JR Hokkaido Rapid Airport Otaru 91 from Sapporo to Otaru by Train

Rapid Airport Otaru 91 Train from Sapporo to Otaru

The Rapid Airport Otaru is a rapid train service that provides a fast train service from New Chitose Airport and Sapporo to Otaru without any additional fees needed. The line between Sapporo and Otaru is simple to travel on with just Local and Rapid trains, so only 1 type of ticket is needed and no supplement is needed with a valid free pass. For a day trip to Otaru, I took Rapid Airport Otaru 91 from Sapporo to Otaru in the morning after breakfast with my JR Hokkaido Sapporo-Furano Area Pass.


Sapporo Station

Heading through the ticket gates at Sapporo Station.

The next train to Otaru was the Rapid Airport Otaru 91.

Heading up to Platform 3 for the Rapid Airport Otaru 91.

When standing at the stopping point of the train, there’s a safety poster of how not to train spot on the platform when looking in the direction of the arriving train.

733 series

The Rapid Airport Otaru 91 arrived at Sapporo Station at 9.44am from New Chitose Airport. There will be a layover of 3 minutes at Sapporo Station for a crew change and to cater to the alighting and boarding crowd.

Unfortunately, it was standing-room-only on board the Rapid Airport Otaru 91 in the non-reserved seat cars operated by a 733 series EMU.

Station information is displayed above the train doors.

Departing from Sapporo Station on time at 9.47am, passing by Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Sapporo Store located adjacent to Sapporo Station.

Passing by my hotel, Hotel Livemax BUDGET Sapporo Ekimae.

Kotoni Station

Making a brief stop at Kotoni Station.

The front window was not covered, and I could get a front view of the train ride through 2 door windows.

Passing by Seiyu Teine.

Teine Station

Making a brief stop at Teine Station.

Passing by Teine Akebono Golf Center.

Passing by Sapporo Depot located at Inaho.

After Zenibako Station, the Hakodate Main Line heads on a coastal route to Otaru.

Skirting around the Ishikari Bay and Sea of Japan.

Passing through a small railway crossing serving a small seaside community.

Approaching civilisation again after the rural seaside route.

Passing through Asari Station.

Passing through Funahamacho.

Heading through a tunnel.

Approaching Otaru-Chikko Station.

Otaru-Chikko Station

Making a brief stop at Otaru-Chikko Station.

The large Wing Bay Otaru can be easily seen from the train.

Approaching Minami-Otaru Station.

Minami-Otaru Station

Making a brief stop at Minami-Otaru Station.

Autumn leaves are still seen on trees towards the start of winter.

Crossing over the Inahoodanhodo Bridge.

Approaching Otaru Station.

My Rapid Airport Otaru 91 arrived at Otaru Station on time at 10.22am.

Looking back at the almost-empty interior of the Rapid Airport Otaru 91 733 series EMU.

Otaru Station

The Rapid Airport Otaru 91 733 series EMU at Otaru Station.

The end of the line of Platform 5 at Otaru Station.

While everyone was trying to exit the station at the same time, I decided to backtrack to the U Seat car to have a look inside.

Reserved seating on the Rapid Airport Otaru is available. A reserved seat costs 840 yen in addition to a regular ticket. If you are using the Japan Rail Pass or Hokkaido Rail Pass, this reserved seat is included in the Japan Rail Pass or Hokkaido Rail Pass without any additional charge.


A luggage rack is available in the Rapid Airport Otaru U Seat car.

Seats are laid out in a 2+2 configuration which can be rotated to face the direction of travel.

There are also parallel lines at Otaru Station to stable trains.

Heading out of Platform 5.

There is a preserved section of Otaru Station at Platform 4 on how it looked like originally.

The old station sign of Otaru Station.

A memorial to Yūjirō Ishihara is also displayed at this section of Platform 4.

Another old station sign of Otaru Station.

Heading down to the concourse from the platform to exit.

Heading out of the paid area through the ticket gates.

The concourse of Otaru Station.

There is a tourist information centre at Otaru Station which is a good starting point to enquire about anything before starting your day in Otaru.

If taking the JR Hokkaido Bus Otaru Express, the bus stop is located outside the JR Otaru Station building. The JR Hokkaido Bus Otaru Express is included in the Hokkaido Rail Pass but not my Sapporo-Furano Area Pass.

It was starting to rain and snow, so I dashed across the road when the light was green to the bus terminal where I decided on my onward route.


The Rapid Airport Otaru is a fast way to travel from Sapporo to Otaru but it can get busy as trains are not as frequent as the other side of the line towards New Chitose Airport, and I had to stand throughout my journey from Sapporo to Otaru. The journey only took 35 minutes anyway, which was bearable.


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