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Flights to Hokkaido

The most common way for international tourists to travel to Hokkaido is to fly into New Chitose Airport (Sapporo). This is the closest airport to the very popular Niseko ski resort, and most visitors to other Hokkaido ski resorts also use Sapporo as the gateway airport.

If you want to go to the ski resorts further north such as Kamui Links, Furano or Asahidake, the Asahikawa airport is another option.

Another potential gateway airport is Obihiro airport, which provides easy access to Tomamu and Sahoro ski resorts, although it’s probably just easier to fly into the Sapporo Chitose Aiport. You can use one of our flight search engines to compare different airlines and routes to find a flight that suits you.

Flying Into Sapporo
Commonly you’ll need to fly into Sapporo (New Chitose) on a domestic flight from Tokyo or Osaka. For some flight schedules from Narita you may need to stay overnight in a Narita Airport hotel

There are now lots of flights from Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT – the international airport) to Sapporo each day, with the last flight departing about 6:30-7pm. Both Skymark and Jetstar provide very cheap flights between Narita and Sapporo (New Chitose), whilst Japan Airlines' flights tend to be much more expensive.

There are also flights to Sapporo from the Haneda Airport (domestic airport), but try to avoid these where possible because it’s an hour plus bus ride across town from Narita to Haneda. This process can take quite a few hours, and has the added hassle of having to handle your luggage, re-check bags and await the connecting flight. Inexpensive flights between Haneda and Sapporo can be found with Air Do, Skymark Airlines, and ANA.

Other options for flights to Sapporo are via Hong Kong, Seoul or Taipei. If flights arrive into Sapporo airport in the evening, depending on the shuttle schedule from Sapporo to your resort, you may need to overnight in a Chitose hotel.

Flying Into Asahikawa
Flights to Asahikawa depart from Haneda (Tokyo's domestic airport) with Air Do, Skymark Airlines, ANA, JAL Express, and Japan Airlines. There are also a few flights from Tokyo Narita (the international airport) with Skymark Airlines, so try and get one of these if you can because flying via Haneda Tokyo can be somewhat messy and time consuming to transfer between the Tokyo airports.

Other flights to Asahikawa Airport are from Osaka and Seoul. 

Getting to Hokkaido from Australia

Getting to Hokkaido isn’t as simple as it used to be. There used to be some direct flights from Australia into Sapporo, but these no longer exist.

Airlines to get to Sapporo include Qantas (via Tokyo), Jetstar (via Tokyo), Singapore Airlines (via Tokyo), Japan Airlines (via Tokyo), Korean Airlines (via Seoul), China Airlines (via Taipei) and Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong).

If you fly with Jetstar, flights generally arrive at Narita in the early evening and will need to overnight in a Narita Airport hotel.

JAL flights also arrive at Narita in the early evening but the timing enables a connecting flight up to Sapporo. Depending on the bus timetable to your resort, it may be necessary to stay overnight in a Chitose hotel.

If you are travelling on Qantas or another airline that arrives in Tokyo in the morning, you can generally get up to Sapporo from Narita and on to your resort in one day.

Cheap Domestic Airfares

There are generally special air passes where you can save up to 70% on domestic flights with JAL and ANA. Somewhat like the Japan Rail Pass, some of these airfares have to be purchased outside of Japan, are only for non-residents of Japan, and those who arrive and depart from Japan via an international flight. Sometimes there are black-out periods for these special airfares such as the New Year holidays. See here for more information, but we warned - it's a somewhat messy process!

There are a handful of inexpensive airlines travelling between the Tokyo Airports and Sapporo and Asahikawa, including Air Do, Skymark Airlines, and Jetstar.

Travel to Hokkaido By Train

A tunnel runs under the ocean between the main island of Honshu and Hokkaido making the entire journey by train possible, so another way to get to Hokkaido from Tokyo is by train. The train network in Japan is extensive, fast and efficient (and relatively inexpensive). The route is Tokyo to Aomori (about 4 hours) and then Aomori to Sapporo (about 5-7 hours). Some of the overnight trains have sleeper options. You can check timetables and fares here.

Should you decide to take a few days to get to Hokkaido, you can purchase a JR Rail National Pass (only available to international visitors) in the form of 7, 14 and 21 consecutive days.

If you have the time and you would like to experience some Honshu ski areas en-route to Hokkaido, you pass several well known ski areas such as Zao Onsen, Appi Kogen and Hakkoda.

Hokkaido Multi-Resort Ski Tours 
Ski Japan Hokkaido Multi Resort Tours - 2 days+ 
If you have a hunger for powder and want to avoid the crowds, a Black Diamond Tours package could be just the ticket! Join a group tour or fully customize your own tour..
Japan Ski Tours Central Hokkaido & Niseko - 7/10/12 Nights 
Whiteroom Tours offer a Niseko-based and Furano-based tour where you head out to different locations as well as a 12 night ski safari to Hokkaido's best powder destinations..
Niseko & Hakuba Tour Japan Powder Pilgrimage | 13 Days
Can't decide on Niseko in Hokkaido or Hakuba in Honshu? No need to with this tour as you get to experience both plus ski a legendary active volcano in central Hokkaido...

Key Transport Operators
Hokkaido Japan Shuttle Bus Hokkaido Resort Liner - Bus Transfers
The most economical & efficient way to get to and from Sapporo/Airport to Hokkaido resorts including Niseko, Rusutsu, Furano, Kiroro, Kokusai, Sahoro & Tomamu.
National Rail - JR Japan Rail International Rail - JR Rail Passes
International rail is a specialist rail travel company. Buy JR Rail Passes online. 5 or 10 consecutive days or 4 days in a 30 day period. Non-Japanese residents only. Must be purchased outside of Japan.
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