How to Use the Airport Effectively in Hokkaido

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publication date:08/23/2016


There are currently 12 airports in Hokkaido in service with regular flights, but most of you may not know all of 12 airports in Hokkaido.
At that time, we’d like to introduce these airports. When traveling in Hokkaido, consider flying to various parts of the vast island for a better experience.


The picture is from an airplane flying the sky of Nakashibetsu. Below is the “Koushijou Boufurin (grid-shaped windbreaker forest), one of Hokkaido’s inheritances and a valued scenery.

1.Airports in Douou
1-1.New Chitose Airport
1-2.Sapporo Okadama Airport
2.Airports in Donan
2-1.Hakodate Airport
2-3.Okushiri Airport
3.Airports in Dohoku
3-1.Ashikawa Airport
3-2.Wakkanai Airport
3-3.Rishiri Airport
4.Airports in Doto
4-1.Obihiro Airport
4-2. Kushiro Airport
4-3. Memanbetsu Airport
4-4. Nemuro Nakashibetsu Airport
4-5.Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport
5.Use the Transit Effectively!

1.Airports in Douou

The first to be introduced are the airports in Douou (central Hokkaido).
There are two airports in Douou: one is “New Chitose Airport,” which is the biggest airport in Hokkaido, and “Okadama Airport” in Sapporo city.

1.New Chitose Airport

New Chitose Airport is Hokkaido’s largest airport located about 45km (27.9mi) south away from Sapporo city,
新千歳空港Photo by wikipedia/Hykw-a4

New Chitose Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:26(5 out of 26 routes are within Hokkaido.)※Running above 150 round-trips / day
・International Flights – Routes:13 ※Running above 10 round-trips / day

One of the characteristics of New Chitose Airport is its large number of flights as well as available destinations.
Whether as the main airport for traveling Hokkaido’s skies, or as a place to transfer to other local flights, the airport is used by countless travelers everyday.

Meanwhile, since New Chitose Airport is the only location for LCC (low-cost airlines) flights in all of Hokkaido, it is also considered to be a base for cheap air travels.

There are plenty of gift shops as well as eateries inside New Chitose Airport.
There are about a total of 50 shops and eateries inside the airport (without counting duty-free shops), making it an enjoyable place just by eating and shopping around.
There is also a cinema, an onsen (hot spring bath), as well as Doraemon and Steiff (teddy bear) museums.

JR:”New Chitose Airport” Station is available in the underground.
However, you have to transit the next station “Minami Chitose Station” if you are going Donan and Doto area. Also, you have to transit the Sapporo if you are heading to the Asahikawa.

・Sapporo:about 40 minutes by JR ”Express Airport”
・Otaru:about 75 minutes by JR
・Asahikawa:about 130 minutes by JR
・Obihiro:about 150 minutes by JR
・Muroran:about 90 minutes by JR
・Hakodate:about 210 minutes by JR
・Kushiro:about 260 minutes by JR

There are also plenty of express buses except JR.
Besides ones that go to Sapporo City, there are buses that go to Jozankei Onsen, Noboribetsu Onsen, Tomokamai, Muroran, and Obihiro, as well as ski buses (available in winter) that go to major ski resorts such as Niseko, Tomamu, and Furano.

1-2.Sapporo Okadama Airport

Sapporo Okadama Airport is a small-sized airport located northeast of Sapporo city.
Mostly used for business purposes, the airport has small airplanes flying to three other airports within Hokkaido, and one outside Hokkaido (Misawa).


Sapporo Okadama Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:4(Rishiri / Kushiro / Hakodate/ Misawa)※Running 11 round-trips / day
※From the early of June to the end of October, there is Shizuoka~Okadama line every Tuesday and Saturday.(Fuji Dream Airline)
・International Flights – Routes:None
・Airplane Company:Hokkaido Air System ※Operated with JAL

The benefit of Sapporo Okadama Airport is its closeness to the center of Sapporo city.
The airport can be reached within 20 minutes by taxi and 25 minutes by bus. Very convenient!

The facilities inside the airport are simple. There is only one shop and a restaurant..

・Sapporo Station : about 20 minutes by Car and Taxi
・Sakaemachi Station : about three minutes by foot

2. Airports in Donan

Next are the two airports in Donan (southern Hokkaido).

2-1.Hakodate Airport

Hakodate Airport is located east of Hakodate city, and 8km (4.97mi) away from Hakodate Station. It is also the base for air traveling in Donan.


Hakodate Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:6(Haneda, Chubu, Itami, Chitose, Okadama and Okushiri)※Running 14 round-trips / day
・Airplane Company:ANA・JAL・Air Do・Hokkaido Air System
・International Flights – Routes:4(Taipei, Tianjin, Beijing and Hangzhou)
・Airplane Company:TransAsia Air, Eva Air, Tianjin Air and TigerAir Taiwan

One of the biggest benefits of Hakodate Airport is its closeness to the center of Hakodate city.
From the airport, places such as Hakodate Station, Goryokaku, and Yunokawa Onsen are within 10 to 20 minutes by car.
You can start sightseeing as soon as you get to the airport.

Also there are buses on the Haneda line available in the morning, afternoon, as well as at night for easy scheduling.

Airplanes traveling to Okushiri Airport originate only from Hakodate Airport.

There are also several gift shops and eateries inside the airport.
Although there aren’t many facilities inside, there are enough shops for you to buy a variety of local merchandise.

・Hakodate Station:about 20 minutes by Air Connection Bus
・Yunokawa Onsen:about 10 minutes by Airport Circulation Bus
・Goryokaku:about 30 minutes by Airport Circulation Bus

Famous for its Monkey Onsen, Hakodate Tropical Greenhouse is located within 10 minutes from Hakodate Airport.

2-2.Okushiri Airport

Okushiri Airport is an airport in Okurishiri Island southwest of Hokkaido.
The small airport has only one flight per day.

奥尻空港Photo by Flickr/Hyougushi

Okushiri Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:1 (Hakodate, operated by Hokkaido Air System)
You can check the facility details below:

The only way to reach Okushiri Island is to take the outgoing ferry from “Esashi / Senata,” and by flying.
Although there is only one flight a day, it only takes 30 minutes to reach the island.
(The ferry takes around 130 to 140 minutes to the island from each port)

3. Airports in Dohoku

Next are the three airports in Dohoku area.

3-1.Ashikawa Airport

Ashikawa Airport is located 15km (9.3mi) south-southeast from the center of Ashikawa city.

旭川空港Photo by wikipedia/663highland

Ashikawa Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:3(Haneda – seven lines, Chubu – one line and Kansai – one line)
・Airplane Company:ANA・JAL・Air Do
・International Flights – Routes:4(Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing and Inchon)※There are seven lines
・Airplane Company:TransAsia Air, China Eastern Airline, Spring Airline and Asiana Airline

The benefit of Ashikawa Airport is its location. From the airport, you can reach the center of the city within 30 minutes by car.
Major tourist spots nearby are:
– Ashikawa Zoo…around 25 minutes
– Biei…around 20 minutes
– Center of Furano…around 1 hour

The airport is close to major tourist spots like Furano and Biei.
Ashikawa Airport usually has relatively fewer canceled flights by harsh weather during winter compared to other airports in Hokkaido.
It’s recommended to set Ashikawa Airport as base for traveling around to popular spots such as Furano, Biei, or for simply driving around Doutou.

・Asahikawa Station:about 40 minutes by bus
・Asahiyama Zoo:about 35 minutes by bus ※Limited time
・Asahidake:about 50 minutes by bus ※Three lines per day
・Biei Station:about 16 minutes by “Furano Bus Lavender Go”.
・Furano Station:about 62 minutes by “Furano Bus Lavender Go”.
・Shin-Furano Prince Hotel:about 80 minutes by “Furano Bus Lavender Go”

3-2.Wakkanai Airport

Wakkanai Airport is Japan’s northernmost airport located in Wakkanai city.

稚内空港Photo by wikipedia/Furiko7e

・Domestic Flights – Routes:2(Haneda – one line ※Haneda line will be two lines, and Chitose line will be two lines)
・Airplane Company:ANA
・International Flights – Routes:None

Wakkanai Airport has varying levels of crowds depending on the season. During tourist season in Rishiri and Rebun Island from June to August, huge waves of tourists and individual travelers crowd the airport, often making it difficult to make reservations.
Individuals who’d like to use Wakkanai Airport during the summer are therefore recommended to make reservations in advance. The airport has two shops and one restaurant.

・Wakkanai Station:about 30 minutes by bus
・Ferry Terminal:about 35 minutes by bus

3-3. Rishiri Airport

Rishiri Airport is a small airport located in Fuji-cho, located farthest north of Rishiri island.


Rishiri Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:2(Okadama – one line, New Chitose – one line※only in the summer term)
・Airplane Company:ANA(New Chitose)・Hokkaido Air System
・International Flights – Routes:None

Rishiri Airport is highly crowded only during summer.
Since the course connects Rishiri and Okadama / New Chitose in only about an hour, it is highly popular among Rishiri and Rebun tourists who have limited time.
For tourists who’d like to travel during this period, they’re better off making reservations as soon as possible.

4. Airports in Doto

Finally, it’s the airport in Doutou. There are five airports in the region separated far apart.

4-1.Obihiro Airport

Obihiro Airport is located about 25km (15.5mi) south of Obihiro Station in Obihiro city, located in central Tokachi region.


Obihiro Airport
・Domestic Flights – Route:1(Haneda)
・Airplane Company:ANA・Air Do
※Chubu lines will be opened (4 lines/week) during the August.
・International Flights – Routes:None

Obihiro Airport is a convenient base for traveling in Tokachi or the Doutou area.
During the summer, the popular “Garden” opens near the airport. Accessing Doutou Expressway is also convenient from the free “Obihiro-Hiroo Expressway.”

Located in the temperate Tokachi Plain, The airport has relatively fewer canceled flights during the winter.
There are several shops as well as restaurants inside the airport. There is also a restaurant where you can taste Tokachi’s specialty: “Butadon.”

・Obihiro Station:about 30 minutes by car, about 38 minutes by bus
・Basic Fare Taxi is available from surrounded areas. Please click the detail here


Tokachi Hills is a popular garden located near the airport

4-2.Kushiro Airport

Kushiro Airport is located in the center of Doutou region, specifically around 20km (12.4mi) west from the center of Kushiro city.


Kushiro Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:3 ( Haneda, New Chitose and Okadama ) ※Running 13 round-trips / day)
※Itami and Nagoya lines are available during the summer season.
・Airplane Company:ANA・JAL・Air Do・Hokkaido Air System
・International Flights – Routes:None

Kushiro Airport is a convenient access point to popular tourist spots in the Doutou area such as Kushiro Bog, Lake Akan, and Lake Mashu.

Also, Doto Expressway and Akan IC opened on March 12th, 2016.
Access from Tokachi area is also convenient for easy round trips.
There are multiple gift shops as well as restaurants inside the airport.

・Kushiro Station:about 45 minutes by bus, and about 35 minutes by car
・Lake Akan:about 70 minutes by bus, and about 60 minutes by car.

Around the airport are plenty of spots for watching Japanese cranes.

4-3.Memanbetsu Airport

Memanbetsu Airport is located in Oozora-cho in Abashiri.
The airport is a base for traveling in Abashiri, Kitami, as well as visiting Shiretoko, a world heritage.

女満別空港Photo credit by Abashiri Tourism Association

Memanbetsu Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:3(Haneda, New-Chitose and Nagoya ※Running 13 round-trips / day)
※Itami and Kansai lines are available during the summer season.(operated by ANA)
・Airplane Company:ANA・JAL・Air Do・Hokkaido Air System
・International Flights – Routes:None

The airport gets flights from Tokyo, and Chubu. During the summer season, there are also several flights from Kansai region.
There are car rentals for easy access to various parts of the region.
The outside of the airport is decorated with mountain phlox in the spring, and fields of sunflowers in autumn. There are also drifting ice that can be seen nearby the airport during the winter, making it a spot abundant with things to see all throughout the seasons.
There are also several gift shops as well as restaurants for your convenience.

・Abashiri Station:about 30 minutes by bus, and about 25 minutes by car
・Kitami Station:about 40 minutes by bus, and about 35 minutes by car
・Shiretoko Utoro:about 130 minutes by limited term bus, and about 120 minutes by car
・Lake Akan:about 90 minutes by car
・Lake Kussharo:about 70 minutes by car

ひまわり畑 The sunflower fields spanning the surrounding area of the airport (courtesy of Abashiri city tourism association)

4-4.Nemuro Nakashibetsu Airport

An airport in the easternmost part of Japan (except the northern territories) located in Nakashibetsu in Konsen region that faces the Nemuro strait, Konsen region.


Nemuro Nakashibetsu Airport
・Domestic Flights – Routes:2(Haneda and New Chitose – operated by ANA)
・International Flights – Routes:None

Situated in Japan’s easternmost point, Nemuro Nakashibetsu Airport is the closest airport to the Shiretoko area [Utoro / Rausu] (with limited number of flights).
The airport is also the base for traveling to the region’s scenic natural tourist sights such as Lake Mashu and Notsuke Peninsula.

“Kaiyo-dai” is located about 15 minute drive from the airport. It is a scenic spot where tourists may see Konsendaichi and, during clear weather, even as far as Kunashiri island.
Please note that there are only two gift shops in the airport, so it’s a better idea to purchase gifts sooner.

・Nakashibetsu Bus Terminal:about 10 minutes by bus
・Nemuro Station:about 100 minutes by bus and about 90 minutes by car
・Rausu:about 80 minutes by car


The Earth looks round from the top of Kaiyo-dai

4-5.Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport

An airport in the city of Monbetsu that faces the Okhotsk coast, east of Hokkaido.


Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport
・Domestic Flights – Route:1(Haneda ※operated by ANA)
・International Flights – Routes:None

Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport has only one flight per day, from Haneda Airport.
Although there aren’t many flights, it’s still fascinating to note that tourists can go to Monbetsu directly from Haneda Airport to see its especially beautiful drifting ice. There is one gift shop and a snack corner inside the airport.

・Monbetsu Bus Terminal:about 20 minutes by bus, and about 15 minutes by car
・Abashiri:about 120 minutes by car
・Kitami:about 90 minutes by car

北海道観光・春 The symbol of Monbetsu! Drift Ice and Garinko no. II!

5.Use the Transit Effectively!

Here, we’d like to show you two example plans for touring Hokkaido with skillful flight transferring.

From Hakodate to Memanbetsu in about 2 hours.
Using flight ANA4854 – Hakodate 12:00 departure ⇒ New Chitose 12:40 arrival ⇒⇒ Using flight ANA4865 – New Chitose 13:15 departure ⇒ Memanbetsu 14:00 arrival

Cost: Using transit discounts for specific flights (can be purchased on the same day of the flight) – total 24,700 yen
* Note: JR Limited Express transit – 15,650 yen (free seating available, boarding time 9:44 am)

The plan lets you enjoy delicious squid at Hakodate’s morning market and watch drift ice in Abashiri in the evening!

網走観光イメージ Image of Notoromisaki in the winter

From Rishiri island to Hakodate in about 3 hours.
Using flight HAC674 – Rishiri 15:15 departure ⇒ Okadama 16:15 arrival ⇒⇒ Using flight HAC243 – Okadama 17:15 departure ⇒ Hakodate 18:00 arrival

Cost: Transit 7 (must be purchased 7 days in advance of using) : total 22,500 yen
* Note: JR Limited Express transit 15,980 yen (free seating, boarding time 8:39 am) + ferry fee 3,670 yen (second class seat, ferry ride lasts 1 hr and 40 mins) = 19,650 yen

You can have fun hiking and doing more things in Rishiri island in the morning and enjoy the night scenery in Hakodate!

hokkaido airplane map


We have introduced all the active airports in Hokkaido.
Especially for those who want to travel around Hokkaido in a limited amount of time, we invite you to make full use of our guide!



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