Celebrating the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen—travel by train from Hakodate to Sapporo while exploring along the way
On March 26, 2016, the Hokkaido Shinkansen began services connecting Hokkaido and Honshu.
You can now reach Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station from Tokyo in as quickly as four hours and two minutes. This same line will be extended to Sapporo by 2030. If you visit Southern Hokkaido from Honshu aboard the Hokkaido Shinkansen, why not head just a bit further to Sapporo? Here, we will take a closer look at recommended spots in and around stops on the limited express train running between Hakodate and Sapporo.
Must-see spot near Hakodate Station
It takes between 15 to 22 minutes on the Hakodate Liner from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station, the northern terminus of the Hokkaido Shinkasen, to Hakodate Station, the starting point for sightseeing in Hakodate. If you make it to Hakodate Station, definitely head out to explore Mt. Hakodate. Take the ropeway to the top of this 334-meter tall mountain that juts into the Tsugaru Strait for commanding views overlooking downtown Hakodate and its many sightseeing spots.
Enjoy the feeling of a resort at Onuma Koen Station
Onuma Quasi-National Park is known for its amazing views of Lake Onuma and its 126 islands, as well as Mt. Komagatake and its gently sloping ridgeline. If you want to enjoy one of Hokkaido’s most famous resorts, rent a bicycle from the Friendly Bear in front of Onuma Koen Station and ride around Lake Onuma (14 km). Another recommended activity is the lake cruise with lunch and dessert on Lake Onuma offered by lakeside restaurant Table De Rivage.
Check out the museum on Ainu culture near Shiraoi Station
Shiraoi was once the location of an Ainu village (the Ainu are an indigenous people native to Hokkaido). Get off at Shiraoi Station and experience Ainu culture and lifestyle at the outdoor exhibits of the Ainu Museum. You can take a walk along Lake Poroto while viewing traditional dances or trying out traditional musical instruments.
Convenient hot spring spots a short distance from Noboribetsu Station
Get off at Noboribetsu Station to access Noboribetsu Onsen, one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resort areas. If you want to enjoy easy and convenient bathing in the onsen town, check out the Oyunuma River Natural Footbath, where you can soak your feet for free, or Yumoto Sagiriyu, where you can bathe in a hot spring for the price of public bath (sento). Both are fed by 100% all-natural spring water, while the clouded waters of the sulfur springs are a sight to behold.
Arrival in Sapporo
See the following for more detailed information about the opening of the new Hokkaido Shinkansen: