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The Hokkaido Rail Pass is a rail pass for exclusive use by foreign visitors to Japan, providing unlimited travel on JR trains (except the Hokkaido Shinkansen) and most JR buses in Hokkaido on five or seven consecutive days.

Purchase the Hokkaido Rail Pass

Hokkaido Rail Pass
If purchased outside JapanIf puchased inside Japan
5-day Pass19,000 yen20,000 yen
7-day Pass25,000 yen26,000 yen

Below is a map of major JR train lines on Hokkaido, which can be used with the Hokkaido Rail Pass:

Validity

  1. Unlimited use of JR trains in Hokkaido except the Hokkaido Shinkansen.
  2. Unlimited use of JR Hokkaido Bus lines, except Twinkle Buses and the lines from Sapporo to Asahikawa, Monbetsu, Obihiro, Kiroro and Erimo.
  3. Seat reservations can be made for free.
  4. The passes are valid on consecutive calendar days (midnight to midnight).
  5. Only foreign visitors to Japan (on a temporary visitor visa) can use the Hokkaido Rail Pass. It cannot be used by residents of Japan.

Points of Sale

The Hokkaido Rail Pass can be purchased via the internet, through travel agencies outside of Japan and at major JR railway stations in Hokkaido and at the JR East Travel Service Centers at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station. When purchasing the pass outside of Japan or online, you will receive an exchange order, which has to be exchanged into an actual rail pass after your arrival in Hokkaido and within three months of the purchase. Note that the exchange of exchange orders is not possible outside of Hokkaido.

Purchase the Hokkaido Rail Pass

Assessment

This pass only makes sense, if you plan on traveling long distances. The table below shows approximate regular fares for one-way limited express tickets (ordinary car) between selected major cities. Use it to compare the cost of regular tickets with the cost of a Hokkaido Rail Pass:

 
Asahikawa
Hakodate
Wakkanai
Kushiro
Sapporo
5,000 yen
9,000 yen
11,000 yen
9,500 yen
Asahikawa  
13,000 yen
8,500 yen
9,000 yen
Hakodate    
17,500 yen
15,500 yen
Wakkanai      
15,500 yen

Alternative Tickets

The Hokkaido Free Pass has the same coverage area as the Hokkaido Rail Pass, but it is also available to residents of Japan. It is a little bit more expensive, is only available as a 7-day version and cannot be used during peak travel seasons.