As of April 1 2023, the Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass is no longer available. If you're planning a trip to Hokkaid\u014d, you might want to consider a regional JR pass -- both JR Hokkaid\u014d and JR East have passes that cover travel in and around Hokkaid\u014d area. Introducing the Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass! Perfect for a quick winter getaway to the snowy north, this pass is amazing value and only available for a limited time. Students, we think you'll like this one -- it coincidences perfectly with the semester break. But you have to get in quick! The Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass is only on sale from February 1 to 28, 2023. For it gives you unlimited rides on a huge range of JR Hokkaid\u014d trains and buses. You'll be able to explore Hokkaid\u014d for six days for a fraction of what it would normally cost you. Plus, the dates overlap with the world famous Sapporo Snow Festival. The details: What you need to know Travel from February 2 to March 31 Official website (Japanese only) The Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass is available to everyone who might want to visit Hokkaid\u014d, regardless of nationality or visa status. However, it's only available for a limited time and there's a limited number available too, so you need to get in quick, while it's still available. Note: There will be an announcement on the JR Hokkaid\u014d homepage when the passes have sold out. How to buy the pass First, you'll need to get yourself to Hokkaid\u014d. Unfortunately, the pass can't be bought online -- or even in person -- outside of Hokkaid\u014d. If you're not sure how to get to Hokkaid\u014d, here's a guide for getting from Tokyo to Sapporo (the capital city of Hokkaid\u014d). It's also possible to fly into Sapporo's New Chitose Airport from other parts of Japan and even overseas. Domestic flights can also take you to other cities in Hokkaid\u014d like Hakodate and Kushiro. Once you're in Hokkaid\u014d you can buy a pass from a JR ticket office or ticket vending machine. Validity period and services Keep in mind that the pass is only available for purchase from February 1 to 28, but is valid for travel from February 2 to March 31. When you buy the pass you have to pre-select your six-day travel period. However, March 26 is the last day you can opt to start your pass. This is because if you start your pass after March 26 you won't get the full six days of travel. Similarly, you need to buy the pass at least one day before you plan to use it. The Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass is valid for travel on non-reserved JR Limited Express trains and local trains. It's not valid for the Hokkaid\u014d Shinkansen. But, the Hokkaid\u014d Shinkansen only reaches the southern end of Hokkaid\u014d, so don't worry, you're not missing out on too much there. The pass can also be used on some bus services and up to four times to make seat reservations on ordinary trains (except for the SL Fuyu no Shitsugen\/SL\u51ac\u306e\u6e7f\u539f train). Can't make the dates work? Other Hokkaid\u014d rail passes are available (mostly) year-round. Where can you go? So you've got your pass, but where to go? Let's talk about some Hokkaid\u014d highlights you can visit. We've focused on wintery highlights because even though March is technically spring, Hokkaid\u014d is so far north it's still incredibly cold at that time of the year. We've also included information about how much it would normally cost you to get to each destination from Sapporo, so you can see what good value the Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass is. Sapporo If you're flying to Hokkaid\u014d, you'll probably fly into New Chitose Airport in Sapporo. Logically, Sapporo is home to both the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Sapporo Beer Museum. For more on Sapporo check out our full guide here. The Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass can be used from travel on JR trains and buses within Sapporo. Otaru This picturesque town is a popular day trip from Sapporo. In winter, snow lines the canal and dusts rooftops making for some truly lovely photo ops. Plus, there's great seafood and if you time it right the Otaru Light Snow Path event is just plain magical. The trip from Sapporo is fully covered by the Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass (regular price: one-way). Hakodate For those arriving by Shinkansen, Hakodate is your gateway into Hokkaid\u014d. This port city is known for its European-influenced architecture and the remarkable scenic views from nearby Mt. Hakodate. Star-shaped Fort Gory\u014dkaku is another popular attraction in the city. It normally costs one-way from Sapporo to Hakodate. Noboribetsu Onsen Town Noboribetsu is Hokkaid\u014d's most popular hot spring resort (and one of Japan's top destination onsen). There are a range of hotels and ryokan (Japanese style inns) with onsen, some of which are open air. Don't worry though, open air hot springs in the winter might sound cold, but they are still toasty and warm. A one-way limited express train from Sapporo normally costs for a non-reserved seat. Niseko Snowsports fans are probably already familiar with Niseko. There are five ski resorts in the area for you to choose from, but they can be a bit awkward to get to. From Sapporo you can take a train to Kutchan Station for one-way, then take a bus to your ski resort of choice. The train is covered by the Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass but the buses generally won't be. More details on getting from Tokyo to Niseko, plus what's new for the Niseko 2022\/23 season. Abashiri If you'd like to really work your pass and experience something unique head to Abashiri. Here you can see the Okhotsk Sea drift ice (more on that here) and visit the Abashiri Prison Museum -- Japan's own Alcatraz. Non-reserved seats on the limited express train to Abashiri Station would normally cost one-way from Sapporo, but is fully covered by the Hokkaid\u014d Love Pass. Events and festivals February in particular is a great month for events in Hokkaid\u014d. Here's a quick round up: February 3-4: Noboribetsu Onsen \u201cNaked Man\u201d Festival February 4-11: Sapporo Snow Festival February 11-12: Abashiri Okhotsk Drift Ice Festival February 11-18: Otaru Light Snow Path So, by now you can see that this pass is incredible value and a great way to experience Hokkaid\u014d. But, with a limited number of passes available you'll need to get in quick. What are you waiting for? While we do our best to ensure it\u2019s correct, information is subject to change. Last updated in April 2023 by Maria Danuco.