Information for Everyday Living
Public transportation services (subways, streetcars, buses, railways)
Transportation in Sapporo City(Welcome to Sapporo)
There are three subway lines in Sapporo: Namboku Line, Tozai Line, and Toho Line.
- Route Map(Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Subway service status(Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
How to use the subway (when using with a purchased ticket)
Check the fare to your destination using the route map above the ticket machines, place your coins or bills into the slot and press the fare button to receive your ticket. (When transferring from the subway directly to a streetcar or bus, please purchase a ticket for transfer at the ticket machine.)
Place your ticket in the slot of the ticket gate and walk through, retrieving your ticket as you go.
When leaving the subway, place your ticket in the slot of the ticket gate once again. This time around, the ticket will not be returned. (However, your ticket for transfer will be returned to you after inserting it in the ticket gate slot. Please place this ticket in the fare box of the streetcar or bus when alighting.)
If your ticket rate is insufficient for the distance traveled, place the ticket into the slot of the fare adjustment machine located near the ticket gate on arrival. It will indicate the additional amount to be paid. Insert the amount indicated and an adjusted-fare ticket will fall into the tray. You can then exit through the ticket gate using the adjusted-fare ticket.
Fare adjustment machine
How to use the subway (when using with a purchased ticket)(Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
How to transfer between subway trains at Sapporo Station
Because the Namboku Line and Toho Line at Sapporo Station are not connected, you will need to exit the ticket gate when transferring at the station. Insert your ticket into the yellow ticket gate machine and take the ticket that comes out, making sure to re-enter the ticket gate for the line you will transfer to within 30 minutes.
How to transfer between subway trains at Sapporo Station (Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Fares (Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Subway fare calculator(Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Sapporo Eki-Bus Navi
This website allows you to search for information on timetables and connecting routes of public transportation in Sapporo via computer and mobile phone.
Tickets and IC cards
- SAPICA (Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
SAPICA is a rechargeable IC card that can be used as a prepaid pass for the subway, streetcar and bus (service not available on certain buses). By tapping the card on the card reader at the ticket gate, you can go in and out fast and easy.
- One-Day Ticket for Subway Use (Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Donichika Ticket (One-day Subway Pass for Weekends and Holidays)(Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Commuter passes (Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Fare and tickets(Sapporo Transportation Bureau)
- Senior Citizens’ Discount Card (Keiro Pass) (City of Sapporo)
With this pass, citizens aged 70 years or older can use the subway, streetcars and buses in Sapporo at discount rates. Application materials are sent to individuals as they become eligible.
- Transportation fare discounts for people with disabilities(City of Sapporo)
People with disabilities are entitled to transportation fare discounts.
Senior Citizens’ Discount Card (Keiro Pass)
Streetcars are called shiden in Japanese. Streetcars are boarded from the rear and exited from the front. Pay the fare when you get off the streetcar. SAPICA Cards may be used conveniently to pay fares.
Fares(Sapporo Transportation Service Promotion Corporation)
Several companies provide bus services in Sapporo.
- How to take a bus(City of Sapporo)
- Sapporo Eki-Bus Navi
Japan Railways (JR)
This is the largest railway system in Japan.
Inquiries about public transportation
The Sapporo City Call Center answers inquiries about public transportation, including connections, fares and timetables.
Sapporo City Call Center(City of Sapporo)
Basic rules for cyclists
When riding a bicycle, follow the bicycle rules to ensure safety.
Traffic Safety Guidelines for Pedestrians and Cyclists(National Police Agency)
Bicycle parking lots
All municipal bicycle parking lots near subway and JR stations, except fee-based ones near JR Sapporo Station, are free of charge. To use a fee-based one, you must follow all required procedures.
Bicycle parking lot maps(City of Sapporo)
No Bike Parking Zones
Municipal ordinance provides that bicycles and motorcycles must not be parked in certain areas including near stations. Bicycles and motorcycles illegally parked in these areas (No Bike Parking Zones) are removed and taken to designated bike pounds. To retrieve your bike if it has been taken to one, you must present your bike key and ID as well as pay charges required for removal and storage.
No Bike Parking Zones（City of Sapporo）
Japan has a bicycle registration system to guard against bicycle theft. Registration can be carried out where you purchased your bicycle.
Bicycle anti-theft registration(Hokkaido Federation of Crime Prevention Association)Japanese
Driver’s licenses in Japan
Driver’s licenses in Japan
Driving in Japan
You may drive a motor vehicle in Japan with a Japanese driver’s license, a valid International Driving Permit, or a foreign driver’s license.
Driving with an International Driving Permit
Individuals possessing an International Driving Permit (IDP) in accordance with the Geneva Convention issued by a nation that has ratified the same Convention are permitted to drive in Japan for up to one year after entering the country. However, your ability to drive is only recognized for as long as your IDP is valid (one year after the date of issue). In addition, regardless of whether your IDP is valid, your ability to drive is only recognized for up to one year after the day you arrive in Japan.
Driving with a foreign driver’s license
Persons possessing a valid driver’s license issued in Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Estonia, Monaco or Taiwan may drive in Japan for up to one year after their date of arrival in Japan, so long as it is provided together with a Japanese translation of its contents (prepared by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), or their country’s administrative office, consulate, etc.) and they can prove that they have stayed in the country that issued the driver’s license for at least three months in total after the license was issued.
Conversion of a foreign driver’s license to a Japanese one
For individuals who wish to switch their foreign driver’s license to a Japanese license (Hokkaido Prefectural Police)
Sapporo Driver’s License Examination Center
Akebono 5-jo 4-chome 1-1, Teine-ku (approx. 15 min. by bus from JR Teine Station), TEL: 011-699-8654
The Japanese translation of foreign driver’s license
The Japanese translation of foreign driver’s license must be issued by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), the foreign country’s administrative office, consulate, etc.
Visitor procedures(Japan Automobile Federation, JAF)
Information on driving, traffic rules, etc.
- Traffic Safety Information for Foreign Nationals（Hokkaido Prefectural Police)
- Winter Driving Preparedness(Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
- Safe, Fun! Rent-a-car trip in Japan(All Japan Rent-a-car Association)