The Hokkaido Railway Company(北海道旅客鉄道株式会社,Hokkaidō Ryokaku Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha?) is one of the constituent companies of Japan Railways Group (JR Group), and is often referred to using its official abbreviation of JR Hokkaido(JR北海道,Jeiāru Hokkaidō?). It operates intercity rail services in Hokkaido, Japan. The company introduced Kitaca, a smart card ticketing system, from autumn 2008.
At the time of its privatization in 1987, JR Hokkaido operated 21 railway lines totalling 3,176.6 kilometres (1,973.8 mi) of track, as well as a ferry service to Aomori. Since then, that number has dwindled to just below 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi), as unprofitable lines have been shut down or spun off (in the case of the Hokkaidō Chihoku Kōgen Railway). The ferry service has also been replaced by the Seikan Tunnel.