Explore Hokkaido hassle-free!
Clean air, blue skies, undulating hills and majestic mountains – these are some of the things you can expect in Hokkaido! No matter what season you visit, you can definitely expect to return home with memories of beautiful sights and full bellies.
There are 5 different JR passes available for the Hokkaido region, as listed below
- 3 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
- 5 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
- 7 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
- JR Hokkaido Rail Pass Flexi 4 Days
- 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass
Read on to find out how you can maximize your Hokkaido JR Pass on your next holiday to Hokkaido!
1. Transport trains covered by the Hokkaido JR Pass
Each JR Pass caters specifically to different regions in Japan and comes with varying entitlements. Therefore, it is important to plan your itinerary carefully before deciding which JR Pass to purchase. While it is possible to cancel your JR Pass, do note that a 10% cancellation fee (of the cost of the purchased JR Pass) applies.
*For the 4 Day Flexi JR Hokkaido Pass, you are allowed to choose any 4 days you wish to board the train within a 10-day period from which the pass is effective.
*For the 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Pass, you are allowed to choose any 6 days you wish to board the train within a 14-day period from which the pass is effective.
2. Cities covered by the JR Hokkaido Rail Pass
This pass is great if you plan on travelling to multiple cities in Hokkaido! As compared to buying multiple one way single-trip tickets, the rail pass is definitely a more cost-efficient option!
Just a 2 way trip from Wakkanai to Kushiro would already amount to more than the Klook cost of the Japan Rail Pass. Save your wallets and opt for the JR pass for a more cost efficient way of travelling!
Photo Credit : https://vetaunhat.com/upload/6896/fck/JR%20Hokkaido%20map.gif
3. Choosing between reserved and non-reserved seats
There are reserved seatings on the following:
- Limited Express Trains
- Express Trains
- Rapid Airport Trains
- *Special and Sightseeing Trains are not eligible for reserved seating.
All you have to do is present your JR Hokkaido Rail Pass at the station ticket counter (along with the date, train name and zone) and a Reserved Seat Ticket will be issued at no extra charge. Alternatively, you may purchase it one month in advance using JR-EAST Train Reservation.
When boarding, be sure to present both your rail pass and reserved seat ticket to the conductor.
Since reservations are free of charge, we encourage you to get them. By reserving, you’ll be guaranteed a seat in the cabin and it’ll be much easier to sit together when traveling with friends or family!
Photo Credit : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/TrainsatJRHokkaidoOshamambeStationPlatform_3.jpg
4. Exchanging your JR Pass
Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll be required to collect your Exchange Order Vouchers at the different pick-up locations or have it mailed to you. Be sure to select a pick-up date that is at least 3 working days from your checkout date! Also note that your exchange voucher will only be valid for 90 days so don’t book those passes too early!
Taiwan/West Malaysia/Thailand/Philippines/South Korea Exchange Order Vouchers will be mailed to your address by registered post within 7 business days (excluding weekends and holidays).
Singapore Exchange Order Vouchers can be self-collected from:
*Address: *Klook Office, 13 Hong Kong Street Singapore 059656 *Pick up time slots: *10:00am-12:00pm, 2:00pm-7:00pm Open Monday to Friday (closed on Public Holidays)
Do note that the JR Pass is only issued in Japan, and since the Exchange Order Voucher is linked with the personal details entered by the user, you must collect the passes in person with the original passport used when booking.
Upon collection, you will be asked to choose a date for which you would like to activate your JR Pass as well. This means that if your chosen starting date is 28th June and you begin using the pass at 11:59pm, your first day will end at midnight the very same day so start the day early to make full use of the the JR Pass!
5. Hokkaido Region Highlights
There is every reason to purchase the Hokkaido JR Pass to make the most of your next holiday there. Sapporo beer aside, the region is popular and loved for its beautiful Insta-worthy landscapes and many hidden gems waiting to be uncovered and explored!
Witness the beauty of Hokkaido for yourself with the following Klook-approved activities!
Photo Credit: https://hindsfeetonhighplaces25.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/igp4922.jpg
Learn the secrets behind your favorite Japanese beers
Learn the secrets behind everyone’s favorite Hokkaido produced Pale Ale Lager at the Sapporo Beer Museum ! Entrance is free while the real treasure appears at the end of the tour – beer tasting at a minimal fee!
If you prefer Kirin beer instead, head over to the Kirin beer garden for some delicious WAGYU beef! The King Crab & Genghis Khan Grilled Lamb Course is a must-try for its unbeatable mix of delicious and tender lamb, fresh Hokkaido seafood, sure to satisfy the foodie in you.
Be sure to walk off all that food with a stroll in the Nakajima Park nearby! You wouldn’t want to get beer belly.
Klook yourself a king crab and Genghis Khan grilled lamb course and all you’ll need to do is flash your mobile e-voucher and get ready to FEAST!
Photo Credit : https://%28https//livingnomads.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Outside-Sapporo-Beer-Museum-Sapporo-Hokkaido-Japan.jpg
Get one of the BEST views from the Sapporo TV Tower
Get a bird’s eye view of the stunning city from the observatory at the Sapporo TV Tower observatory.
You’ll be rewarded with views of the vast Sea of Japan and popular ski resortIshikari Heigen from 90 meters above ground level! Remember to snap #travelgoals photos and upload them instantly to spruce up your Instagram feed with complimentary WiFi available at the observation deck.
Klook your tickets to skip the long queues at the ticketing counter! Don’t worry about wet weather spoiling your plans as Klook tickets are OPEN DATED. This way you can get rearrange those plans and ensure you get the BEST backdrop to those Instagram pictures!
Photo Credit : https://static.thousandwonders.net/Sapporo.TV.Tower.original.34077.jpg
Have tea the Japanese way
Your trip to Hokkaido would not be complete without learning the REAL art of serving tea. Take an inside look into the intricate Japanese tea culture as you savour authentic Japanese tea and sample Japanese desserts.
Upgrade your experience and experience brewing tea in a traditional kimono! You’ll also get to immortalise your experience with a take-home souvenir photo.
Klook your tickets to the Tea ceremony and all you need to do is flash your mobile voucher and you’re all set for some qualiTEA time with your loved ones.
Cruise through the city on the Otaru rickshaw tour
One of the best ways to explore the quaint harbor city of Otaru is by rickshaw. Learn about the rich history and iconic streets of the city as your local guide takes you on a customized tour!
Klook Fun Fact: The Japanese film, “Love Letter” was shot mainly in the beautiful streets of Otaru. Follow the exact spots where the fantasy love story was filmed and recreate your own version of the love story with your loved ones.
Klook your tickets to the Otaru Rickshaw Tour and you’ll get a private tour of the city! All you need to do is flash your mobile e-voucher to the rickshaw driver with Otaru’/’小樽 on his back and you’re all set!
Munch on cheese at the Furano Cheese Factory
Furano is synonymous with its picturesque landscapes and blooming lavender seasons. But, apart from the flowers, did you know the most delicious cheese is produced in Furano? You’ll be in for an interesting experience at The Furano Cheese Factory where you can observe the production process of Local Camembert Cheese. All ingredients used in the produces are sourced locally gifting it with a distinct Furano taste!
Yes, you’ll be able to enjoy some cheese samples during the post tasting session! At additional fees, you may attend hands-on workshops to learn the art behind making butter, ice-cream, cheese and even bread (advanced reservations required for bread-making workshop).
Photo Credit : https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DsTXhHYE/UswYGr8WqLI/AAAAAAAAA38/jP7XZWLz-M/s1600/20121216_140511.jpg
Feast on seafood at the Hakodate morning market
Hakodate is the third largest city in Hokkaido located in the South, best known for its delicious and fresh seafood!
The Hakodate Morning Market boasts a huge area spanning about four city blocks. So open your eyes wide, socks up and be ready to delve into the wide array of fresh seafood available. Think crabs, salmon eggs, sea urchins and squids!
Try your hand at catching an unlucky (or lucky for you) squid swimming vigorously in fish tanks. All it takes is a basic rod with a hook on the end and some arm skills…easy right? Achef will transform your fresh catch into a delectable squid sashimi!
Remember not to leave Hakodate without gobbling down the infamous Seafood Rice Bowl at “Donburi Yokocho Ichiba” located along the Morning Market.
Photo Credit : https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8357/8331459519b7d02da8afb.jpg
Scenario 1: If I’m planning to spend most of my time within Hokkaido, especially Sapporo and Furano, which pass should I get?
Valid for 5 days, the 5 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass is perfect for exploring the best of all Hokkaido! If you think 5 consecutive days might be a bit too long, look out for the JR Hokkaido Rail Pass Flexible 4 Days that allows you to choose any 4 days you wish to board the train within a 10-day period from which the pass is effective.
Scenario 2: If I’m intending to toggle between Tokyo and visiting places such as Sapporo and Lake Toya during my trip, which pass should I get?
Since you’re spending more time in the Eastern part of Japan and areas along the South of Hokkaido, we recommend you purchase the 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass!
Besides travelling between Tokyo and other parts of the Eastern region hassle-free, it also allows you to use it for any 6 days within 14 days of purchase date.
Scenario 3: It’s my first time to Japan and I’m thinking of exploring the many regions, should I still purchase the JR Hokkaido Pass?
In this case, it seems like you aren’t planning to stay in one specific region for long therefore we suggest you purchase the 7 Day Whole Japan Rail Pass (also available in 14 or 21 days).
To Hokkaido we go!
Are you ready to delve into the wonders of Hokkaido? All that’s left is picking out your preferred JR Pass. To immortalize your trip and share those Insta-worthy moments, remember to snag yourself a 4G WiFi Device as well!
Still unsure about how the JR pass works? Check out our guide to the JR pass to find out more details about what exactly this pass does and how you should go about booking one.
Book your flights, pack your bags and get ready to explore Hokkaido! For a very limited time only, Scoot can take you direct from Singapore to Sapporo for as low as S$219! Direct flights from Singapore to Sapporo will only run from Nov 2017 to Feb 2018.