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Sapporo Municipal Subway

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Sapporo Municipal Subway

Sapporo Municipal Subway
Native name 札幌市営地下鉄
Locale Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Transit type Rubber-tyred metro
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 49
Began operation December 16, 1971
Operator(s) Sapporo City Transportation Bureau
System length 48.0 km (29.8 mi)
Track gauge None (there are no rails)
Electrification 750 V DC third rail (Namboku LIne)
1500 V DC overhead catenary (Tozai and Toho lines)
System map
Map of Sapporo Municipal Subway

The Sapporo Municipal Subway (札幌市営地下鉄 Sapporo-shiei-chikatetsu) is an underground rubber-tyred metro system in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, operated by the Sapporo City Transportation Bureau.


The system consists of three lines: the green Namboku Line (North-South line), orange Tozai Line (East-West line), and blue Tōhō Line. The first, the Namboku Line, was opened in 1971 prior to the 1972 Winter Olympics. The Sapporo City Subway system operates out of two main hubs: Sapporo Station and Odori Station. Most areas of the city are within a reasonable walking distance or short bus ride from one of the subway stations.

The three lines all connect at Sapporo Station with the JR Hokkaido main lines. At Odori and Susukino stations, it connects to the streetcar (tram) above. The system has a total length of 48 km with 46 stations.

Color & Icon Mark Name First section
Last ex-
Length Stations
green N Namboku Line 1971 1978 14.3 km (8.9 mi) 16
orange T Tōzai Line 1976 1999 20.1 km (12.5 mi) 19
sky blue H Tōhō Line 1988 1994 13.6 km (8.5 mi) 14
Total: 48.0 km (29.8 mi) 49


The Sapporo Municipal Subway trains are guided by a central rail and move with rubber tires on two flat steel roll ways. This system is unique among subways in Japan. There are no guide bars because the central rail makes them superfluous.

Rolling stock

Namboku Line

  • 1000/2000 series (2/4/6/8-car formation with 2 doors per side, from 1971 until 1999)
  • 3000 series (8-car formation with 2 doors per side, from 1978 until 2012)
  • 5000 series (6-car formation with 4 doors per side, since 1997)

Tōzai Line

  • 6000 series (7-car formation with 3 doors per side, from 1976 until 2008)
  • 8000/8300 series (7-car formation with 3 doors per side, since 1998)

Tōhō Line

  • 7000 series (4-car formation with 3 doors per side, since 1988)


Ticket prices range from 200 yen to 360 yen, depending on the distance to travel. Day passes and discount passes can be purchased at the vending machines. Prepaid "With You" cards can be used for the subway, streetcar and regular city routes offered by JR Hokkaido Bus, Chuo Bus and Jotetsu Bus. There are five varieties: ¥1,000 (worth ¥1,100), ¥3,000 (¥3,300), ¥5,000 (¥5,500) and ¥10,000 (¥11,500) for adults and ¥1,000 (¥1,100) for children. All cards can be purchased at ticket machines.

One-Day Cards offer unlimited rides on the subway, streetcar, and regular city routes offered by the Chuo, Jotetsu, and JR Hokkaido Buses (excluding some suburban areas) on the day of purchase. It is priced at ¥1,000 for adults and ¥500 for children. A subway one-day card, for use only on the subway, is also available (¥800 for adults and ¥400 for children). The cards can be purchased at ticket machines and station offices. Donichika-Tickets allow for unlimited one-day ride pass for the subway to be used only on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. It is priced at ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for children, and can be purchased at commuter pass sales offices and station offices.

Commuter passes offer unlimited rides between specific stations during their period of validity. There are two types of commuter pass: one for those commuting to their workplace and one for students; both are available for one- or three-month periods, and can be purchased from commuter pass sales offices located at major stations.

All stations accept the SAPICA rechargeable IC cards which can be used as a fare card for the subway.

External links

  • Sapporo City Transportation Bureau (Japanese)
  • Sapporo Transportation Information (English)
  • UrbanRail.netSapporo at (English)
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