There are many cheap flights every day from the international New Chitose Airport (CTS) and 8 domestic airports of Hokkaido:
- Hakodate airport (HKD)
- Kushiro airport (KUH)
- Memanbetsu airport (MMB)
- Nakashibetsu airport (SHB)
- Okadama airport (OKD)
- Okushiri airport (OIR)
- Rishiri airport (RIS)
- Wakkanai airport (WKJ)
Japanese trains arrive & depart on time; arrive early to make sure you can ride your train. For cheaper transportation, consider buying an “All-Japan” JR Pass (before coming to Japan) or a local Hokkaido Rail Pass (after arriving in Japan).
Eastern Hokkaido Sightseeing Bus
You can ride the two dedicated routes of the Eastern Hokkaido Sightseeing Bus to easily reach great sightseeing destinations. Thanks to them, no need to think about the organization of special trips:
|North Line||Sapporo – Asahikawa – Sounkyo – Okhotsk – Utoro|
|South Line||Sapporo – New Chitose Airport – Obihiro – Tokachigawa – Lake Akan – Mashu – Utoro|
Intercity buses give you access to places inaccessible by train; they also reduce transportation costs for those ready to spend more time reaching a destination. Expect nice reclining seats and restrooms but bring earplugs in case your neighbours snore…
Car rental & Driving in Hokkaido
The roads of Hokkaido are in good state and enable you to enjoy great landscapes; you will find many places with clean toilets, food and drinks along the main roads. Renting a car also lets you reach destinations inaccessible through public transportation. In winter though some roads close and driving may become dangerous so get ready and change your plans if you get nervous. In Hokkaido, like in the rest of Japan, you will have to drive on the left side of the road.
You can rent cars at the major cities and airports (Japanese people call the services “Rent-a-car”). Checking the requirements and making reservations in advance is strongly recommended with car rental companies.
To explore Hokkaido, you should rent a car with an up-to-date navigation system in English. In addition, consider installing dedicated applications such as Drive Hokkaido! on your smartphone/tablet. Good planners may prefer to use their favourite online map service with GPS localization to get directions in their native language, selecting destinations they registered before flying to Japan…