Hokkaido has a minimum but scenic railway network, in addition to trains are faster than buses and easy to use. Many rural destinations cannot be reached by train alone, so it is better to combine with buses or car rentals. If you are planning on travel around Hokkaido, consider purchase a rail pass.
RAIL ROUTE 01
Opened in 2016, this shinkansen connects Honshu with Hokkaido (Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto) passes through the undersea Seikan Tunnel.
RAIL ROUTE 02
Hakodate to Sapporo via Niseko and Otaru
This mountain-meet-ocean route is such a good distillation of all Hokkaido highlights that can be visited in a few days.
RAIL ROUTE 03
Oshamanbe to Sapporo via Noboribetsu
All limited express trains between Hakodate and Sapporo pass through this route. The main attraction along the route is Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
RAIL ROUTE 04
Sapporo to Asahikawa
One of Hokkaido’s most important rail lines follow the old coal mining towns and great rice fields in Sorachi Region.
RAIL ROUTE 05
Asahikawa to Wakkanai on the JR Soya Line
Japan’s northernmost rail line, JR Soya Line from Asahikawa covers 260km lonely kilometers further north at Wakkanai.
RAIL ROUTE 06
Asahikawa to Abashiri on the JR Sekihoku Line
From Asahikawa the JR Sekihoku Line heads east to Okhotsk Region, passes through the northern part of Daisetsuzan National Park.
RAIL ROUTE 07
Asahikawa to Furano via Biei
The 54km JR Furano Line ranks high on wish list in summer. Picturesque hillside breadbasket and flower gardens covered with colorful patchwork like a mini European village.
RAIL ROUTE 08
Takikawa to Shintoku via Furano
Traveling alongside Sorachi-gawa river from Takikawa you encounter the old coal mining towns, Northern Hokkaido’s top ski resort and the pleasant artificial lake Kanayama-ko.
RAIL ROUTE 09
Sapporo to Kushiro by Tokachi and Ozora
The main rail route between Sapporo and Eastern Hokkaido, the limited express train passes through the forested mountains and land of sprawling fields.
RAIL ROUTE 10
Kushiro to Nemuro on the JR Hanasaki Line
JR Nemuro Line’s last section affording scenic views of the peaceful waterside and rustic dairy farms. It is a perfect for birdwatching, wildlife cruising, footpath hiking and dining on fresh seafood.
RAIL ROUTE 11
Kushiro to Abashiri on the JR Senmo Line
The scenic JR Senmo Line cutting across Kushiro Shitsugen and Akan-Mashu national parks. You can easily visit the breathtaking viewpoints, picturesque lakes and coastal wildflower gardens.