Information – General

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Pay Phones –
Pay phones accept 10 yen and 100 yen coins. Selected pay phones also accept phone cards. For international calls check the phone has “International” marked on it. Phone cards can be purchased from almost all newsstands and convenience stores.

Postal Service –
Japan Post Symbol

Japan Post Symbol


Post offices are marked by the symbol shown.
Post boxes are red colored with the same symbol in white.
Post boxes are located in various areas in the street and outside of post office buildings.

When sending mail take the package into the post office where it will be weighed and a cost affixed. All international post is weighed regardless of size. If you are staying at a hotel ask the front desk staff as many hotels will sell stamps and will post the letter for you. If having mail delivered in Japan, the Japanese post service is super efficient and delivers everyday of the week until late even on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hospitals –
If you require urgent medical attention call the fire department:

Ph. 119


For all numbers check our Information – Telephone Numbers page.
Outpatients are accepted in hospitals during business hours Monday to Friday. For nighttime, weekends and national holidays you will need to contact an emergency clinic.

Restrooms –
There is plenty of access to public restrooms in Hokkaido. All department stores, shopping malls, parks, tourist facilities, train stations and most convenience stores have restrooms. Purchases are not necessary to use the restroom.

Many toilets however are still the old style Japanese toilet which looks very much like a hole in the ground. These toilets are quite unusual for western people to use. The toilet is used by squatting over the bowl, facing toward the wall. There is usually a small handle to hold while squatting.

Although changing recently please be aware that in many train station toilets TISSUE PAPER IS NOT SUPPLIED. You must first purchase a small packet from a convenience store or there is usually a dispenser as you enter the bathroom. Bathrooms in convenience stores, parks and train stations are generally clean. Bathrooms in department stores are almost always very clean and they tend to have more western style toilets.

Coin-Operated Lockers –
Trains and public transportation in general can often be very crowded and is generally not set up for people with large bags. It is therefore recommended that you store your belongings in a coin-operated locker. Lockers are located in all train stations and subway stations. They are clean and well kept and often have varying sizes.

Wheelchairs and Prams –
Access for wheelchair users is generally available in Japan, via elevators, in most large train stations. Smaller stations however MAY NOT have wheelchair access. To board a train please talk to the staff at the station and they will escort you onto the train, then tell them which station you are going to and they will arrange for someone to meet you at that station.

Many smaller stations do not have escalators and those with prams will need to carry the pram up the stairs. If you are have difficulty please indicate this to the station personal and they will assist you.

Transportation –
Taxis –
There are two different types of taxis in Hokkaido. A small type for 3 or less passengers. The initial fee is ¥600 which will last for 660 meters. Thereafter¥80 per hundred meters is charged. There is also a larger taxis for four or less people the initial fee is ¥610 for this taxis and ¥80 per hundred meters thereafter. Taxis stands are located around the city, near large hotels, shopping centers and train stations. To hail a taxi please raise your hand.
* NOTE : Available taxis display a RED sign in their front window. Taxis that are Unavailable display a GREEN sign.
A surcharge is applied to initial rates between 11 pm and 5 am. Taxi drivers are very serious and trustworthy and will use the shortest, most direct route at all times.

Subway –
There are three subway lines in Sapporo (Namboku / Tozai / Toho) and other trains throughout Hokkaido.Click here for a full Sapporo subway and street car map. The subway is safe, fast, clean, large and efficient and is highly recommended for transport around Sapporo. Morning and evening rush hour can see the trains absolutely filled to capacity and if possible it is recommended to travel outside of these hours. Ticket machines are located on walls near the gates. Please confirm the ticket cost using the map above the ticket machines. Fares start at ¥200. Trains start running from a little after 6 am to a little after 12 pm. Check your nearest station for schedules.
* NOTE : When entering or exiting the ticket gates be sure to place your ticket in the machine face up or an alarm will sound and the gate will shut.

Buses –
The most common buses are Chuo Buses and JR Buses. There are also other smaller bus companies operating. Busses operate throughout Sapporo and Hokkaido and often connect with train stations. All fares, which vary depending on distance, are displayed on a board at the front of the bus. All fares are paid when exiting the bus. Ensure you take a small white ticket from the machine located near the entry door when you get on. Match the number on the white ticket with the number on the board to see your cost. All buses are entered through the rear door and exited through the front door.

Streetcar / Tram –
A streetcar service operates through the southwestern part of Sapporo and also in Hakodate. In Sapporo the line starts / terminates at Oodori and Susukino. All fares are paid when getting off. The fare is set at ¥170 for adults and ¥80 for children.

JR Trains Service –
JR or Japan Rail Service operates around Hokkaido. Trains tend to be much faster than driving and often much cheaper. Trains are often equipped with a bathroom, are clean, large, safe and very punctual, exec pt in extreme weather conditions.

Emergency Contact –
Police :
Ph. 110

Firefighting / First Aid :
Ph. 119
Lost & Found –
Japan is in general a very safe country. However all usual precautions should be taken in regards to your personal safety and safety of your property. If you lose your passport or airline ticket please contact your Consulate in Sapporo or Airline Company immediately.

Unlike many countries lost & found items are often returned to the Police or other officials such security officers. If you lose something it is worth checking with these people.

For lost and found –
On JR trains contact JR Hokkaido Telephone Information Service
Ph. (011) 222 – 7111
On the subway or city bus contact Municipal Transportation
Ph. (011) 241 – 2938
In a taxi contact the Automobile and Taxi Association
Ph. (011) 561 – 1173