get­ting there


One of the finest trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­tures in the world makes ev­ery­thing easy.


The hard­est part is get­ting to Ja­pan. A round-trip flight will run you around $1K–$2K for a week-long stay. Once you pull the trig­ger, the itin­er­ary can be sim­ple and pro­vide plenty of time to catch up on movies. Most flights to Hokkaido go through one of Tokyo’s mas­sive air­ports, so make sure you book enough time to get from the busy in­ter­na­tional gates to the eerily quiet do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal.


New Chi­tose Air­port isn’t very close to down­town Sap­poro, so it may be more con­ve­nient to take a bus to Rusutsu, Yubari, and other ski ar­eas from the air­port for a small fee. If you spend one night in Sap­poro, how­ever, you can get a free ride to Rusutsu on a bus that leaves from a stop near the train sta­tion ev­ery morn­ing. The pub­lic trans­porta­tion be­tween the air­port and Sap­poro is clean and ef­fi­cient.


If you’re com­fort­able driv­ing on the left side of the road, in snow, and plan on skip­ping the com­pli­cated streets of Sap­poro, then rent­ing a car might be an op­tion. Taxis are a bet­ter choice for most, and ho­tels will gladly or­ga­nize one for you.

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