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katkat Jan 26th, 2005 01:02 AM

Do you live in Sapporo? Can you ask Donan bus one question for me?
Our flight doesn't get into Sapporo Chitose Airport until 8pm, which leaves us very few options in getting to Noboribetsu. We have some luggages with us and are trying to avoid the JR connection, and are therefore looking at taking the Donan Bus from the Airport to Noboribetsu. The manager of my ryokan can pick us up from the Noboribetsu downtown bus station.

Here's the problem -
The Chitose Airport website seems to say the Donan Bus from Airport to Muroran (through Noboribetsu) only operates June-October.

But we'll be there on February 8, at 8pm.

I tried calling Donan Bus' airport info desk but we couldn't understand each other. And their website doesn't seem to say anything about the Chitose-Muroran bus's operating months. (Or does it?)
(The 2nd link on the right)

So I was wondering if anyone could either (a) figure out the Muroran operating months for me or (b) give Donan Bus airport desk a call at (0123)46-5701 or (0123)46-5704 and ask if I could take that evening bus at 9:30pm on Feb 8.

Thank you much!!!

framboise Jan 26th, 2005 05:29 AM

I have just phoned Donan's Noboribetsu office.
Express bus service Hayabusa from Chitose to Muroran via Noboribetsu,
operates throughout the year.

Chitose - Noboribetsu
20:20 - 21:16
21:30 - 22:26

I checked Donan bus website in Japanese.
It does not tell anything about operating months or days of the week
seems to be all year round and every day.

katkat Jan 27th, 2005 02:24 AM

Framboise, that was really kind and helpful of you - my heartfelt thanks for your time and help!! And I saw from other posts that you're actually in Tokyo - thanks so much for making the long distance call!
That bus will save us a lot of luggage carrying up and down stairs in train stations.

People here are truly helpful. :)


mrwunrfl Jan 27th, 2005 05:25 AM

If your plane arrives at 8:00 then you probably won't make the 20:20 bus. Hyperdia shows JR departure to Minami Chitose at 20:34 connecting to a Ltd Express train. There is also a 20:49 train to Minami Chitose that connects to the same Limited Express. The next train is about the same time as the bus.

If you don't make the 20:20 bus, then you can take your time. CTS is is a good place to hang out for an hour or so.

Got a question about whether that bus goes to Noboribetsu town and the onsen or just to the town and on to Muroran.

Here is a map that shows Noboribetsu town and three bus stops.

The bus from the JR station (at the bottom of the map) goes straight across the main road in Nobo town and up a hill for 15 min or so to the onsen area (which I think is the bus stop at the top of the map, across the river from the other two).

The bus from CTS to Muroran is going to be coming down route 36 from right to left. So, I am wondering if the bus goes up to the onsen area or do you have to connect to another bus, like the one from the JR station.

On the webpage where you saw the schedule from chitose to muro, scroll down and see that there is another schedule. That schedule specifically says "Noboribetsu Hotsprings".

I'm going to start a new thread about translating webpages. You might find it useful.

mrwunrfl Jan 27th, 2005 06:07 AM

If you look at the translated webpage you will see the note, pasted below, that seems to say you have to connect in Nobo town. The info on the lower half of the page, I now believe, is not a different bus but just a schedule of the buses that are scheduled to connect with the bus up to the onsen area. Those buses connect to a shuttle which would take people from the Nobo onsen bus station to the various hotels/ ryokans.

"You see from the Noboribetsu hot spring and the hill ' with with making connection "are quick the ぶ you can utilize the number".
It crosses the pedestrian crossing, becomes the stop of opposite side. In regard to verification, please meet time beforehand.
When it does not become connection depending upon traffic procrastination, being to be, please acknowledge.
Air mail as for connection utilization you ask with some amount to spare."

katkat Jan 31st, 2005 02:59 AM

Thanks again, mrwunrfl! I'm still waiting for the manager of my ryokan to get back to me - but I've asked him to pick us up at Nobo town, not the onsen. So hopefully we won't need a connection bus to the onsen (which doesn't exist at such a late hour?)

I looked at the pictures you posted - what a nice informative website!


mrwunrfl Jan 31st, 2005 09:34 AM

Do itashimashite.

I took the bus from Nobo Onsen to Toyako and just before it left town I noticed a place that looked really nice. I think it might be the place you will be staying at.

You'd think that they would have one more bus from Nobo town after the CTS-Muroran bus arrived to go up the hill to the onsen. Even better, though, is your plan for getting the ryokan folks to pick you up.

katkat May 24th, 2005 12:46 AM

(Sorry for the late report)

Yes we did manage to ride that bus! :) Thanks a lot, framboise and mrwunrfl!

For whoever else is interested, there's an information desk right outside the luggage claim area, and the very helpful English-speaking staff will let you know where to board the bus.

You can either pay at the ticket counter, or if you arrive after-hours, you can pay the driver on board. Every bus has a money changer for up to 1000yen (or more? not sure).

katkat May 24th, 2005 12:47 AM

And you'll see the name of next stop displayed on the electronic screen.

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