Getting By plane

Sapporo's Chitose Airport is Hokkaido's sole international gateway of significance, with flights to Hong Kong, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and Busan. However, there are only limited international flights and most visitors will need to transit through hubs such as Tokyo and Osaka. The route between Tokyo and Sapporo is, in terms of capacity and planes flown daily, the busiest in the world.

New Chitose Airport is the hub of air transportation in Hokkaido. Flights are scheduled for inland, domestic, and international.

Airlines at the airport carry passengers every day to major cities in Japan. For Tokyo, for example, 46 flights are provided daily, for Osaka 15 flights and Nagoya 15 flights.

By express trains to or from Sapporo Station, one trip takes 36 minutes and the trains run every 15 minutes. A train fare is 1,000 yen for an adult and 520 yen for a child under 12 years old.

By bus, it takes 70 minutes to downtown Sapporo, and the buses also run every 15 minutes. A bus fare is 1,000 yen for an adult and 500 yen for a child under 12. Several bus stops are provided in the downtown Sapporo area before reaching the last stop to Sapporo Station.

Rental cars are available on the first floor of the airport building where 11 car rental companies compete with their services. Their open hours are between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. To get downtown Sapporo by car in a busy traffic day, it takes about one hour. From the airport by car, it is not too far to visit beautiful Lake Shikotsu (30 minutes), and Lake Toya where G8 Summit 2008 being held (around two hours).

Most of the local airports in Hokkaido provide flights not only to New Chitose Airport but also direct flights to Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Those airports include Hakodate, Kushiro, Wakkanai, Asahikawa, Obihiro, and Memambetsu.

Nakashibetsu and Monbetsu, however, their flights are limited to Tokyo and New Chitose. Rishiri provides flights to New Chitose only, and Okushiri flights go to Hakodate. Rebun has an airport, but it has not been operated since March 2003.