Hokkaido, formerly known as Ezo, is the second largest island of Japan
and locates at the northernmost
of its 47 prefectures. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu,
although the two islands are
connected by the underwater SeikanTunnel. The capital is Sapporo, the most
populated city in Hokkaido,
that is about 1,890,000.
(L) The island of Hokkaido (R) Lake Toya, a volcanic lake in Hokkaido The
2008 G8 Summit was held here.
The Hokkaido Railway Company is one of the constituent companies of Japan
Railways Group, and
thus often known as JR-Hokkaido. It operates inter-city-rail services in
Hokkaido. A privatization from
Government-owned railway is carried out in 1987. The length of railway
tracks operated at that time
was over 3,000 km. This has dwindled to below 2,500 km, as unprofitable
lines have been shut down.
The ferry service has been replaced by the Seikan Tunnel.
Hokkaido Railway's headquarter is located in Sapporo.
(L) Red line indicates the Seikan Tunnel, the world's longest undersea
(R) Satellite picture of Hokkaido
(L) Aomori-side entrance of Seikan Tunnel (R) Illustration of the under-sea
Now, Shinkansen super-express train only runs between Aomori and Hakodate:
The travel time from Tokyo to Hakodate is four hours.
Hakodate-side exit of Seikan Tunnel (Picture source: BS Asahi )
The Seikan Tunnel is a 53.85 km railway tunnel, with a 23.3 km long portion
under the seabed.
Track level is about 140 meters below the seabed and 240 meters below sea
level. It is the longest
undersea tunnel in the world. However, the Channel Tunnel, which connects
the land of United Kingdom
and France, has a longer under-sea portion. The train of Kaikyo Line travels
beneath the Tsugaru Syrait,
which lays between the Aomori Prefectute of Honshu island and the island
Undersea station in the tunnel connecting the northern Honshu and Hokkaido:
The pictures were taken in October 2012.$B!!(BHere is not open to the general
An express train is linking northern Honshu and Hokkaido through the undersea
Railway Travel from Sapporo to Hakodate, via Kutchan, Hokkaido
Smoking Ban in JR Hokkaido Trains
A smoke-free railway that runs a beautiful Hokkaido
Three major Japanese railway companies think that the smoking car and/or
in a train are the superb service to train passengers.
An anti-smoking measurer of the JR-Tokai and JR-West is really putting
the clock back!
The Japanese Government does not prohibit smoking in a train vehicle.
The smoking room in the train infringes the health of the passengers.
Kinki-Nippon Railway company still operates smoking vehicles.
The railway company leading a passenger to health damage
The smoking room in the train adversely affects the health of the passengers.
The article was written in October 2006, and revised in September 2009
and December 2012,
and two pictures were added in October 2012.
Information was added in My 2018,
by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.