|From Tokyo:||2.5-4 hr|
|From Sapporo:||1-2 hr|
How to Get There
Shikotsu-Toya National Park near Sapporo, Hokkaido, is dominated by volcanoes and rugged landscapes. It can be divided into five areas: Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu, Mount Yotei, and the onsen towns of Noboribetsu and Jozankei. Public transportation provides links to the park's main areas, but services are infrequent. A bus tour or a car is the best way to see the park.
Although Japan Rail Pass holders might be tempted to take the train to reach areas within Shikotsu Toya National Park, doing so takes about eight hours. The shinkansen goes all the way to Hakodate from Tokyo and a transfer to a limited express train is required for onward travel. A quicker option is one of the frequent 90-minute plane rides from Haneda Airport or Narita Airport to New Chitose Airport near Sapporo. From there, take the Hokkaido Chuo bus to Lake Shikotsu Bus Terminal (55 min) for Lake Shikotsu. To get to Noboribetsu, take the JR Chitose Line (Airport Rapid) to Minami-Chitose Station (3 min), then the JR Chitose Line/Muroran Main Line to Noboribetsu Station (1 hr 20 min). To continue to Lake Toya from Noboribetsu Station, take the Muroran Main Line to Toya Station (1 hr 15 min) or JR Super Hokuto (40 min).
The onsen town of Jozankei can be reached from Sapporo Station Bus Terminal by Jotetsu Bus Nos. 7 or 8 bound for Jozankei Onsen (1 hr 15 min). Noboribetsu is accessible from Sapporo by train via the Limited Express Hokuto (1 hr 15 min) or by bus with Donan Bus (1 hr 40 min). Limited express trains traveling from Sapporo to Hakodate stop at Toya Station (1 hour 40 min). There is currently no direct service from Sapporo Station to Lake Shikotsu. Instead, sign up for a seasonal bus tour from an operator like Hokkaido Chuo Bus. Mount Yotei is difficult to reach via public transport due to infrequent service and a lack of official English-language timetables, so renting a car is your best bet.
Public transportation linking the park’s most popular spots is infrequent, and often non-existent. For example, there are no transport links between the park's two main attractions—Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya—and you’ll need a car to reach popular hiking spots like Mount Tarumae. Plan ahead by choosing the places you aim to visit, or alternatively, book a bus tour. Renting a car is the best way to visit all five areas of the park.