Sapporo is a beautiful city in the southwestern part of Hokkaido, about half an hour from New Chitose Airport. Famous for its beer, skiing, and annual Sapporo Snow Festival, the city offers all the expected conveniences of a major city, alongside quite a few unique features which make it an absolutely need-to-visit destination.
Here's all you need to know about where to stay in Sapporo on your next trip.
Main image: PIXTA

Getting to and around Sapporo

The Sapporo Streetcar system is a convenient way of getting around the city. Photo: PIXTA

At the moment, Sapporo is not connected to the Shinkansen bullet train network, though it is scheduled to be by 2030.
Getting to Sapporo by train
To get to Sapporo from Tokyo using the Japan Rail Pass, you need to go via Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station. It is a 4-hour trip (o/w) on the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station. You then need to take a Hokuto Limited Express train to Sapporo Station, which takes around 3.5 hours. In total, it is basically an 8-hour journey from Tokyo.
Flights to Sapporo from Tokyo
Flying to Sapporo is a great option, as it only takes about 90 minutes from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo. There are frequent flights that are operated by a number of different airlines. (You can check flight schedules here.)

Ease of access to/from New Chitose Airport
・Sapporo is well-served thanks to its closeness to New Chitose Airport; by train, it is a mere 37 minutes (1,150 yen o/w).
・The Airport Rapid Service (JR Hokkaido – covered by the Japan Rail Pass) runs every 15 minutes directly to Sapporo Station and has both non-reserved and reserved seating.
・Alternatively, buses run from New Chitose Airport to many different locations in Sapporo. From the airport to Sapporo Station takes 1 hour and 20 minutes (1,100 yen o/w).
・For travelers planning to visit Sapporo and go further afield within Hokkaido, it makes sense to rent a car. You can find several counters for different rental car companies at New Chitose Airport. Driving from the airport to Sapporo can take about an hour.

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Book a rental car for Sapporo here

How to Get from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo & The Best Sightseeing Spots

Ease of getting to sightseeing spots outside Sapporo
Outside of Sapporo, regional train services connect the biggest towns in Hokkaido. Given the island's size, journeys can take time! For example, taking the Ozora Limited Express to Kushiro Station on the east coast of Hokkaido takes 4 hours (9,990 yen o/w), and it is a more than 3-hour journey to reach Hakodate.
Sapporo is also well connected to the rest of Hokkaido by coach services. Though these can also take t…

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