Niseko expressway construction to start this year – Hokkaido Transverse Expressway

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画像:Profile of Hokkaido Development |北海道開発局 (mlit.go.jp)

The Social Infrastructure Development Council Subcommittee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism judged on the 12th that it is appropriate to develop a new project between Kutchan and Niseko on the Hokkaido Transverse Expressway, effectively deciding to start the project from the new fiscal year, fulfilling a long-awaited request. There were cheers from people along the line.

It is expected to improve access to the Niseko area from New Chitose Airport and the Sapporo area, as well as strengthen medical and disaster prevention responses.

Niseko real estate company CEO’s perspective

According to documents from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the distance between New Chitose Airport and Niseko is currently 161km and takes 2 hours and 48 minutes. Once the expressway is opened to Niseko, the journey will be 158 km and will take 2 hours and 16 minutes, a 32 minute reduction. However, in reality, it takes about 105 km and about 2 hours from the center of Niseko town to New Chitose. It’s convenient for going around the sea to Sapporo’s Teine and Nishi Wards, but I don’t think there’s much of a time advantage. If you want to go to the center of Sapporo, you will continue to use National Route 230, instead of using the expressway via Nakayama Pass.

Currently, the general route from Niseko to New Chitose Airport is the Bifue Pass route on Route 453 via Lake Shikotsu, which bypasses the expressway. Even if the expressway opens, it will not significantly shorten the travel time as it is a longer detour than via Route 453. However, since there is no need to cross mountain passes, more people who are not used to driving on winter roads are likely to use the expressway. The opening of the expressway this time will not only save time, but will also help promote sightseeing through stopovers and facilitate smooth travel in the event of an emergency. I look forward to the development of the Niseko tourism area.

Profile of Hokkaido Development |北海道開発局 (mlit.go.jp)