Home >> Japan Travel >> Rail Passes in Japan: Hokkaido Rail Pass

When in Hokkaido, my preferred mode of transport is to self-drive.  But if you prefer rail travel, I highly recommend the Hokkaido Rail Pass.  It is good for all rail travel in Hokkaido!

There is a lot of flexibility in the Hokkaido Rail Pass: It comes as a 3-day / 5-day / 7-day pass (for consecutive day travels), or flexible 4-day pass which can be used on any 4 days over a period of 10 days.

The Hokkaido Rail Pass need not be bought from your home country, you can buy it after arriving in Hokkaido.

I have found the 4-day flexible pass great for side trips from Sapporo.  This was how I utilized my 4-day flexible pass:

For a weekend in Hakodate:
Day 1: Sapporo – Onuma Koen – Hakodate
Day 2: Hakodate – Sapporo

For day trip to Asahikawa
Day 3: Sapporo – Asahikawa – Sapporo

For day trip on the Okhotsk no Kaze / Ryuhyo Norokko Trains
Day 4: Sapporo – Abashiri –  Shiretoko – Sapporo

hokkaido rail pass

The price of the passes are currently as follows:


To determine if the Hokkaido Rail Pass is worth the money for your travels, you need to search for your train routes and pricing using hyperdia and compare the total of individual train fares to the price of the Hokkaido Rail Pass above.

For more information, do visit the Hokkaido Rail Pass official website.


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the author

Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.


  1. […] We spent one day travelling from Sapporo to Shiretoko using the Okhotsk-No-Kaze and Ryuhyuo-Norokko trains.  The entire trip was covered by our Hokkaido Rail Pass. […]

  2. LCW says:

    Hello, came across your blog and would like to ask regarding the japan rail pass and hokkaido rail pass..
    Planning to visit hokkaido (Sapporo, Otaru, Furano, Asahikawa and Lake Toya) for 6 nights and tokyo for 2 nights, was wondering which pass i should get and more cost-effective?

    Really appreciate your comment, thanks =)

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Definitely Hokkaido Rail Pass is better value compared to Japan Rail Pass, unless you are planning to take train from Tokyo to Hokkaido instead of flying! :p

      Depending on your itinerary, you can choose either Flexible 4-day or 5-days (consecutive) pass for Hokkaido Rail Pass. Both costs 22000 yen per adult. You can use Hyperdia to check the price of your train travels to determine if the rail pass is worth it.

  3. icecubez says:

    my friends and i will be spending 14 days in japan, we will be travelling from narita-hakodate-obihiro-furano-asahikawa-sapporo-hakodate-kyoto-nara-osaka-tokyo. We will be driving from obhiro to asahikawa.
    We have read through the JR passes and are overwhelmed by the numerous options. Would greatly appreciate the help of choosing the suitable JR passes. We have shortlisted JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass and Kansai Thru Pass .

    Thank you.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Are you all taking the train between mainland Japan and Hokkaido or flying? If train, that’s too many places to cover in 14 days.

      Which period of time are you travelling? Because if it’s year end, daylight hours are pretty short so you may have to factor that into consideration. But even in Summer, I would at most do Tokyo + Hokkaido. Probably not Kyoto / Nara / Osaka. The area you want to visit is just too wide.

      • pei pei says:

        Yeah i agree with you, thus we will be taking nara out. accommodations for tokyo osaka and kyoto are booked, i can oversee a very stretched out trip.

        we will be travelling in summe and taking trains between mainland japan and Hokkaido. we are arriving and departing at narita, that is why we transit over hakodate.

        Other than 14 days JR pass, is there any combinations of JR passes we should consider.

  4. Jovin says:

    Hi Bumblebee mum, is it possible to reserve JR Hokkaido pass in Singapore?

  5. Jez says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,
    I would really appreciate if you could give me advice on my itinerary whether I should buy JR pass, Hokkaido pass or single pass.

    Day 1: JR New Chitose Station to JR Sapporo to Nakajima Koen Station
    Day 2: Visit Mt Okura Observatory, Ishiya Chocolate Factory using train
    Day 3: Nakajima Koen Station to JR Sapporo to JR Otaru station
    Day 4: JR Otaru to JR Kutchan station
    Day 8: JR Kutchan to JR Shin-Sapporo
    Day 9: JR Shin-Sapporo to New Chitose airport

  6. Serene says:


    I’m planning to purchase a 7-day Hokkaido Rail Pass.

    I understand that it covers my trip from Sapporo to Otaru and Hakodate respectively.

    But does it cover the following:
    Sapporo to Noboribetsu
    Hakodate to Niseko

    Thanks for your help 🙂

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