Hokkaido Hub

New Chitose Airport was built next to Chitose Air Base, and today civilian traffic shares its infrastructure with the military. Sebastian Schmitz visits Japan to find out how everything fits together.


Sapporo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, is served by all the major Japanese carriers. (All pictures author)

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, the second-largest island in Japan, is a mere 479 miles (551km) from Vladivostok – nearer, in fact, to Russia than to Tokyo, and its northerly latitude can bring harsh weather to the dense forests, pristine coastlines and spectacular mountain scenery in the area. The most important gateway on the island is New Chitose Airport (CTS), close to the city of just less than 100,000 inhabitants it’s named for, and east of Sapporo – Japan’s fifth-biggest city by population.

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