Sapporo Transportation Guide: Access & Getting Around

Japan

 

Sapporo is one of the largest cities in Japan and is located in Hokkaido.

The city has an extensive transportation system, making it easy to access
various sightseeing spots by combining walking and transportation.

In this article, I will introduce how to reach Sapporo City from New Chitose Airport,
provide information about advantageous 1-day tickets, and give tips
on how to travel efficiently within the city.

 

How to access Sapporo City from New Chitose Airport

 

Getting from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo is quite convenient,
and can be easily done by taking a train.

The railway station at New Chitose Airport is situated on the lower level
of the domestic terminal building. You can purchase tickets from automatic ticket machines
that support both English and Japanese languages. Alternatively, you can buy tickets
from the ticket office which has multilingual staff available to assist you.

If you possess prepaid IC cards such as Kitaca, ICOCA, Suica, or PASMO,
you can use them to pass through the ticket gates directly without any hassle.

 

JR Hokkaido’s Airport Rapid is the quickest way to travel between Sapporo and the airport.
Trains run every 15 minutes, and the journey takes approximately 37 minutes. The fare is 1,150 yen.

This train service can also take you to Otaru without the need to change trains,
and the journey time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes

Don’t let a late arrival or early departure at New Chitose Airport cause you unnecessary stress. Opt for a hotel near the airport for a hassle-free experience.

The main means of transportation in Sapporo

The main means of transportation are buses, subways, trams, and rental cars.

Renting a car is a great way to explore Hokkaido at your own pace, especially
if you want to visit rural areas that aren’t easily accessible by train.
There are car rental offices near New Chitose Airport, Sapporo Station, and Odori Station.

It’s possible to rent a car from one office and return it
to a different office within the same rental company!

Book your car rental online with Rentalcars.com – it’s fast, easy, and hassle-free!

Sapporo Municipal Subway

Sapporo Municipal Subway is an efficient and convenient mode of transportation
for exploring the beautiful sights of Sapporo.

With its three distinct lines – Namboku Line (green), Tozai Line (orange), and Toho Line (blue)
– the subway system covers all major tourist attractions across the city.

The subway operates from around 6:00 am until midnight, but keep in mind that
the operating hours may differ on weekends and public holidays.

The cost of a one-way fare varies from ¥210 to ¥380 for an adult
and ¥110 to ¥190 for a child. You can pay for your fare in cash
or use an IC card such as ICOCA, PASMO, SAPICA, Kitaca, or Suica.

Did you know that Sapporo has its own IC card called SAPICA?
This card is only valid for use on Sapporo’s subway lines, buses, and streetcars.
The unique feature of this card is that every time you use it, you earn points equal to 10% of your fare. Once you have accumulated enough points, they will be automatically used to cover your fare. Isn’t that convenient?

About the one-day ticket for the subway

 

If you plan on seeing many sights in a day, travel passes are an excellent choice.
They make it easy to explore without worrying about buying individual tickets and
can be very affordable depending on how much you use them.

There are two types of one-day subway tickets:
one for weekdays and one for weekends and holidays.

One-day subway tickets (weekday): Adults: 830 yen; children: 420 yen

One-day subway tickets (Donichika Ticket): 520 yen for adults, 260 yen for children
Valid on weekends, national holidays, and Dec. 29 – Jan. 3

You can purchase them from the subway ticket vending machines.

Half-day walking in Otaru’s retro canal city.

Streetcar (Tram)

 

The Sapporo Streetcar runs in a loop in the southwest part of downtown Sapporo,
where there are no subway trains.

While riding the streetcar, take a moment to admire the unique
residential areas and shopping arcades outside.

The streetcar operates from 06:00 to 23:00, with varying hours on weekends and public holidays

How to Pay Your Fare

When getting on the tram, hop in through the rear door and exit from the front.

For cash payments, insert the exact fare into the fare box located beside the driver.
If you need change, there’s a change machine near the fare box.
For IC card payments, just tap your card on the reader beside the driver.
And if you’re using a One-Day Pass, simply show it to the driver.

Single ride ticket costs ¥200 for adults and ¥100 for children.
It’s possible to pay with cash or use an IC card.

About 1-day tickets

If you’re planning to ride the streetcar multiple times in a day, consider purchasing
a One-Day Streetcar Pass. This pass grants you unlimited rides on the streetcar network
for 24 hours. It’s priced at 500 yen for adults and 250 yen for children

For a cost-effective alternative, consider the Dosanko Pass, exclusively available for weekends
and national holidays
. Priced at 370 yen, it covers all streetcar fares for one adult and one child.

The One-Day Streetcar Pass and the Dosanko Pass are available for purchase on board the tram
or at select subway stations’ ticket counters, including Odori and Susukino

Bus

Buses connect to different parts of the city, filling in where the subway and streetcars don’t reach. Buses in Sapporo are boarded from the rear door and exited from the front.

Sapporo is served by three main bus companies: JR Hokkaido Bus, Hokkaido Chuo Bus,
and Jotetsu Bus. Fares depend on your travel distance and can be paid with cash or with an IC card.

If paying with cash, take a numbered ticket when boarding the bus.
Match the number on your ticket with the digital fare chart at the front to know your fare. Place both your ticket and exact fare in the fare box next to the driver.
If you need change, use the nearby change machine.

For IC card payment, tap your card upon boarding and again when exiting the bus.

Coin lockers at Sapporo Station

 

To make the most of your time when you arrive or before you leave the city, why not store
your luggage in the coin-operated lockers at JR Sapporo Station?

At Sapporo Station, you’ll find two types of convenient coin-operated lockers:
standard key and touch panel.

Both types offer three sizes: small for 400 yen, medium for 500 yen, and large for 600–700 yen.
They accept 100 yen coins (use nearby money changing machines if needed) and IC cards.

You can store your items for up to three days, with access available from 5:15 a.m. to midnight.

 

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