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From Sapporo to Niseko: 3 Best Ways

by Asia Car Service

Welcome to One of the Most Celebrated Ski Areas of Japan!

Niseko is located in Hokkaido, Japan and is one of the most celebrated ski areas of Japan. Some would argue that Niseko is the powder capital of the world! Finding Sapporo airport transfers to Niseko hotels and resorts is more convenient than ever.  Most international travelers will fly into Tokyo airport, and then catch their final flight to Sapporo. 

Located 106km from New Chitose (Sapporo) Airport it takes approximately 2-hour drive to reach Niseko. While there are different transportation options available, you can generally expect to trade price for convenience and flexibility.

Depending on the time of day or night you are arriving, some local transportation options may not be available to use, so it is recommended that you book your transfer in advance. Especially around Christmas, New Year or Lunar New Year time. 

These Are the Best Transportation Options From Sapporo Airport to Niseko Ski Resorts and Hotels:

There are three main modes of transportation from Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Hakuba. Those are: train, private car, and bus. Each option varies on the 4 key areas of concern you should consider regarding this journey:

  1. Time: How many hours do I have to spend to get from Sapporo Airport to my Niseko destination?

  2. Convenience: How many transit switches and different modes of transport will I have to make?

  3. Comfort: How comfortable am I sharing a full vehicle, and walking with all my luggage for varying distances at different points in the journey?

  4. Cost: What is my budget for this journey? Am I willing to spend more for a reduced time, increased convenience, and comfort?

Note: There is also a town called Niseko, but more often, Niseko is used to refer to the four interconnected ski resorts, so it is best to know which area your final destination will be. The largest is Hirafu. Then there is Niseko Village, Annupuri and Hanazono. Niseko town is about 7-8km from the resorts in Niseko Village and Annupuri.

Sapporo To Niseko by Train

Travel Time: 3-4 hours

Convenience: Low

Comfort Level: Medium

Travel Cost: $$

Summary & Recommendation:

There are local trains operating with several stops, including Sapporo to Niseko. There will be one stop in between, at Otaru Station, where you will be required to switch from the Airport express to a local train.

Regular train service runs from 8 am to 7 pm, and the trains depart every couple of hours. The train terminal is on the basement level of the airport. It is not necessary to arrange for reservations or tickets beforehand. You can simply buy a ticket when you arrive at the station. However, during the winter the trains may be stopped or cancelled due to severe snow storms. 

Travel Steps in Detail:

Step 1: From New Chitose Airport, follow the signs to the train station platform and buy a ticket. 

Step 2: You will be given two tickets – one to Otaru Station and another from Otaru to Kutchan. 

Step 3: Once you arrive in Otaru, get off the train and cross to the adjacent platform for your connection to Kutchan station. The train goes straight to Kutchan.

Step 4: Get off the train in Kutchan, and then arrange for additional transport for the 15-minute drive to Niseko. A taxi is your best option for this last leg of your journey, and will drop you off directly at your final destination in Niseko. 

Sapporo To Niseko by Private Car

Travel Time: 2 hours

Convenience: High

Comfort Level: High

Travel Cost: Get Quote

Summary & Recommendation:

Hiring a car service is by far the most convenient and preferable way to get around. This mode of transport is fast and reliable, especially in an Asian countries where, so often public transportation can easily get confusing and chaotic. 

The service is door-to-door, meaning your journey from the New Chitose Airport is completely hassle-free and direct to your hotel or resort in Niseko. Booking a car service online is fast and simple, and it takes very little time to arrange. Eliminate the waiting time, and queuing up to purchase tickets by booking a 24 hour available transfer designed entirely according to your schedule and preferences. 

Travel Steps in Detail:

Step 1: Meet your driver at the terminal – they will be holding a sign with your name on it in the airport terminal meeting area. He will then help get your luggage to the car

Step 2: Enjoy a comfortable, air-conditioned ride directly to your final destination in Niseko. 

Sapporo To Niseko by Bus

Travel Time: 2-3 hours

Convenience: Medium

Comfort Level: Medium

Travel Cost: $

Summary & Recommendation:

Bus is considered the least expensive form of transportation from the Sapporo airport to the Niseko resorts.  The service is provided by four different bus companies, which offer pretty much the same level of comfort and at a similar cost. The buses run as late as 9pm, and during good weather, they can often be faster than the train.

Buses depart every 30 minutes from the airport to drop-off points in the three major resorts in Niseko – Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri. Most buses will make a rest stop half way, and some will make an additional drop-off at Rusutsu. We recommend arranging your bus trip ahead of time. 

There are three bus operators: 

  1. Chuo Bus 
  2. Hokkaido Ground Service
  3. Hokkaido Access Network 

The buses tend to run more frequently during the high ski season in winter.

Travel Steps in Detail:

Step 1: Once you have gone through customs, arrive in the terminal and follow the signs to bus transportation. All buses to Niseko are marked as “Niseko Bus”.

Step 2: Look for your bus and board. 

Step 3: The bus will make several stops along the way, before dropping you off at its final destination in Niseko.

Smoothest Way to Get From Sapporo to Niseko 

As you’re planning your ski trip and transfer from Sapporo Airport to Niseko it’s always a good idea to plan ahead of your arrival. Public transportation can be confusing in new cities and you probably won’t want to waste any time getting lost, especially if you have only a few days. 

For this reason, a reliable car service can prove to be an indispensable part of your trip. After all, a professional English-speaking local driver can turn any confusion into a smooth and unforgettable experience. Plus, it’s always great to know you’ve got a 24/7 customer support team at your disposal which will accommodate your itinerary and transportation needs. Whether it’s for your New Chitose Airport transfer to Niseko ski resort, or the other way around you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the comfort.

Asia Car Service provides private limousine transfers. If you are interested in private car service for your Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Niseko Resort journey, don’t hesitate to contact us: bookings@asiacarservice.com.

We’re also excited to offer you a $10 discount on your first service with our company, redeemable with this promo code 10CARBLOG. Just click the image below and get your discounted quote!

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