How to Get to Kutchan

How to Get to Kutchan

Where is Kutchan?

Located in the Abuta District of Shiribeshi Subprefecture of Hokkaido, Kutchan sits to the NNW of the imposing Mt Yotei. Kutchan is 91km southwest of Sapporo and 108km west of the New Chitose Airport.

Downtown Kutchan sits east of the Kutchan train station and along Highway 5. The downtown area of Kutchan is about 6km from Niseko Hanazono and 7km from Niseko Hirafu.

Train to Kutchan

Kutchan train station sits on the Hakodate Main Line and is only serviced by local trains. To get from the New Chitose Airport to Kutchan via train, you need to get a train from the airport to Sapporo, then to Otaru, and then to Kutchan. You can check train timetables, trip duration and fares on Navitime.

It’s also possible to get to Kutchan from Tokyo or other parts of Honshu via train but it takes a while. Whilst the train from Tokyo through to Shin-Hakodate (in Southern Hokkaido) is fast because it’s serviced by bullet trains, the trains between Hakodate and Kutchan are relatively slow (the plan is for the shinkansen to continue through to Kutchan by 2030). See Navitime for routes and fares.

Getting Between Kutchan & Niseko

There are different buses that travel between Kutchan and Niseko:
  • Niseko bus – goes from Kutchan to Hirafu and Niseko Village
  • Donan bus – goes from Kutchan to Hirafu
  • Kutchan Night Go Bus – goes from Kutchan to Hirafu
All the Kutchan buses are inexpensive and have multiple stops which adds to the convenience, but it means that the bus trip can take a while. There is a bus stop at the Kutchan train station and then buses travel along highway 5 with stops at Minami 5 jo, Minami 8 Jo, Kutchan Bridge, and Max Valu supermarket. Niseko Tourism or your accommodation have timetables and maps of the bus routes.

Some of the Kutchan accommodation providers offer their own shuttle service. For example, Torifito offers a free and regular shuttle service between the hotel and Niseko Hirafu, and a less regular service to and from Niseko Hanazono. Torifito also offers multiple schedules to the Kutchan train station, which can be used to head downtown for an early dinner.

Otherwise there are plenty of taxis around the Kutchan and Niseko areas.

There is also a Donan bus between Kutchan and Rusutsu.


If you plan to ski at Niseko United in addition to other nearby ski resorts, it would be advisable to have a car, which will also give you the flexibility to explore the town. Just keep in mind that finding a car park in downtown Kutchan can be difficult at times, in part due to the amount of snow that piles up.