Explore Hokkaido with Ultimate Convenience

HOKKAIDO SCENARY

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Hokkaido is the second largest of the four main islands in Japan. With cool weather all year round (though it can get pretty harsh during Winter) and stunning landscapes, it’s the place for outdoor nature lovers!

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Now if you don’t drive, getting around Hokkaido can sometimes be a little difficult but not when you have yourself a Hokkaido JR Pass!

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

Not sure what exactly a JR Pass is? Click here for full details.

Read on to find out how you can fully maximize your Hokkaido JR Pass!

What are the cities and trains covered by the JR Pass?

Snow Capped Mountain in Hokkaido

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Each JR Pass caters specifically to different regions in Japan and is accompanied by varying entitlements. Therefore, it is important to carefully plan your trip itinerary 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 purchased JR Pass applies. Decide carefully!

For the 3/5/7 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass and JR Hokkaido Rail 4 Day Flexi Pass, you are entitled to unlimited traveling on the following:

  1. Reserved and non-reserved seats on JR Hokkaido Limited Express trains
  2. Reserved and non-reserved seats on JR Hokkaido Express trains
  3. JR Hokkaido local trains
  4. JR Hokkaido buses within Sapporo
  5. JR Hokkaido buses between Sapporo and Otaru

*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

Do note that all the JR Hokkaido Rail Pass are not inclusive of:

  1. South Hokkaido Railway, Sapporo Municipal Subway, and other train companies outside of JR
    Hokkaido Hayabusa and Hayata Shinkansen
  2. Buses between Sapporo-Asahikawa, Mobetsu, Hiro’o, Kiroro, Ohibiro, Erimo, Shin Sapparo-Atsubetsu Stadium, JR Shiroishi Station-Sapporo Dome
  3. Chuo Buses

A separate basic fare is also required for the Hokkaido Shinkansen.

The cities covered by all the JR Hokkaido Rail Passes include:

JR Pass Hokkaido City Map

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However, if you are up for exploring Eastern Honshu and South Hokkaido, you may opt for the 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Pass that allows you unlimited traveling (ordinary seats) on the following:

  1. JR Hokkaido Lines
  2. JR East Lines (including Rapid Bus Transit)
  3. Izu Kyuko Line
  4. Tokyo Monorail
  5. Aoimori Railway
  6. Iwate Galaxy Railway
  7. Sendai Airport Transit
  8. Local and Rapid trains between Shimo-imaichi and Tobu-nikko/Kinugawa-onsen on Tobu Railway Lines
  9. Limited Express trains that connect directly with Tobu Railway Lines between Kurihashi and Shimo-imaichi Station

*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.

Do note that the 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Pass is not inclusive of:

  1. Tokaido Shinkansen
  2. Between Goryokaku Station and Kikonai Station on the South Hokkaido Railway
  3. JR Buses

The cities covered by all the 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Pass include:

JR Pass East-South Hokkaido City Outline

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What is the difference between reserved and non-reserved seats?

Hokkaido Train

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There are reserved seatings on the following:

  1. Shinkansen
  2. Limited Express Trains
  3. Express Trains
  4. 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!

Where are the different Exchange Points?

OTARU CANAL

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Once 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.

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)

Hong Kong

Exchange Order Vouchers can be self-collected from:

  • Hong Kong International Airport Arrivals Area, Terminal 1, Counter A13
    Opening Hours: 7.00am – 11.00pm, Daily
  • Klook Office, 16/F, Car Po Commercial Building, Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
    Opening Hours: 10.00am – 7.00pm, Monday – Friday (closed on public holidays)

Singapore

Exchange Order Vouchers can be self-collected from:

  • Klook Office, 78B Boat Quay, Singapore 049866
    Pick-Up Slots: 10.00am – 12.00pm / 2.00pm – 4.00pm / 4.00pm – 7.00pm, Monday – Friday (closed on Public Holidays)

HOKKAIDO RAILWAY

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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.

With the Exchange Order Voucher, you can head to the different ticketing booths in Japan.

  1. Sapporo Station (JR Information Desk)
  2. New Chitose Airport Station (JR Information Desk)
  3. Hakodate Station
  4. Noboribetsu Station
  5. Asahikawa Station
  6. Obihiro Station
  7. Kushiro Station
  8. Abashiri Station
  9. Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station

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!

Additionally, while booking you would have to pick the date in which you intend to exchange for the JR Pass and the Exchange Order Voucher will only be valid for 90 days from the date booking is confirmed.

Hokkaido Region Highlights

Lavendar Fields in Hokkaido

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Mention Hokkaido and Sapporo (beer) pops up in our minds! 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!

Sapporo

1.The Sapporo Beer Museum

Sapporo Beer Museum

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Ahhh…the smooth American Pale Lager-style beer that everyone enjoys! Renovated in 2004, the Sapporo Beer Museum takes you through its history and the process of beer brewing. Entrance is free while the real treasure appears at the end of the tour – beer tasting at a minimal fee!

Right beside stands the Sapporo Beer Garden filled with several restaurants. We recommend the Garden Grill where you’ll be greeted with the “Genghis Khan” – an exquisite Japanese grilled mutton dish using only meat from grain-fed lambs. Have it with the delicious Sapporo Draft Beer “Black Label – The Hokkaido” and you’ll be in for a real sweet treat!

Location: 9 Chome-1-1 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 065-8633, Japan
Operating Hours: 11.30am – 8.00pm (Entry until 7.30pm)
Nearest JR Station: JR Sapporo Station

2.Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo TV Tower
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Don’t leave the region without getting a bird’s eye view of the stunning city from the thrilling observatory.

Take in the best view you can ever get of the vast Sea of Japan and popular ski resort Ishikari 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.

Location: 1 Chome Odorinishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 060-0042, Japan
Operating Hours: 9.30am – 9.30pm
Nearest JR Station: JR Sapporo Station

Visit the famous Sapporo TV Tower when you purchase your tickets with Klook today! Skip the queues and take a ton of photos at one of the most famous landmarks in Sapporo, all with a hassle-free booking!

Klook me to the Sapporo TV Tower!
 

3.Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony Hokkaido
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Your trip to Hokkaido would not be complete without learning the REAL art of serving tea (besides getting the birds eye view of Sapporo). The Japanese Tea Ceremony is of significance in the country and represents harmony, respect, purity and tranquility, in which we must embrace.
The Tea Ceremony invites you to an inside look into the intricate Japanese tea culture; to understand the meaning behind every move and savour authentically brewed tea in a traditional setting. To further set the mood, select the “Tea Ceremony in Kimono” package and experience brewing tea in a traditional kimono! Immortalise your experience with a take-home souvenir photo and reward yourself to a Japanese dessert served after the 1.5 hour tea ceremony.

Location: 2 Chome-7-1 Minami 2 Johigashi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 060-0052, Japan
Operating Hours: 9.00am – 5.30pm (unavailable on Tuesday and Wednesday)
Nearest JR Station: JR Sapporo Station

Experience the cultural Tea Ceremony when you purchase your tickets with Klook today! Skip the queues and learn about tea, all with a hassle-free booking!

Klook me to the Tea Ceremony now!

Otaru

4.Otaru Rickshaw Tour

Otaru Rickshaw Tour

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Otaru is a small habour city northwest of Sapporo and what better way is there than to admire the quaint town on a comfortable rickshaw. Customise your route together with your tour guide and allow him to bring you through Otaru’s rich history, iconic streets, building and piers.

Japanese film, “Love Letter” directed by Shunji Iwai was shot mainly in the beautiful streets of Otaru. It became an instant hit in Korea when it was released in 1999 and many Korean tourists visited the exact spots where the fantasy love story was filmed.

So hop on the traditional rickshaw and enjoy your ride!

Klook me to the Otaru Rickshaw Tour now!

Furano

5.The Furano Cheese Factory

The Furano Cheese Factory
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Furano, popular for its picturesque landscapes and blooming lavender seasons is situated in central Hokkaido. 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).

Location: Nakagoku, Furano, Hokkaido Prefecture 076-0013, Japan
Operating Hours : 9.00am – 5.00pm
Nearest JR Station: JR Furano Station

Hakodate

6.The Hakodate Morning Market

Hokkaido Fresh Crab

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Hakodate is the third largest city in Hokkaido located in the South, best known for its delicious and fresh seafood!

The Hakodate Morning Market opens daily from 5.00am (6.00am during Winter) till noon and 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.

Seafood Donburi Hokkaido

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Location: Wakamatsu 9−19, Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture 040-0063, Japan
Operating Hours: 5.00am – 12 noon
Nearest JR Station: JR Hakodate Station

Which pass should I get?

Having a hard time deciding with Hokkaido JR Pass to get? Here’s something to guide you along!

Scenario 1: If I’m planning to spend most of my time within Hokkaido, especially Sapporo and Furano, which pass should I get?
Sapporo Night Scene

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Valid for 5 days, the 5 Day JR Hokkaido Rail Pass will give you access to the following:

  1. Reserved and non-reserved seats on JR Hokkaido Limited Express trains
  2. Reserved and non-reserved seats on JR Hokkaido Express trains
  3. JR Hokkaido local trains
  4. JR Hokkaido buses within Sapporo
  5. JR Hokkaido buses between Sapporo and Otaru

Lavendar Icecream in Lavendar Field Hokkaido

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This 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?

Lake Toya
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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!

With the 6 Day JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass, you are entitled to the following:

  1. JR Hokkaido Lines
  2. JR East Lines (including Rapid Bus Transit)
  3. Izu Kyuko Line
  4. Tokyo Monorail
  5. Aoimori Railway
  6. Iwate Galaxy Railway
  7. Sendai Airport Transit
  8. Local and Rapid trains between Shimo-imaichi and Tobu-nikko/Kinugawa-onsen on Tobu Railway Lines
  9. Limited Express trains that connect directly with Tobu Railway Lines between Kurihashi and Shimo-imaichi Station

This pass not only makes 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?

Congratulations on booking your first trip to Japan, you’ll love it!

Streets of Tokyo

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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). You’ll enjoy the ultimate flexibility to visit the best sites in Japan and get to choose between the Ordinary or Green Car pass to suit your travel preferences!

Shibuya Crossing

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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 and perhaps booking a personal Airport Transfer to be transportation-worry free! To immortalize your trip and share those Insta-worthy moments, remember to snag yourself a 4G WiFi Device as well!