Sapporo Streetcar

Apart from the buses and subway system in Sapporo. There is also the Sapporo Streetcar. The Sapporo Streetcar runs in what almost looks like an L-shaped loop, but the loop is incomplete at one end. So the two termini of the line are literally two blocks apart from each other.

Looking east from the Susukino Streetcar stop

These two end stops both start in the busy Susukino district of Sapporo. Susukino is Sapporo’s entertainment district. It’s home to a whole whack of restaurants, host/hostess clubs, and other businesses of the night. Susukino is where you will also find the largest collection of neon billboards and adverts in town. This area really shines through at night.

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Getting Around Sapporo – Japan Rail (JR)

In Japan, Japan Rail (JR) is a name that can be found across the country. It comes in many flavours. There’s the green JR East that most people will see in Tokyo, the blue JR West found in Kansai townships, the orange JR Central that serves everything between Kanto and Kansai regions, and more. In Hokkaido, there is the light green manifestation of JR known as JR Hokkaido.

In Sapporo, almost all the JR trains must go through Sapporo Station. This is probably the busiest train station in all of Hokkaido seeing about 90,000 passengers a day go through its doors. If you walk through the station around 6pm, you will feel the rush of 90,000 passengers a day.

If one must get to destinations beyond Sapporo or outside of the subway system, then JR is one way to do it. You can think of JR as a commuter rail system serving the “suburbs” of Sapporo. JR Hokkaido is more than just a suburban commuter rail, but for the purpose of getting around the outer areas of Sapporo, that’s the closest description that matches its services.

Sapporo JR Lines Map

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Getting Around Sapporo – The Sapporo Subway

Sapporo, just like other Japanese cities, is well serviced by rail transportation. The subway system serves most of the inner city. The Japan Rail Hokkaido (hereby referred to as JR) trains connect Sapporo to the surrounding towns, the New Chitose Airport, and other major destinations throughout Hokkaido.

The System

The Sapporo Subway system is made up of 3 lines and is very simple to use.  Rides on the subway range from ¥200-360 depending on how far one travels through the system. The blue Toho Line runs north-south and serves the northeast and southeast of Sapporo. Major destinations accessible on the Toho Line include Toyohiro Park (Toyohiro Koen station), and the Sapporo Dome (Fukuzumi station). The green Namboku Line runs north-south as well, but serve the areas directly north and south of the city centre. Major destinations along the line include Nakajima Park (Nakajima Koen station) and Hokkaido University (Kita 12 Jo station). The orange Tozai Line runs mainly east-west and serves the city’s northwest and part of the southeast.  Famous attractions on the Tozai Line include the Shiroi Koibito Park (Miyanosawa station) and Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen station). All three lines feed into Odori Station. Like most Japanese subway systems, all stations in the system have a letter and number combo to identify the station. Because you know it’s a lot easier to say station H-05 than saying Higashi Kuyakusho Mae station for us foreigners.

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In Transit – The Union-Pearson (UP) Express

On my last trip to Toronto, I actually could see part of the construction of the new express train station at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. It’s due to open in Spring of 2015 in time for the Pan-Am Games. It looks pretty exciting to me. 25 minutes to downtown Toronto would be way better than the current 60 minute ride by the Airport Shuttle Bus.  Add that to my transit checklist. Here are some pictures/renderings from the Union Pearson Express site.

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Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2012 « The Transport Politic

Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2012 « The Transport Politic. The Transport Politic is one of my favourite blogs to follow.  Most of what he covers is about the United States since he’s based there.  Also, he provides what seems to be an inside look at the financing side of transportation projects across North America.  He’s just released his newest graphic/map for 2012.  It’s … Continue reading Opening and Construction Starts Planned for 2012 « The Transport Politic

Hastings East Historic Walk – part 5

I had the joy of joining one of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s walking tours.  My work allows me to have Fridays off and I finally found an event I can attend on a Friday.  This fall, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation is organizing two-part historic walks of Hastings Street.  I missed part one in September, which was the Hastings West walk, but I jumped all over … Continue reading Hastings East Historic Walk – part 5

Pigeon Park/Carrall Street | Hastings East Historic Walk – part 4

I had the joy of joining one of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s walking tours.  My work allows me to have Fridays off and I finally found an event I can attend on a Friday.  This fall, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation is organizing two-part historic walks of Hastings Street.  I missed part one in September, which was the Hastings West walk, but I jumped all over … Continue reading Pigeon Park/Carrall Street | Hastings East Historic Walk – part 4

Europe’s Train vs Plane comparison

Guide to Europe by Train | Train Travel in Europe – Times Online. [Sorry.  The link no longer works and I can’t find the original article. -Oct 2012] Here’s another break in the Kansai/Japan posts.  Just had to comment on this series of articles I came across. The Times Online is actually the Times of London, so everything is written from a Brit’s perspective. This … Continue reading Europe’s Train vs Plane comparison

Tyee Series on Rail in the Lower Mainland

Part One: The Myth of High Speed Rail Part Two: Obama’s Billions bypass BC Part Three: Ottawa Halts Vancouver Train Part Four:  Rail Fix: Two Tracks to Langley Monte Paulsen over at The Tyee recently completed a four-part series about rail in the Lower Mainland.  More specifically, he was reporting on the the optimistic media reports on Obama’s millions for high-speed rail reaching our corner … Continue reading Tyee Series on Rail in the Lower Mainland