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Japan Travel Tips

Perfect Trip Guide

Japan Travel Tips

Perfect trip Guide

The Best way to Sapporo from New Chitose Airport

Travel Information

Thu, 31 Aug 2023

There are various ways to get from New Chitose Airport, the gateway to Hokkaido, to the Sapporo city. In this article, we break down travel time, cost, and the pros and cons of three methods: train, bus, and taxi.

Note that among these three options, the train is both the fastest and cheapest. Therefore, we generally recommend traveling by train!

Transportation Method
(New Chitose Airport to Sapporo City)

Travel Time

Ticket Prices
(One-way, tax included)


About 40 mins

1,150 JPY


About 80 mins

1,100 JPY


About 60 mins

From 15,000 JPY

Traveling by Train


When I travel to Sapporo City, I always use New Chitose Airport, the largest airport in Hokkaido and ride on the train.

You can go from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo Station on the JR Chitose Line's "Rapid Airport" train, with no need for transfers.

The major advantage? You can get from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo Station in as short as 33 minutes. Additionally, the Rapid Airport runs every 12 minutes. The station is directly connected to the airport, so you can move without going outside, making it convenient in rainy weather.

  • Travel Time: About 40 mins
  • Fare: One-way 1,150 JPY (Unreserved seat, tax included)

Link: Sapporo Station (Google Map)

What is a U-Seat on the Rapid Airport?

The JR Chitose Line's Rapid Airport offers something called "U-Seats," which are reserved seats. By paying an additional 840 JPY to the one-way fare of 1,150 JPY, you can sit in these designated seats. There's space for large luggage, so it's worth considering during peak times.

Note that the Rapid Airport usually has a 6-car train, and car number 4 is the one with U-Seats.

Can I use IC cards such as Suica and Pasmo?

IC cards like Suica, Pasmo, and Kitaca can be used on the JR Chitose Line. Kitaca is an IC card issued by JR Hokkaido, and it's accepted not just in Hokkaido but nationwide.

However, be cautious as many stations in Hokkaido don't accept IC cards. As of September 2023, the following stations do not accept IC cards:

  • Yoichi(余市)
  • Kutchan(倶知安)
  • Niseko(ニセコ)
  • Asahikawa(旭川)
  • Biei(美瑛)
  • Furano(富良野)
  • Noboribetsu(登別)
  • Toya(洞爺)
  • Tomamu(トマム)
  • Obihiro(帯広)
  • Kushiro(釧路)

You can go to Otaru without train changes

The last stop of JR Chitose Line is Otaru station. So, by train, you can go to Otaru without train changes.

Traveling by Bus (New Chitose Airport Limousine Bus)

From New Chitose Airport to Sapporo City, airport buses operated by Hokkaido Chuo Bus and Kitaku Kotsu are at your service. They stop not only at Sapporo Station but also at key points like Susukino and Maruyama Park Station. The journey takes about 80 minutes, but this can fluctuate depending on traffic conditions.

There are two bus companies: Hokkaido Chuo Bus and Hokuto Kotsu Inc.

  • Time Required: Approximately 80 minutes
  • Fare: 1,100 yen one-way (tax included)

Link: Sapporo Eki Mae Bus Stop (Google Map)

Payment method

Airport buses from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo are operated by two companies: Hokkaido Chuo Bus and Hokuto Kotsu Inc. It's important to note that payment methods differ depending on which bus service you take.

Hokkaido Chuo Bus: Accepts cash and public transportation IC cards, but credit cards are not accepted. Hokuto Kotsu Inc: Apart from cash, they accept contactless credit card payments (Visa, Master Card, JCB, Amex, Diners Club, Discover). However, public transportation IC cards are not accepted.

Keep an eye out, folks! You wouldn't want to end up stuck at the airport.

How to Pay the fare?

Paying with cash? Grab a ticket when you hop on the bus through the middle door. Up front, there's a fare chart. Find your ticket number on it, and that's the amount you owe. When you're getting off, make your way to the driver, drop your ticket and the cash in the fare box, and exit through the front.

Opting for a credit card or an IC transit card? Touch your card to the reader as you board, also through the middle door. When you're ready to bounce, head to the front, swipe your card at the reader next to the driver, and you're all set. Simple, right?

Bus Advantages: Three Bus Stops within the Airport

New Chitose Airport is divided into two terminals: domestic and international. Buses are available at three stops: two near the domestic terminal exit and one near the international terminal exit. In contrast, the train station is only available under the domestic terminal.

So, catching a bus lets you board closer to your terminal building—quite convenient!

New Chitose Airport Terminal

Boarding Area

Domestic (ANA side)

Stop 22

Domestic (JAL side)

Stop 14


Stop 84

Bus Advantages: Bus Stops Right in Front of Hotels

Buses halt right in front of some hotels in downtown Sapporo.

If you're staying at any of these hotels, you'll find traveling by bus more convenient than by train. Just note that not all buses from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo stop at these hotels.

  • Premier Hotel-Tsubaki
  • Hotel Monterey Edelhof Sapporo
  • ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Sapporo
  • Sapporo Grand Hotel
  • Hotel Resol Trinity Sapporo
  • Sapporo View Hotel Oodori Kouen
  • Sapporo Prince Hotel
  • Royton Sapporo

Traveling by Taxi

taxi sign at the New Chitose Airport

Here are the pros of going by taxi:

  • Comfortable ride
  • Takes you directly to your destination
  • Can accommodate a lot of luggage

And the cons:

  • Expensive
  • Risk of getting stuck in traffic

Taxi Stands Are Right Near Terminal Exits

The taxi ranks at New Chitose Airport are conveniently located near the exits of both the domestic and international terminals. You absolutely can't miss them.

In Japan, taxi fares are regulated by law, so you'll find little difference between taxi companies. Most are now equipped for credit card payment. However, in rural areas, some taxis may not accept cards, so double-check before hopping in.