Travel across Japan with the Seishun 18 Kippu (5 days) from Makurazaki, Kagoshima Prefecture (on Kyushu) to Wakkanai, Hokkaido. Let’s aim for the northernmost terminus on the JR line from the southernmost terminus on the JR line by local train.
The shortest itinerary is 5-day and 4-night. You can also go north after spending some time sightseeing at your accommodation. Which one would you choose? This is the true value of the Seishun 18 Kippu journey.
● The schedule is valid until March 2023.
Makurazaki → Hiroshima
Makurazaki, the southernmost terminus on the JR line and a port town facing the East China Sea, is the starting point of your journey across Japan. If you can’t get there the day before, we recommend staying overnight in Kagoshima-chuo and starting your journey on the first train on the JR Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line the next morning. Don’t forget to bring your camera as the train will stop at Nishi-Oyama, the southernmost station on the JR line.
From Sendai to Yatsushiro, take the Hisatsu Orange Railway↗️ (non-JR line). Seishun 18 Kippu holders can purchase the “Orange 18 Free Ticket” (¥2100) on board. The JR line again from Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture. The waiting time at Kurume is about 40 minutes. Have an early dinner and some shopping to prepare for the long journey.
After passing through the Kanmon Tunnel from Moji, Shimonoseki is the westernmost point of Honshu. It takes about 4 hours from Shimonoseki to Hiroshima, and you can enjoy the night view along the Seto Inland Sea.
|Kurume a.||1605||🍱 dinner|
Hiroshima → Tokyo (Ueno)
On the second day, you will travel about 900 kilometers to Tokyo. It is recommended to take the first train from Hiroshima, so that you can have time to rest at stations along the way. The first resting point is Himeji. You can see Himeji-jo Castle from the station. Take a break with coffee. From Himeji, sit on the right side of the rapid train for Maibara. You can see the Seto Inland Sea and the Akashi-kaikyo Bridge.
Proceed east on the JR Tokaido Main Line and have a coffee break in Ogaki. Have an early dinner in Hamamatsu and savor Lake Hamana-ko’s famous unagi (eel) dish. We recommend using the non-reserved Green Car from Numazu to Tokyo (Ueno). Buy some snacks and drinks.
|Himeji a.||1044||☕️ break|
|Ogaki a.||1437||☕️ break|
|Hamamatsu a.||1716||🍻 dinner|
Tokyo (Ueno) → Aomori
Depart from Ueno on the first train (conveys non-reserved Green Car) on the JR Takasaki Line. To reach Aomori along the Sea of Japan on the same day, it is important to take this train. Enjoy the mountainous scenery of the JR Joetsu Line, then heads north to Niigata.
From Murakami to Sakata, sit on the left side and enjoy the scenery of the Sea of Japan. For dinner, enjoy local cuisine at the Akita Station Building Topico food hall.
|Murakami a.||1257||🍱 lunch|
|Akita a.||1820||🍻 dinner|
Aomori → Sapporo
Finally heading to Hokkaido. Take a local train from Aomori to Tsugaru-Futamata via Kanita. From the adjacent Okutsugaru-Imabetsu Station, use the Seishun 18 Kippu Hokkaido Shinkansen Option-ken Ticket (¥2490; available for purchase on the day) to board a vacant seat on the Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayate 93 (ordinary car) bound for Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Passes through the Seikan Tunnel and transfer to the Donan Isaribi Railway (non-JR line) at Kikonai.
You have some time in Hakodate, so let’s visit the Morning Market in front of the station. Try the kaisen-don (bowl of rice topped with sashimi). Also, you can visit the Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Mashu-maru near the morning market. From Hakodate to Oshamambe, sit on the right side where you can enjoy the view of Mt. Koma-ga-take and the Funka-wan (Volcano Bay).
From Oshamambe to Sapporo, you can choose either the JR Muroran Main Line (commonly known as the Ocean Line) via Chitose or the JR Hakodate Main Line (commonly known as the Mountain Line) via Otaru. This itinerary continues via the Mountain Line. While waiting for your train, how about visiting Oshamambe Onsen (day bathing is possible) located north of the station?
After arriving in Otaru, you can immediately change trains bound for Sapporo, but since you’ve come this far, enjoy the fantastic night view of the Otaru Canal. Have a late dinner at Otaru Soko No. 1, a great craft beer pub along the canal. Then head to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido.
*Okutsugaru = Okutsugaru-Imabetsu
|Okutsugaru* d.||812||Hayate 93|
|Hakodate a.||1013||🍣 lunch|
|Oshamanbe a.||1458||♨️ onsen|
|Otaru a.||1950||🍻 dinner|
Sapporo → Wakkanai
The local train bound for Asahikawa, which leaves Sapporo at exactly 6:00, is a two-car diesel train. Since you have plenty of time in Asahikawa, why not visit local museums and Takasago Sake Brewery? From Nayoro to Wakkanai, take the last local train on this trip. The train stops at Otoineppu for about an hour, so you can see the former JR Tenpoku Line Museum in the station (remember to manage your luggage).
At 19:49, the train arrives at Wakkanai, the northernmost station in Japan. Thank you for the long journey. Let’s have a toast at the local izakaya (tavern). We recommend “Yoshioka” in the city center.
|Asahikawa a.||853||👟 explore|
|Nayoro a.||1355||☕️ break|
|Wakkanai a.||1949||🍻 dinner|