Hokkaido - Save Money? Or Enjoy to the Fullest? Transportation Means in Otaru!
北海道 - あなたは節約派？ それとも満喫派？ 小樽の移動手段はコレで決まり！
Enjoy the Magnificent Views and Arrive in Around 30 Minutes!
Often times you may get stuck in Hokkaido because the number of trains is scarce. However, the Hakodate Main Line which connects Sapporo and Otaru has trains every 10 to 15 minutes, and you will not feel much inconvenience. The local train will take you about 50 minutes, so you should get on a rapid train. We recommend the semi-rapid “Ishikari Liner” or rapid “Rapid Airport.” If you ride the “Rapid Airport,” you can reach your destination in a minimum 32 minutes. As for seats, you might want to try sitting on the right side when headed for Otaru, and on the left side when heading to Sapporo. The train runs along the coast, and you will be able to admire the magnificent Ishikari Bay from the windows.
A Laid Back and Reasonable Bus Ride Is Great as Well
You can also travel from Sapporo to Otaru on the express bus “Kosoku Otaru-Go.” Traveling by bus is somewhat more reasonable than traveling by train. You can also get a discount and travel for less if you purchase a round-trip ticket. However, a bus trip will take you longer than a train ride, taking at least 61 minutes. There are three bus lines, each passing through Hokkaido University, Maruyama, and Boyodai, so you might want to choose traveling by bus when your destination is close to one of these passing points. You can also go from Otaru Station directly to the Sapporo clock tower (10-minute walk from JR Sapporo Station), so depending on the route, you can make use of the buses to conveniently get around.
Rent a Car and Sightsee Efficiently
As there are many sightseeing spots in the suburbs of Otaru, you will be able to sightsee more efficiently if you have a car. From Sapporo, you can reach Otaru in about 50 minutes if you use the expressway, or 70 minutes if you use the ordinary road. You can rent a car in Otaru, or if you want to stop by places on the road, renting a car and traveling from Sapporo will save you time and money. Visitors from overseas driving in Japan will need an international driver’s license, with the exception of some countries. You should prepare the necessary documents and information before coming to Japan, and make sure you aren’t missing anything.
Great for a Day of Sightseeing! Check out the Unlimited Bus and Train Tickets!
You can save a lot of money when getting around Otaru if you make use of the discount tickets of the different transportation systems. The “Otaru City Bus One Day Pass” grants you unlimited access to the city buses. You will be able to visit the different tourist spots as you wish. There is also a plan that offers express bus rides between Sapporo and Otaru along with meal tickets for famous restaurants in Otaru. JR Hokkaido offers the “Otaru Free Ticket,” which includes a round-trip ride from Sapporo as well as a bus ticket. They also sell the “Otaru Aquarium Ticket,” which includes admission to Otaru Aquarium. Some tickets are for a limited time only, so you should check the websites of the transportation systems for more information.
Luxuriously Charter a Taxi to Enjoy Otaru to the Fullest!
If you want to sit back and relax while you sightsee, we recommend chartering a taxi. This option is more expensive compared to the other means of transportation, but they will suggest for you a plan that fits your time and money budget. The driver, very knowledgeable about the local area, will travel around the best route for you. Another plus is that you will be able to enjoy your travel just with your friends or family, without worrying about the eyes of others. You might be able to get some special information about less-known spots and recommended restaurants from the local driver. You can also choose a driver who speaks your language at some taxi companies. We making a reservation beforehand.