New Chitose Airport is the biggest airport in Hokkaidō, the one you’re most likely to fly into — whether you’re coming from somewhere in Japan or from oversees. It’s less than an hour away (by direct train or bus) from Sapporo, Hokkaidō’s capital city, and two to three hours from Niseko, the famous ski resort.
New Chitose is pretty small for an international airport, but still has a lot of stuff going for it. In fact, it’s among our favorite airports in Japan. There are lots of opportunities for last minute shopping here, if you arrive early enough.
New Chitose has two terminals, a domestic one and an international one. They’re connected via a pedestrian bridge, which takes about 10 minutes to cross.
Both legacy carriers (JAL and ANA) and low-cost carriers fly domestic routes to New Chitose Airport from major cities around Japan. There are flights from both Tokyo airports (Narita and Haneda), Kansai International Airport (KIX) near Osaka, and airports in over a dozen additional cities, including as far south as Naha. There are also onward flights from New Chitose to other destinations in Hokkaidō, such as Wakkanai, Memanbetsu, Nakashibetsu, and Kushiro.
There are direct international flights to New Chitose from major cities around Asia, including: Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Seoul, Busan, and — at least prior to the pandemic — many cities in China. Airlines include both legacy carriers and LCCs.
Things to do at New Chitose Airport
There are quite a few ways to kill time at New Chitose, including: a hot spring complex, cinema, and two small theme parks, Doraemon Exciting Sky Park and Hello Kitty Happy Flight. The theme parks don’t have rides or shows or anything like that; instead they have a few different themed “zones” with activities and photos ops. Note that all of these diversions charge admission (¥1,800 for the onsen or the cinema and ¥800 for either theme park, with discounts for children). There are also plenty of shops and places to eat.
What to eat at New Chitose Airport
You’re really spoiled for choice at New Chitose Airport. The domestic terminal has more options than the international one; however, you can walk freely between the two, via the connecting passage, if you have time. Options narrow considerably past security.
Domestic terminal dining highlights include Hokkaidō Ramen Dojo, which is a collection of 10 mini branches of ramen shops from around Hokkaidō, and the Streetcar Dining District, which has restaurants serving other Hokkaidō specialties (like soup curry and kaisendon, a bowl of rice topped with seafood). There’s also a food court with budget fastfood restaurants, like Hanamaru Udon, plus plenty of places to get coffee. This is all before security — by the gates there are only a few basic options.
Beyond passport control is an area called Hokkaidō Food Court, which has several restaurants serving up Hokkaidō specialties like seafood and ramen. The options are a little more upscale (also pricier) then what you get at the gates for domestic.
Shopping at New Chitose Airport
New Chitose Airport is practically a mall. There are small branches of Muji, Uniqlo, and Laox (for electronics), a branch of Soradonki (Donki’s airport minimart), a Pokémon store, drug stores, and various souvenir shops. But the most interesting things you can buy are Hokkaidō-fresh seafood — to have shipped frozen — and Hokkaidō-brand sweets, of which there are several. Most of the shops are in the domestic terminal and most are before security.
Are there places to stay in the airport?
New Chitose Airport has two hotels: the rather fancy Portom International Hotel, attached to the international terminal; and the more basic Air Terminal Hotel, which is connected to the domestic terminal. In both cases you don’t have to leave the airport — excellent news if you are visiting in the middle of Hokkaidō’s cold winters.
A cheaper option is to spend the night in the relaxation room in the airport’s hot spring complex, New Chitose Airport Onsen. Admission is ¥1,800 plus another ¥1,700 for the late night surcharge.
Getting to and from New Chitose Airport
Direct trains and buses travel between New Chitose Aiport and Sapporo. In winter, there are direct buses between the airport and Niseko area ski resorts.
Heading to Sapporo? Find out what to see there and check out our foodie guide to the city.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.
Has wheelchair accessible toilets