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Living Environment in Hokkaido

Hokkaido, a treasure trove of magnificent nature and fresh ingredients.

Sapporo, where Hokkaido University is located, is a large city with a population of 1.9 million and plenty of urban functions. With its abundant nature, it doesn't require an expensive cost of living. That is why Sapporo is ranked 1st of Japan's best places to live. There may not be a better city to have your university life in.
Let's take a glance at what Hokkaido is like.

What is Hokkaido like?

Clothing expenses

There are many reasonably priced clothing stores (like Uniqlo) and second-hand shops in Sapporo, so you won't have to worry about purchasing clothes. Sales on the Internet and Garage Sales held on campus are also popular.

What kind of clothing is required in Sapporo?

You may think that Sapporo has a lot of snow, but that doesn't mean it's cold all year round. Please use the information below to see what kind of clothing you will need.

In summer, you can wear short sleeves, but you will need a jacket to cope with the temperature differences in the morning and evening.

In winter, as it is bitterly cold outside but well-heated indoors, attire that can be taken on and off would be desirable. Please see below for recommended clothing. (external site)

Clothing prices: example of UNIQLO (approximate, US dollars)

T-shirt 1,500 JPY (10 USD)
Jeans 4,000 JPY – 5,000 JPY (27 USD – 30 USD)
Sweater 3,000 JPY – 4,000 JPY (20 USD – 27 USD)
Down jacket 7,000 JPY (47 USD)

Meal expenses

Where do students usually have a meal?

Many Hokkaido University students live by themselves and cook their meals. There are eight school cafeterias on the Sapporo campus, three restaurants, and two convenience stores, and many students seem to eat on campus. Of course, some students bring their homemade lunch boxes and eat in spaces such as the laboratory. In addition, you can see a variety of reasonably priced restaurants near the university and will not have any trouble finding a meal. The school cafeteria also provides halal food, so Muslim students do not have to worry.

Prices at McDonald's and Starbucks (in US dollars)

McDonalds BIG Mac 450 JPY (3 USD)
Starbucks Tall size caffe latte 490 JPY (3.27 USD)
Drinking water (500ml) 100 JPY (0.67 USD)

Housing expenses

Where do students live?

Most students live in private apartments near the university within walking distance of the university. In addition, the university prepares student dormitories. About 10% of students live in international dormitories or the ones where Japanese and international students can live together.

Average apartment rent for a single person (in US dollars)

For private rental apartments

Area Near Hokkaido University (Kita 12-Jo, Kita 18-Jo)
Size One room apartment/One-bedroom apartment
Rent 38,000 JPY (262 USD)
Utility expenses 12,000 JPY (83USD)

※Please see below for rental procedures

※University International Student Dormitories, share houses, student dormitories, etc. are priced lower than above.
Please see below.

Main transport service and expenses

Most Hokkaido University students commute to school on foot or by bicycle. Public transportation is also available, but only about 7% of students commute by bus or subway.

Initial fare for buses, taxis, etc. (in US dollars)

Train (JR) 200 JPY (1.33 USD)
Bus 200 JPY (1.33 USD)
Subway 210JPY (1.4 USD)
Taxi 670JPY (4.47 USD)

Access from Hokkaido to major continents and cities around the world

Direct flights to/from Sapporo (New Chitose Airport)  (As of October 2023)
Seoul: approximately 3 hours
Shanghai: approximately 4 hours
Hong Kong: approximately 5 hours
Taipei: approximately 4 hours
Bangkok approximately 7 hours
Indirect flights via airports in Japan (ex Narita  Airport)
Singapore > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport: Approximately 9.5 hours
Sydney > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport Approximately: 12 to 14 hours
Los Angeles > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport: Approximately 15 to 18 hours
Washington > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport: Approximately 17 hours to 19 hours
London > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport: Approximately 17 hours to 19 hours
Helsinki > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport Approximately 17 hours to 19 hours
Lusaka, Republic of Zambia > Dubai > Haneda/Narita Airport > New Chitose Airport: Approximately 24 to 26 hours

Access from Hokkaido to other major regions and cities in Japan

Tokyo Haneda Airport > New Chitose Airport > Sapporo Station: approximately 3 hours total (plane + train)
Osaka Itami Airport > New Chitose Airport > Sapporo Station: approximately 3 hours 30 minutes total (plane + train)
Kyoto Kyoto Station > Itami Airport > New Chitose Airport > Sapporo Station: approximately 5 hours total (bus + plane + train)
Fukuoka Fukuoka Airport > New Chitose Airport > Sapporo Station: approximately 4 hours total (plane + train)


Moving within Hokkaido

From Hokkaido University Sapporo campus to Hakodate campus Sapporo Station > Hakodate Station > Hakodate Campus: approximately 4 hours total (train + taxi)
From Sapporo to Asahikawa Sapporo Station > Asahikawa Station: approximately 1 hour 30 minutes (train)
From Sapporo to Kushiro Sapporo Station > Kushiro Station: approximately 4 hours (train)