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Sapporo Subway and Tram Map  © UrbanRail.Net

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Miyanosawa Station (Tozai Line)Sapporo's subway was the fourth in Japan after Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. It was the first in the world to use a central guiding rail together with rubber-tyred wheels. Construction of the first line began in 1969 and it opened in 1971, in time for the Winter Olympic Games in early 1972. The Namboku Line is elevated along its southernmost section between Hiragashi and Makomanai but this stretch is covered with an aluminium shelter to protect it from heavy snow fall common in the area, but also to reduce the noise along the line.

Currently, the system has a total length of 48 km with 46 stations and three lines.

Sapporo also maintains a 8.5 km long streetcar line which serves the southwest of the city and intersects with the subway at Susukino. It has 1067 mm gauge, and 23 stops.


 Namboku Line

14.3 km, third rail power supply

16 Dec 1971: Makomanai - Kita 24-jo (12.1 km, 4.4 km elevated)
16 March 1978: Kita 24-jo - Asabu (2.2 km)

 Tozai Line

20.1 km, overhead line

10 June 1976: Kotoni - Shiroishi (9.9 km)
21 March 1982: Shiroishi - Shin Sapporo (7.4 km)
25 Feb 1999: Kotoni - Miyanosawa (2.8 km)

 Toho Line

13.6 km, overhead line

02 Dec 1988: Sakaemachi - Hosui-Susukino (8.1 km)
14 Oct 1994: Hosui-Susukino - Fukuzumi (5.5 km)

Sapporo Subway Sapporo Subway Sapporo SubwaySapporo Subway Sapporo Subway Sapporo Subway Sapporo Subway Sapporo Subway Sapporo Subway Sapporo Subway



Sapporo tram Sapporo tram

Sapporo suburban rail Sapporo suburban rail map Sapporo suburban rail

Sapporo City Transportation Bureau

Sapporo Subway at Wikipedia

Sapporo Streetcar at Wikipedia

Osamu Abe's Map including Japanese station names

Sapporo Subway Stations


Inside the train (Tozai Line) Turnstiles in Odori Station (Tozai Line) Train to Miyanosawa Station (Tozai Line) Stairs to Tozai Line platform (Odori Station) Ticketing machine in Miyanosawa Station
Photos © Oleg Gofman

Craig Moore reports (2014):

Firstly the network. It covers the city and there is no route duplication although there is interconnection between green and blue lines in long underground passageways at Odori and Sapporo Station. These no doubt protect passengers from the harsh winters as does the tubing on the southern sections of the green line. The stations are typically Japanese, festooned with colourful leaflets, signage and very polite staff. Ticket machines are simple to use and there are a range of dagkaarts from Y700 to Y1000 dependent on mode combination. Distance based fares are between Y200 and Y350. Hard copy maps and service information is widely available at most stations and is very good quality. Signage is excellent and interchange easy with coloured tiles directing you easily between lines. Platforms are a little unkempt if I have to be critical, but nothing too dramatic. Half screens on platforms with six-carriage sets (no screens on the blue line and 4 carriage sets).The end carriages are for women and children only during peak hours and this is adhered to. Queuing to enter trains from marked zones on the platforms is also firmly adhered to.

The stock itself is large and spacious and very clean with system maps and above door maps. Seats are cushioned and heated and the system is well patronised. The spacious trains are possible because of the wide gauge of the plates. The rubber tyred system gives good traction as acceleration and breaking are rapid. Trains have a good 7 min headway and are fast, entering stations at 55kph and soon gain speed on departure with 68-70kph as top speeds between stations. Journeys are smooth, quiet and rapid and this really is an example of a perfectly formed medium sized metro

The Sapporo Tram consists of three lines although it is in fact one pan shaped loop. It operates from two points on the main shopping street and heads into the inner western suburbs with grid patterned streets. It has a 10 min headway and is well used but I cant see why. The journey is slow. It takes 42 mins to do the full loop this equates to an average of 23kph.The reason for the slowness-well the grid patterned streets mean that trams stop before junctions. They have a ticketing system whereby passengers board and pay when exiting. You queue and put your cash in the machine and so alighting takes some time as the gap is small for one person at a time. By the time passengers have left the lights are red and so there is a long wait. The lack of segregation or of higher speed vehicles and the nature of the route conspire against the trams in Sapporo Im afraid. Stock is mixed also-lots of different trams from modern to heritage type.

Sapporo also has an S Bahn type service run by JR Hokkaido. The service is based on a NW to SE core line from Otaru to the Airport with two easterly branches from central Sapporo. Stock varies but headways on the main route is 5-10 mins with a mix of local and semi express services. These are not part of the Day Pass but fares are very inexpensive at Y300.


2011 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.