Hakodate has a convenient network of city buses that travel to all the sightseeing spots. Aside from regular city buses, there are shuttle buses that go from Hakodate Station to Hakodate Airport, Mt. Hakodate Ropeway and Mt. Hakodate summit, Goryokaku Tower and the Trappistine Convent. There’s also the Motomachi & Bay-area Shuyugo bus, which runs on a loop between Hakodate Station and the Bay Area district, home to the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, and the Motomachi historic area.
Buses accept prepaid transportation smartcards used in Japan such as the Suica, Pasmo, Icoca, and Kitaca cards. Tap your card to the sensor by the door when you enter, and then the sensor at the front of the car when you get off.
You can also pay with cash. To do so, get a numbered ticket from the ticket machine at the entrance when you board. The number indicates the stop where you got on. When you get off, check the fare display near the driver for the fare that corresponds to your stop number. Then, drop your numbered ticket into the slot on the fare box by the driver. Your fare will be shown on a small display. Drop the money into the slot on the fare box.
Please note that fare boxes do not give change. To get change before you get off, go to the fare box and insert your yen coins or bills into the change machine.
Kanpass is a one-day, 800-yen pass for shuttle buses that go to the summit of Mt. Hakodate, Goryokaku Tower and Trappistine Convent, as well as Motomachi and Bay Area.
Passes for Hakodate city buses and trams are also available for one day (adults 1,000 yen, children 500 yen) and two days (adults 1,700 yen, children 850 yen).
Article by Tim Hornyak. All rights reserved.