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Domestic carriers Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and the budget carriers Air Do and SkyMark connect major Japanese airports with Sapporo (New Chitose), Asahikawa, Hakodate, Abashiri (Memambetsu), Obihiro, and Kushiro. Flying across Hokkaido is a good way to cross the distances, particularly the far-flung eastern and northern regions. In winter, sudden changes in weather can divert or cancel flights, so plan adequate time for connections.
Japan Airlines (JAL), and All Nippon Airways link Hokkaido to Honshu by direct flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to Hakodate, Sapporo (New Chitose Airport), Asahikawa Airport, Abashiri (Memambetsu Airport), Nemuro (Nakashibetsu Airport), and Kushiro Airport. Two flights a day depart from Tokyo's Narita International Airport. Other major cities on Honshu have flights to Sapporo, as do several places in the Asia and Pacific region. The cost by air from Tokyo to Sapporo can be as low as ¥12,000 compared with ¥22,430 by train. Fly-stay packages from Tokyo (subsidized by the Hokkaido government) offering excellent deals for short trips are recommended. Some air travelers arriving in Japan on European flights can, with a change of planes at Tokyo, fly at no extra charge to Sapporo. If you're flying from overseas to Sapporo via Tokyo, book the domestic portion when you buy your international ticket; otherwise, you will fork out for what is, per mile, one of the most expensive domestic tickets in the world.
All Nippon Airways (0570/029–709. www.ana.co.jp.)
Japan Airlines (0120/747–222. www.jal.co.jp/en.)
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