Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto

Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience.  (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO
Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience. (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO

I have written about visiting Alpine Route from Tokyo as day trip. And then I have received an inquiry about day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya. Yes. We can do it. You also can make it from Osaka and Kyoto as well.

I would like to share with you about day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

From Osaka/Kyoto/Nagoya to Shinano-Omachi / Ogizawa

Limited Express Shinano connects Nagoya and Matsumoto, Nagano.
Limited Express Shinano connects Nagoya and Matsumoto, Nagano.

The following route is most efficient way to get Shinano-Omachi and Ogizawa.

Shin-Osaka 6:27 / Kyoto 6:42 – (Shinkansen Hikari 506) – 7:34 Nagoya
Nagoya 8:00 – (Limited Express Shinano 3) – 10:05 Matsumoto
Matsumoto 10:27 – (Limited Express Azusa 3) – Shinano-Omachi 11:03
Shinano-Omachi 11:15 – (Local bus) – Ogizawa 11:55

If you use JR Pass, this route is recommended because all trains are fully covered by JR Pass. If you use single fare, there are many faster train, Nozomi to Nagoya from Shin-Osaka/Kyoto.

If you take Limited Express Shinano 1 departs at 7:00 from Nagoya, you can take an earlier departure local train from Matsumoto to Shinano-Omachi. But arrival time is 10:20. You leave 60 minutes early but you can arrive 40 minutes early. You will waste 20 minutes. In my opinion, Limited Express Shinano 3 is the best choice. But if you want to maximize your time on Alpine route, 7:00 departure is considerable.

Travelling on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Snow walls Otani is the highlight in this route. (C) JNTO / (C) Y.Chino
Snow walls Otani is the highlight in this route. (C) JNTO / (C) Y.Chino

Total trip time is about 2 hours for Ogizawa to Tateyama. But you will walk on the trail and enjoy alpine view and fresh air. Official site recommend to spend 6 hours for Ogizawa to Tateyama one way trip. Official site gives you timetable and model course.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route timetable and fare
Model course from Ogizawa to Tateyama

Go back to Nagoya from Toyama

Limited Express Shirasagi is operated as Nagoya-Kanazawa and Maibara-Kanazawa routes.
Limited Express Shirasagi is operated as Nagoya-Kanazawa and Maibara-Kanazawa routes.

I would like to show you the route to get back to Nagoya from Toyama. You can find the route to Osaka and Kyoto at next chapter.

There is no direct train from Toyama to Nagoya. You have to take Hokuriku Shinaknsen train to Kanazawa and then take Limited Express Shirasagi.

For example, if you start from Ogizawa around noon, you will be Toyama around 18:00. You have two choices.

Option 1
Toyama 18:05 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Tsurugi 725) – Kanazawa 18:28
Kanazawa 18:53 – (Limited Express Shirasagi 16) – Maibara 20:50
Maibara 21:04 – (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 426) – Nagoya 21:23
*Limited Express Shirasagi runs to Nagoya. You don’t need to transfer at Maibara but arrival time at Nagoya is 21:50

Option 2
Toyama 19:37 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 513) – Kanazawa 19:56
Kanazawa 20:06 – (Limited Express Shirasagi 66) – Maibara 22:01
Maibara 22:11 – (Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama 696) – Nagoya 22:35

Option 1 is very tight. If you really want to go back to Nagoya, this is your choice. Otherwise option 2 is more comfortable. You may get something to eat and drink at Toyama station. Because on board sales (wagon service) is not available in this segment. If you do not get anything to eat, you might not get anything to eat until you get Nagoya. As you see, transfer time at Kanazawa and Maibara are very tight.

Go back to Osaka / Kyoto from Toyama

Limited Express Thunderbird is primary way to get Kanazawa from Osaka.
Limited Express Thunderbird is primary way to get Kanazawa from Osaka.

There is no direct train from Toyama to Osaka and Kyoto. You have to take Hokuriku Shinaknsen train to Kanazawa and then take Limited Express Thunderbird.

For example, if you start from Ogizawa around noon, you will be Toyama around 18:00. Some more trains run to Osaka than train to Nagoya. You have three choices

Option 1
Toyama 18:05 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Tsurugi 725) – Kanazawa 18:28
Kanazawa 18:42 – (Limited Express Thunderbird 42) – Kyoto 20:54 / Shin-Osaka 21:17 / Osaka 21:22

Option 2
Toyama 19:11 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Tsurugi 727) – Kanazawa 19:33
Kanazawa 19:43 – (Limited Express Thunderbird 44) – Kyoto 22:02 / Shin-Osaka 22:25 / Osaka 22:30

Option 3
Toyama 20:02 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Tsurugi 729) – Kanazawa 2025
Kanazawa 20:35 – (Limited Express Thunderbird 46) – Kyoto 22:44 / Shin-Osaka 23:07 / Osaka 23:12

Option 1 is very tight. If you want to go back to Osaka or Kyoto as early as possible, this is your choice. Otherwise option 2 or 3 is more comfortable. You may get something to eat and drink at Toyama station. Because on board sales (wagon service) is not available in this segment. If you do not get anything to eat, you might not get anything to eat until you get Kyoto or Osaka.

If you are okay with dark and a few hours stay, you can drop by Kanazawa. If you take early Hokurikuk Shinkansen train to Kanazawa, you can stay in Kanazawa for 2 hours until the last train to Osaka and Kyoto.

Which way is better, from Ogizawa/Shinano-Omachi or from Toyama?

If you start from Toyama side, there is no express trains available from Shinano-Omachi to Matsumoto. You have to take a local train and spend more minutes. I recommend you to start from Shinano-Omachi side.

Suggested deal

Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket is on sale from April 16 to November 9, 2016. This ticket is valid for 5 days and it is sold at 9,000 yen. You may use this ticket until November 13, 2016. This deal was sold in Tokyo area only in 2015. But in this season, it is sold in Kansai area too. Please see the official site at the link below to find the detailed information.

Tateyama Kurobe Open Ticket (One Way)

Don’t forget to check the timetable before you go

The above sample itinerary is built by timetable of September 2015. When you use this sample itinerary, please check the updated timetable.

Hyperdia (check the train timetable)
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route timetable and fare

At last, one of my readers, Jonathan gave me his experience of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Please refer this post about Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, one of most spectacular sightseeing route in Northern Japan Alps

41 thoughts on “Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto”

  1. Thank you very much for this.

    We will be visiting this trip from nagoya.

    We are wondering how we can do a day trip from nagoya to tateyama then back to nagoya.

    We plan to do it our selves.

    How can we go around the alpine route? What do we ride? And how do we book it. Thanns

    1. Hi Jerico,

      I think I explained how you move from Nagoya-Alipie route-Nagoya in the post above. Please read it again and please tell me which part you cannot understand if you still have a question.

      As I explained, you can use Tateyama Kurobe option ticket.
      http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/

      If you use this, you cannot book it. You can get it in Japan only.

      For other train ticket, you need to book it in Japan too. Please see the link below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/how-to-reserve-seat.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Dear Takeshi san,

    We will be flying to Osaka arriving on 11 may around 9am and out from Tokyo on 21 may at 12am.

    We are looking at this route, do you think it is feasible and can you kindly advice on the best route to take and also the most cost effective passes to purchase.

    Osaka – Kyoto – Kiso Valley – Nagoya – Shirakawago – Alpine Route – Tokyo

    We are open to any suggestions.

    Thank you so much 🙂

    1. Hi Lilian san,

      Only JR pass covers your trip. But 14 days pass is too expensive for your trip. If you complete in 7 days from Kyoto to Tokyo, total fares is almost equal to 7 days pass in my very rough calculation. There is no better deal.

      So my recommendation is local deal for Osaka and Kyoto (if needed), JR pass 7 days from Kyoto to Tokyo, Tateyama Kurobe option ticket and local deal in Tokyo. Please see the links below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html
      http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Dear Takeshi

    I will be flying in to Osaka mid of May, I plan to visit Tateyama Alphine Route and Shirakawago. What is the best way of travelling start from Osaka to which ones first is recommended?
    I plan to travel by train or bus.
    I will be flying off from Osaka. Your recommendation is appreciated

  4. Dear Takashi,

    Thank you for this guides, i have some question.

    my Group will be using a 7 days JR-Pass

    therefor i want to ask you that if this route possible and not tiring.

    Day 1. Osaka – Hiroshima – Nagoya
    Day 2. Nagoya – Alpine Route – Tokyo

    the question is
    is it possible for me from Nagoya 0800 am taking Alpine route option Ticket and reach Tokyo around 2100 pm

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    Refer to your posting: Shin-Osaka 6:27 / Kyoto 6:42 – (Shinkansen Hikari 506) – 7:34 Nagoya
    Nagoya 8:00 – (Limited Express Shinano 3) – 10:05 Matsumoto
    Matsumoto 10:27 – (Limited Express Azusa 3) – Shinano-Omachi 11:03
    Shinano-Omachi 11:15 – (Local bus) – Ogizawa 11:55

    If you use JR Pass, this route is recommended because all trains are fully covered by JR Pass. If you use single fare, there are many faster train, Nozomi to Nagoya from Shin-Osaka/Kyoto. => is local bus from shinano-omachi to ogizawa also covered by JR Pass?

    I plan to buy Tateyama kurobe option ticket, but I wonder in the validity part: For travel only between JR Shinano-Omachi Station and Ogizawa Station, please use the regular service bus. (Express bus service is not available for that interval.). Is that mean that I can’t use alpico bus if I want to use the Tateyama kurobe option ticket? is there any bus number for regular service bus from Shinano-omachi to Ogizawa station? what’s the differences between express bus and regular service bus?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Dee,

      JR pass does not cover bus from Shinano-Omachi. The reason why I mention about JR pass is the difference between Nozomi and Hikari on Shinkansen. Nozomi is not covered by JR pass but it’s faster than Hikari. So Nozomi is better train choice for single ticket user.

      Express bus runs between Nagano and Ogizawa. This bus is covered by Tateyama Kurobe option ticket. This bus stops at Shinano-Omachi but the bus from Nagano to Ogizawa stops for alighting only. You cannot take this bus from Shinano-Omachi to Ogizawa. Only local bus is your choice.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. HI, will the JR Rail pass cover the Toyama Chiho Railway. We are looking at a 14 day pass to cover Nagoya, Takayama, Unazukionsen, the Alpine Pass, Hakuba and then back to Nagoya. We are not sure on the Alipne pass and if it is better to get an Advance purchase ticket or if it is better to get a Tateyama Kurobe Option ticket which may cover the Toyama Chiho Railway. Any thing you can advise would be appreciated

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I planned my itinerary as follow, appreciate if you could suggest the best pass to use:

    Day 1- osaka
    Day 2 -osaka
    Day 3 – depart from osaka to kyoto
    Day 4 – kyoto
    Day 5 – depart kyoto to nara, stay at kyoto
    Day 6- depart from kyoto to alpine route, shinano omachi –> tateyama –> kanazawa, stay at kanazawa
    Day 7- kanazAwa to shirakawago, back kanazawa, stay kanazawa
    Day 8 – kanazawa to osaka to kansai airpot

    Thanks very much.

    Mcdoda

    1. Hi Mcdoda,

      You may use Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch pass for the last 7 days of your trip.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/tokyo-osaka-hokuriku-arch-pass-user-guide-clarify-valid-trains-coverage-area-and-compare-single-fare-and-pass.html

      You may find some local deals for day 1.
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html

      And you should start alpine route from Toyama. Shinano-Omachi is not very accessible from Kyoto. You also need to add Tateyama Kurobe option ticket.
      http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/

      You can get Nagano by this deal. And you can catch Hokuriku Shinkansen to go back to Kanazawa.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi takeshi,

        Thanks very much for the advise. I notice that the last bus from ogizawa to nagano is at 4.30pm. Just wonder am i able to catch it? As there is no reservation required.

        Thanks,
        Mcdoda

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Apologies for bothering you again. As currently i have 2 groups of ppl where we arrive around 9am at KIX on 20/5/2016.

            Group A will depart on day 6 to KIX from kyoto.

            Group B will continue their journey to kanazawa and alpine route.

            Hence, im quite confuse on which passes to Use during osaka and kyoto

            Day 1 – arrive osaka, namba and sightseeing at osaka, stay at namba (purchase icoca and haruka or yokoso Osaka ticket)

            Day 2 – sight seeing at osaka, stay at namba (purchase eco card? Or use icoca)

            Day 3 & 4- 2 day sightseeing pass Kyoto

            Day 5 – icoca to nara / single pass to nara for group A?

            Day 6- haruka discount pass to kix for group A?

            Group B will be using tokyo-osaka hokuriku arch pass from day 2 onwards.

            I really need your advise on this area.

            Really appreciate alot.

            Thanks,
            Mcdoda

          2. Hi Mcdoda,

            Your choices for group A is right. You may use these deals. You cannot find which one is better for Osaka, ICOCA or Eco card. It depends on how many times you will take subway. Roughly, if you take it more than 4 times a day, Eco card will be cheaper. You will use ICOCA from Osaka to Kyoto and round trip to Nara. 1500 yen is not enough and need to add more fund into ICOCA or add single fare ticket.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

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