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310 posts
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9. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi optimistk,

Oops and thanks for correcting my error on the sleeper surcharge.

Before doing my research proper, I was still contemplating a sleeper option to save on 1 night's accomodation. But it turns out to be an even more expensive option even with a JR Pass.

Rgds,

Roy

Singapore
8 posts
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10. Re: Getting to Hokkaido by Rail

Hi minghui & Optimistk,

Thanks for the info on the night sleeper to Sapporo. When I check the grace.hyperdia.com sometime it shows limited express (not the night sleeper), about 10 hrs to Sapporo over the night while other times it dosen't.

Well, if there is no cheaper and better option, guess I have to head straight to Hakodate first.

dgal