Sunday, 12 August 2018

Tokyo to Hakodate Shinkansen

I recently had the opportunity of visiting Hokkaido, to experience for the first time - Japan in summer.

On this trip with my mum, we flew from Sydney to Tokyo on a red eye flight and spent one night in Tokyo, I specifically chose a hotel near Tokyo Station to make it easier to catch a early Shinkansen to Hakodate the next morning. We stayed at Mitsui Garden Kyobashi which was a short walk to the station using Exit 24 in the Yaesu underground mall (it was simple once we figured the giant maze that is Tokyo Station). 

For this trip, I bought the 7 day JR pass which was $342 AUD from JTB Travel as at July 2018. The pass sells for 29,110 yen, which is well worth it if you are travelling from Tokyo to anywhere in Hokkaido as the trip to Hakodate alone is already 23,210 yen.  You can also make reservations online up to one month in advance on

The ekiben shop Ekibenya Matsuri has a huge range of bentos, literally anything you can think of from the different regions of Japan, Luckily it's also open at 5:30am which means we were able to pick up some for the ride to Hakodate. It's almost a ritual to pick up a ekiben for a Shinkansen ride, and even so early in the morning, the shop is doing a bustling trade.

I booked the first train of the day which departed at 6:32am from Tokyo Station. I definitely recommend checking out where you need to go the night before if you can as Tokyo Station is massive. Look for the green Shinkansen signs that say Tohoku Shinkansen (はやぢさ).

We caught the Hayabusa 1 which is all reserved seating. The trip to Hakodate station takes just under 5 hours, with a transfer from the Shinkansen to the regular train at Shin-Hakodate station to get to Hakodate station - plenty of time to enjoy our ekiben, have a nap and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Pork katsu sando

Shinkansen shaped E7 bento