Kutchan Station is a small, regional station in Hokkaido Prefecture. Though small the station is a primary transport hub for many visitors heading to the combined ski resorts of ‘Niseko United’ in winter and those staying in the Niseko area from spring to autumn. On this page you will find the following information:
Operated by JR Hokkaido, Kutchan is set for major expansion in the coming years as a stop on the Hokkaido Shinkansen line. Currently under construction, the line is not scheduled to open until 2031. Until that time, Kutchan is a basic station with only three platforms with a single line serving each.
TRAIN SERVICES TO / FROM KUTCHAN
Kutchan Station is a stop on the Hakodate Main Line running from the cities of Hakodate and Asahikawa via Sapporo. The line covers just over 420km and features a range of local, limited express and rapid services.
New Chitose Airport to Kuchan: 175 minutes / JPY2880*.
Sapporo to Kutchan: 110 to 135 minutes (depending on which service you choose) / JPY2100.
Otaru to Kutchan: 75 to 80 minutes / JPY1290.
Asahikawa to Kutchan: 230 to 260 minutes (depending on which service you choose) / JPY6670.
Hakodate to Kutchan: 225 minutes / JPY5900.
The Niseko Liner is a rapid service running from Sapporo to Otaru and onto Kutchan. Using this service to reach Kutchan is a good option but you might notice that does not necessarily save you much time. The journey should take around two hours so no matter which service you’re choosing to use, as long as it’s around the two hour mark then you won’t find anything much faster.
*Please note, to reach Kutchan by train from New Chitose Airport, you will need to transfer services at JR Sapporo Station.
GETTING FROM KUTCHAN STATION TO NISEKO
Upon arrival at Kutchan Station, you then need to make the onward journey to the ski fields of Niseko United – taking between 15 to 25 minutes. This can be done by bus or taxi. During winter, shuttle buses connect the station to different areas of the resort including the free Grand Shuttle Bus to Niseko Grand Hirafu Village. It runs every 20 minutes from 08:30 to 22:30 from December to March and until 16:30 in the early and late ski season. Once at Grand Hirafu you can switch to shuttle buses running across the resort including the Hanazono Shuttle Bus – running every 30 minutes from 07:50 to 17:10 or the Niseko United Shuttle which connects Hirafu, Niseko Village, Annupuri and Kutchan town including the station. This bus is free to use for anyone with a valid ski pass otherwise it’s a flat JPY390 fare one-way.
Taxis are also available at the station, taking around 20 minutes and costing JPY2500 or a little more, depending on the exact location of your accommodation. In peak season from mid-December to mid-March you might want to book your taxi in advance to avoid a long wait.
HOW TO GET TO NISEKO
Our ‘How to Get to the Hokkaido Ski Resorts: Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Furano & Tomamu’ page has everything you need to know about how to get to Niseko including bus, train and rental car information from New Chitose Airport and Sapporo, and moving from Niseko to the other Hokkaido ski resorts.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND NISEKO & WHERE TO STAY
Most famous for its winter, Niseko is the most popular and international ski resort in Hokkaido while offering just as many reasons to visit in spring, summer and autumn. Boasting some of the best accommodation, dining and range of outdoor activities you’ll find in Japan, Niseko has plenty to get you hooked at any time of year. Our ’25 Things to Do Around Niseko & Where to Stay’ page has lots of suggestions of the activities and fun that awaits and the best places to stay.
HOKKAIDO SKI RESORTS: THE STATS & FACTS
Blessed with the longest seasons in Japan and huge annual snowfall, the ski resorts of Hokkaido rank among the best in Asia and enjoy some of the best powder in the world. The combined resorts of Niseko United are the largest and most popular ski fields in Hokkaido, while nearby Rusutsu and Kiroro attract plenty of fans in their own right. Rounding things-out, Furano and Tomamau lie further inland and receive slightly less snow but that bit of extra distance from the coast only means the powder is even drier, with some people claiming these resorts enjoy the best powder in the world. Our ‘Hokkaido Ski Resorts’ page has you covered for everything you need to know about each – a great place to start when planning your next winter adventure in Hokkaido.