Sapporo and JR Pass

Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 08:08 AM
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Sapporo and JR Pass

Hi!!
I´m going to Sapporo to the snow festival on February but I still don´t have clear which JR Pass I should buy.
Does anybody know if both the ordinary and green JR Pass get to Sapporo and if so, what is the difference between them (apart from the price difference)?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Good Morning,
I did that trip about 10 years ago. I presume that you may be starting in Tokyo. Thats what I did anyway. You will probably take three trains, as the Shinkansen only goes as far North as Shin-Aomori.
http://jreast-shinkansen-reservation...le/byline.html

http://jreast-shinkansen-reservation...ble/index.html

From there, you will probably take two more trains to get to Sapporo. As I mentioned, I did the trip some ten years ago, so, the schedule may have changed. I am not able to give information on current schedules

When I did the trip, I made certain that I was on MAX DOUBLE DECKER train, and had the upstairs section. Don't get the downstairs section, otherwise you will not see anything. It was really nice sitting there and watch the scenery chenge from Tokyo to the far North. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E4_Series_Shinkansen

I went by GREEN car. You will have different opinions on this, but, I travelled extensively in Japan from 1993 to 1997 when I lived there,and it was always by normal car(work paid). Whenever I could, I tried to travel by green car, just because you have more room, and its no where as crowded and busy.

You are probably aware that you must purchase the Japan Rail Pass before you start your travel. The pass must be purchased overseas. Get the pass that covers ALL of JAPAN. There are passes for Japan Rail East, Japan Rail West etc., but, the main pass will get you everywhere. If you purchase Japan Rail East, thats the only area where you can use the pass. You will need the "all areas" pass for travel in Hokkaido.

http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en003.html

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 04:59 PM
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With the extension of Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin Aomori last month, the journey to Sappora has been shortened. You now travel by Tohoku Shinkansen Hayate to Shin Aomori, and change to connecting limited express Super Hakucho to Hakodate and another L Exp Hokuto to Sapporo. It takes between 9.5 to 10 hours, all daytime travel.
Either ordinary class or green class Japan Rail Pass will cover your trip. The difference between the two is more space, less crowding and greater comfort in green class, but most people should find ordinary class quite adequate. You need to book your journeys in advance as Hayate is reservation-only, and seats often sell out on this popular trip. You can only reserve once you arrive in Japan and activate your pass, but there is normally no problem booking close to departure, a day or two in advance.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Alec
Thanks for the latest information.

I wonder if MAX E4 goes all the way to Shin Aomori ?
When I did the trip, back in 2000 (time flies),the Shinkansen only went as far as Morioaka.
I knew that the line was extended. Still takes three trains,I see.
Its a long day, but,worth it if one wants to see Japan from ground level, as opposed to flying from Tokyo to Sapporo.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 08:14 AM
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Well I´m travelling with a low-medium budget so I guess I´ll be buying the ordinary JR Pass.
Thanks for the replies Gearsau and Alex, they were very helpful!!
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 11:55 AM
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Check to see if the MAX E4 runs all the way to Shin Aomori. The regular cars are also double decker, so, get an upstairs seat.
The regular single level shinkansens are OK for sightseeing. Just the two level ones are useless if you get the lower level. All you see is the fence rushing past.

Enjoy the trip. Wish I was doing it again.

In fact, this week, I am going to China, and taking a train from Shanghai to Harbin. 32 hours 5 minutes.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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I don´t think they have the Max E4 runing to Shin Aomori yet, it just gets to Sendai.
Btw as I´m travelling to other places in Japan do you know how I can find out which trains I have to book in advance?

Good luck in your trip through China, it sounds very interesting.
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Old Jan 4th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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Normally, you can get by without booking too far in advance, but, public holidays or festivals can present a problem

I always booked trains a day or do before travelling. Best to do some research.

China trip will be interesting. Last year, I did Beijing to Jiayuguan ( Western End of Great Wall ) by train..32 hours, then Jiayuguan to Urumqi, then 47 hours from Urumqi to Shanghai ... Thats an experience
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