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A complete guide of discount tickets and prepaid IC cards for sightseeing in Sapporo

札幌の観光スポット


I gathered information about discount tickets and prepaid IC cards to use when you travel around Sapporo for sightseeing or business. This is a perfect guide from a local’s point of view that only Hokkaido Likers can make!

 

Table of Contents

- Public transportation in Sapporo
- Prepaid transportation IC card from other parts of Japan that can be used in Sapporo
- SAPICA and Kitaca are useful for people in Hokkaido
- Different discount tickets you can use in Sapporo and Otaru
  ーSapporo City Transportation
  ーHokkaido Chuo Bus
  ーJR Hokkaido Bus
  ーJotetsu Bus
- Discount tickets from JR Hokkaido
- Do we get on and off from a front door or a back door? 
- Streetcars go around by either inner or outer track, however, sometimes it does not go around


 

Public transportation in Sapporo

Below are the major public transportations in Sapporo: 

- Sapporo City Subway
- Sapporo City Streetcar
- JR Hokkaido
- JR Hokkaido Bus
- Hokkaido Chuo Bus
- Jotetsu Bus
- Bankei Bus

We mainly use subways in Sapporo because destinations are near subway stations most of the time. 

When destinations are far from a subway station, we transfer to a bus from the nearest station or use a taxi. 
 
For railways, there are no private railway companies like Kanto or Kansai region, so there is only JR Hokkaido for traveling in and near Sapporo. 
 
Sapporo is the center of tourism and business in Hokkaido. So I will introduce prepaid IC cards and discount tickets in the Sapporo area. 

 

Prepaid transportation IC card from other parts of Japan that can be used in Sapporo

You can use other prepaid transportation IC cards from different parts of Japan for public transportations in Sapporo. 
 
●Below are the prepaid IC cards you can use: 
- Kitaca: Hokkaido Railway Company
- PASMO: PASMO Co., Ltd. 
- Suica: East Japan Railway Company
- manaca: Nagoya Transportation Development Organization Co. Ltd and MIC
- TOICA: Central Japan Railway Company
- PiTaPa: Surutto Kansai
- ICOCA: West Japan Railway Company
- HYAKAKEN: Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau
- nimoca: NIMOCA Co., LTD.
- SUGOCA: Kyushu Railway Company
 
If you have one of these cards, don’t forget to bring it. You can recharge money in Sapporo, in the same way as other parts of Japan. 

And there is another prepaid IC card you can use:
- SAPICA: Sapporo Information Network Co., LTD. 
* SAPICA does not allow you to use in other parts of Japan. 

 

SAPICA and Kitaca are useful for people in Hokkaido

SAPICA is a prepaid transportation IC card that people who live in and near Sapporo use. 


札幌市交通局のSAPICA(サピカ)▲Sapporo City Transportation’s SAPICA card
* The picture is provided by Sapporo Information Network Co., LTD. 


You can also use it at convenience stores, shops, and vending machines with a SAPICA logo, and earn 10% SAPICA rewards for the use in subways, buses, and streetcars. It is a very useful card if you visit Sapporo often.
 
However, you should note that you can use SAPICA at subways, streetcars, and busses in Sapporo but not for JR Hokkaido trains. 

If you use JR trains often, use SAPICA for subways, streetcars, and busses and use mobile Suica for JR, or it is also useful to have JR Hokkaido’s Kitaca. You can also use Kitaca at subways, streetcars, and busses in Sapporo. 


JR北海道のKitaca(キタカ)▲JR Hokkaido’s Kitaca
* The picture is provided by Hokkaido Railway Company


In JR Hokkaido, you can use Kitaca at only certain areas
 
- You can use Kitaca in following areas: 
Otaru - Sapporo - Shin-Chitose Airport - Tomakomai (Hakodate Main Line and Chitose Line) 
Sapporo - Hachiken - Health Science University of Hokkaido (Sasshou Line)
Sapporo - Atsubetsu- Iwamizawa (Hakodate Main Line)
 
If you plan to travel out of the area (such as Asahikawa, Hakodate, and Obihiro), you need to purchase a ticket at stations. 

 

Different discount tickets you can use in Sapporo and Otaru

There are different discount tickets other than prepaid IC Cards. They are very useful for people who don’t have an IC card but planning to travel a lot in a day. 


●Discount tickets by Sapporo City Transportation
- One day pass for only subways


地下鉄専用1日乗車券* The picture is provided by Sapporo City Transportation


This ticket allows you unlimited subway rides for a day. You can complete getting on and off at every station in Nanboku Line, Tozai Line, and Toho Line. 

Fees: Adults 830 yen, children 420 yen
You can purchase at ticket machines at subway stations, subway station counters, commuter pass sales office, etc. 


- Donichika Kippu
 

ドニチカキップ* The picture is provided by Sapporo City Transportation


This ticket also allows you an unlimited subway ride for a day, but it’s only available on weekends, national holidays, and new year holidays (December 29 to January 3). This ticket is perfect for those who visit Sapporo during weekends. 

Fees: Adult 520 yen, children 260yen
You can purchase at ticket machines at subway stations, subway station counters, commuter pass sales office, etc.


- Dosanko Pass


どサンこパス* The picture is provided by Sapporo City Transportation


This is a one-day pass that allows you an unlimited streetcar ride for a day available on weekends, national holidays, and new year holidays (December 29 to January 3). 
One Dosanko Pass gives you a free unlimited ride for a child per adult, so I recommend this for families with children

Fees: 360 yen
You can purchase at inside streetcars, Odori commuter pass sales office, subway station counters of transfer stations from streetcars (Odori, Susukino, Nakajima koen, Horohira bashi, Nishi Juhatchome, Nishi Juitchome, Hosui Susukino)
* Valid only for the day of purchase. You can’t purchase the ticket in advance. 


- Streetcar one day pass


路面電車1日乗車券* The picture is provided by Sapporo City Transportation


This one day pass is currently going under a test and sold limitedly. It allows you an unlimited streetcar rides for a day anytime including weekends, national holidays, and weekdays. 

Available and valid periods: April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Fees: Adults 500 yen, children 250 yen
You can purchase at inside streetcars, Odori commuter pass sales office, subway station counters of transfer stations from streetcars (Odori, Susukino, Nakajima koen, Horohira bashi, Nishi Juhatchome, Nishi Juitchome, Hosui Susukino)
* Valid only for the day of purchase. You can’t purchase the ticket in advance. 


●Discount tickets by Hokkaido Chuo Bus
- Sapporo City 1 DAY pass


札幌市内1DAYパス
* The picture is provided by Hokkaido Chuo Bus


This ticket allows you unlimited rides for a day within special fee areas in Sapporo and all routes in Chuo Bus. 

Fees: Adult 750 yen, children 380 yen
You can purchase at: inside the Loop bus no.88 Sapporo Beer Garden and Factory Line, terminal counters of Sapporo, Sapporo Station, Asabu, Fukuzumi, and Oyachi. 


- Otaru Bus Day Ticket


小樽市内線バス1日乗車券* The picture is provided by Hokkaido Chuo Bus


This ticket allows you an unlimited bus ride within Chuo Bus’s routes in Otaru City for a day. 

Fees: Adults 750 yen, children 380 yen
You can purchase at: inside Otaru Sansaku Bus, Otaru Station terminal, Unga Plaza, Hotels in Otaru City (Hotel Grand Park Otaru, Authent Hotel Otaru)
 
Chuo Bus also offers “Bus set day trip ticket” which comes with facility entrance fees, onsen, and meals other than tickets for regular routes. It sometimes allows you a lot of discounts, so check it out. 


Discount tickets by JR Hokkaido Bus
- One day pass


JR北海道バス1日乗りほーだいきっぷ* The picture is provided by JR Hokkaido Bus


This ticket allows you an unlimited JR Hokkaido bus rides within Sapporo for a day. It gives you a great discount when you use it in a long distance such as Miyanozawa to Otaru (It usually costs 600 yen for one way)
 
Fees: Adults 800 yen, children 400 yen
You can purchase at Otaru, Teine, Kotoni, Sapporo, and Atsubetu Office, Bus Ticket Center Teine branch, Miyanozawa branch, Apia branch, Shin-Sapporo branch and inside JR Buses. 


Discount tickets by Jotetsu Bus
- Onsen Day Trip Pack 


じょうてつバス温泉日帰りパック券* The picture is provided by Jotetsu Co., Ltd. 


This is a set ticket which includes a one-day unlimited pass for Jotetsu bus (except places listed below) and onsen ticket for Jozankei, Koganeyu, and Hoheikyo Onsen (You will choose one place from 12 facilities). 
* The unlimited rides excludes Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort line, Sapporo Dome shuttles, commuter liners, and other special buses for events. 
 
Fees: Adults 2,000 yen, children 1,000 yen
You can purchase at: inside Jotetsu bus, office, service centers, information centers, etc. 


●Toshin 100 yen Bus (Chuo Bus, JR Hokkaido Bus, Jotetsu Bus)
You can ride certain areas for 100 yen (adults, 50 yen for children). Areas include Sapporo Station to Susukino and Minami Yonjo, Sapporo Station to Sapporo Factory, Sapporo Station to Kita Ichijo Nishi Nanachome, Odori Nishi Yonchome to Kita Ichijo Nishinanachome. They accept only cash, and you can’t use prepaid IC cards.
 
Fees: Adults 100 yen, children 50 yen * This fee is only when you pay by cash

 

Discount tickets from JR Hokkaido

This ticket allows you unlimited rides for a day. The area is limited from Sapporo to Otaru, Oshamanbe, Tomakomai, Muroran, Shin-Chitose Airport, Furano, and Biei, but it’s beneficial. This is a perfect ticket for those who want to enjoy Hokkaido with trains. 
  
- One-Day Round Tour Ticket
You can have unlimited rides within designated areas for unreserved seats of local and express trains for one day. It starts selling on the day you will use, and you can’t purchase it in advance. Also, you can buy only at limited places. 
 
Fees: Adults 2,260 yen, children 1,130 yen
Available periods: Saturdays and holidays from April 6, 2019, to November 30, 2019
You can purchase at following stations: Otaru, Minami-Otaru, Otaruchikko, Zenibako, Hoshioki, Teine, Inazumikoen, Hassamu, Hassamucho, Kotoni, Soen, Sapporo, Naebo, Shiroishi, Atsubetsu, Shinrinkoen, Oasa, Nopporo, Takasago, Ebetsu, Horomui, Iwamizawa, Hachiken, Shinkawa, Shin-Kotoni, Shinoro, Takuhoku, Ainosato-Kyoikudai, Ishikari-Tobetsu, Heiwa, Shin-Sapporo, Kami-Nopporo, Kita-Hiroshima, Shimamatsu, Megumino, Eniwa, Chitose, JR Travel Service Center (Twinkle Plaza) Sapporo Branch
 
- Otaru Round Tour Ticket
It comes with round ticket from Sapporo Station and Hokkaido Chuo Bus “Otaru Bus Day Ticket.” This is a perfect ticket for those who want to enjoy sightseeing in Otaru for a whole day. You can ride unlimitedly from Otaru to Otaruchikko.
 
Fees: Adults 1,940 yen, children 970 yen
Available periods: Until March 31, 2020.
You can purchase at JR Hokkaido’s ticket office at major stations, travel center, and major travel agencies

 

Do we get on and off from a front door or a back door?

Have you ever had troubles figuring out which door to get on buses? It is common that different cities have different rules. 
 
In Sapporo, you usually ride from back doors and get off from front doors
 
Touch readers with your prepaid IC cards near back doors and touch readers near front doors again when you get off.
You might notice a numbered ticket near back doors, but you don’t need to pick one up if you use a prepaid IC card. 

 

Streetcars go around by either inner or outer track, however, sometimes it does not go around

The rule is the same for streetcars. You ride from back doors and get off from front doors

The fee for riding a streetcar is fixed no matter where you get on and off. The price for an adult is 200 yen and for a child is 100 yen. You ride from the back door, but there is no IC card reader like buses. 

You pay the fee when you get off so put your prepaid IC card on the reader near the front door. 
 

札幌の市電 

 
There are two routes for Sapporo streetcar: “Outer loop” or “Inner loop.” They usually go round, but displays on streetcars sometimes show names of stops such as “Chuo Toshokanmae” and “Nishi Yonchome.” 
 

市電の方向幕▲Take a closer look at displays of streetcars. 

 
Those ones don’t go around and stop at the station displayed on display. 

So if you are going to Mt. Moiwa Ropeway and ride on “Outer Loop to Chuo Toshokanmae” from Susukino Station to go to “Ropeway Iriguchi,” you have to get off at “Chuo Toshokanmae” once and wait for the next outer loop streetcar. 
In this case, you have to pay the fee twice. 
 
- In a case riding “Outer Loop to Chuo Toshokanmae” 

Susukino - Shiseikan Shogakko Mae - (skip) - Ishiyama Dori - Chuo Toshokanmae (final stop)

And transfer to: 

Chuo Toshokanmae - Densha Jigyosho Mae - Ropeway Iriguchi - to Mt. Moiwa Ropeway
 
- In a case riding “Inner Loop” (Approximately 24 mins ride from Susukino to Ropeway Iriguchi) 

Susukino - Tanukikoji - Nishi Yonchome - (skip) - Nishisen Juroku Jo - Ropeway Iriguchi - to Mt. Moiwa Ropeway 
 
When you head to Mt. Moiwa Ropeway from the downtown such as “Susukino,” “Tanukikoji,” and “Nishi Yonchome,” you should choose inner loop so that it will take you to “Ropeway Iriguchi” no matter the streetcar has a final stop or not. 
 
A website called “Sapporo Eki-Bus navi,” which has various information about public transportation in Sapporo, seems useful to learn about it. They also offer smartphone apps, so try it if you are interested. 
 
Use public transportation wisely and enjoy your time in Sapporo! 
 
* The information in this article is as of April 2019. 
* Information might update due to fee revision, schedule revision, etc. 

 

Related Links

- Sapporo City Subway
- Sapporo City Streetcar
- JR Hokkaido
- JR Hokkaido Bus
- Hokkaido Chuo Bus
Jotetsu Bus
- Bankei Bus
- Sapporo Eki-Bus navi
  • A complete guide of discount tickets and prepaid IC cards for sightseeing in Sapporo

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Takako Chiba

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