Chitose is a city located in Ishikari Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan, and home to the New Chitose Airport, the biggest international airport in Hokkaido and closest airport to Sapporo, as well as the neighboring Chitose Air Base.
As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 92,323 and a population density of 155 persons per km2. The total area is 594.95 km2. The city was founded on July 1, 1958. The city is notable for having a Peace Pagoda, built by the Japanese Buddhist order Nipponzan Myohoji in 1978.
The airport was recently renovated and expanded. Its newly added complex offers many attractive shopping, dining and entertainment facilities, making it one of the most pleasant airports in Japan.
One unique feature is Onsen Manyonoyu, a hot spring bathhouse situated in the terminal building itself, albeit without views of the airplanes. Instead, the planes can be observed from a free observation deck. A hotel inside the airport, the Air Terminal Hotel, offers convenient accommodation for those with early departures or late arrivals.
The Doraemon Wakuwaku Skypark features a kids’ playground, an amusement corner with game machines, a cafe and a souvenir shop, all under the theme of the world renowned animation character Doraemon. At Royce’ Chocolate World, visitors are able to observe the mechanized making of chocolates from the popular confectioner and shop from its wide selection of products. Steiff Nature World showcases a pleasant collection of over 2000 Steiff-made plush toys and collectibles.
Airport visitors also have a wide range of dining choices. In addition to a food court there are two themed food zones: the Hokkaido Ramen Dojo where diners can select ramen dishes from multiple shops across Hokkaido, and the Streetcar Dining District, which is nostalgically themed after the Sapporo of past decades and features various Hokkaido specialties. Multiple souvenir shops provide ample opportunities for some last-minute shopping.
And even more shopping is found just outside of the airport complex at the Rera Chitose Outlet Mall with hundreds of international and local brands on sale. The outlet mall can be reached in a ten minute ride by free shuttle bus or in a short walk from Minami-Chitose Station.
[Air] 1h 30 min from Haneda to Chitose Airport.
[Rail] 30 min to Chitose Station by JR