Plans to connect Saporro and Shin-Hakodate Station by a Shinkansen (bullet train) line have been moved forward, but there’s no need to book your tickets just yet. The line is now scheduled to open in 2030, five years earlier than initially planned.

Set to make life much easier for skiers and boarders travelling to Niseko from Tokyo and Sapporo, the line will run through Kutchan station, just a seven minute drive from Niseko Grand Hirafu resort.

By the time the line has been completed, it is expected that the Tokyo to Sapporo route will take just 5 hours and 1 minute (faster from Tokyo to Kutchan Station), making it a viable alternative to air travel.

The change was announced by the Abe administration last week, following a meeting between the government and the ruling coalition.

Plans have also been made to move forward completion of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line’s Tsuruga-Kanazawa route by three years, as well as an earlier opening for the route between Takeo-Onsen and Nagasaki on the Kyushu line.


A map showing plans for a Shinkansen line running through Hokkaido.

Rupert Orchard

Posted on 12 January, 2015 by Rupert Orchard in Niseko Life.