Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo

1 to 3 days
Snow Walls is very very popular on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. (C) Tateyama Kurobe Kanto / JTOA
Snow Walls is very very popular on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.  (C) Tateyama Kurobe  Kanto / JTOA

Snow Walls is very very popular on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. (C) Tateyama Kurobe Kanto / JTOA

I have never thought visiting Alpine Route from Tokyo as day trip. But I have received some inquiries and check the timetable. And I found that we can do it.

Actually it is quite easy trip. Please fine the sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo.

From Tokyo to Shinano-Omachi

There are two routes to get the gateway, Ogizawa.

All JR train access

Limited Express Azusa is only train to go to Shinano-Omachi from Tokyo (Shinjuku) directly.

Limited Express Azusa is only train to go to Shinano-Omachi from Tokyo (Shinjuku) directly.

This is the best route for JR pass user all time.

Shinjuku 7:30 – (Limited Express Azusa 3) – Shinano-Omachi 11:03
Shinano-Omachi 11:15 – (Local bus) – 11:55

If you use JR Pass, this route is recommended because Shinjuku to Shinano-Omachi is fully covered by JR Pass. Limited Express Azusa 3 is only train to get Shinano-Omachi directly from Tokyo without any transfers. Limited Express Azusa 1 departs at 7:00, it goes only Matsumoto. You can take a local train to get Shinano-Omachi from Matsumoto. But arrival time is 10:48. You leave 30 minutes early but you can arrive 15 minutes early. Limited Express Azusa 3 is the best choice.

Hokuriku Shinkansen and express bus route

The new fleet, E7/ W7 series run on Hokuriku Shinkansen.

The new fleet, E7/ W7 series run on Hokuriku Shinkansen.

Hokuriku Shinkansen and Express bus can take you to Ogizawa much faster than All JR train access above

Tokyo 6:16 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 501) – Nagano 7:39
Nagano 7:55 – (Alpico express bus) – Ogizawa 9:40

You have to leave more than 1 hour earlier but you can get Ogizawa more than 2 hours earlier. This route was not recommended for JR pass user because express bus is not covered by JR Pass.

If you use Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket at 9,000 yen, you can take this express bus.
Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket (JR East official site)

This deal covers all part of the trip from Nagano to Toyama. And actually this deal is cheaper than even regular fare between Shinano-Omachi and Toyama, 10,850 yen.

The bus service takes you to the gateway, Ogizawa of Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route directly from Nagano. As I mentioned above, you can get there 2 hours earlier than Limited Express Azusa route. As long as Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket is on sale, this route is the best way for all travellers.

You can find the timetable and the fare of Alpico Express Bus at the link below:

Alpico Bus Line, Express bus service for Nagano – Omachi, Ogizawa

Travelling on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

You can walk on Kurobe dam. (C) Nagano Prefecture / JNTO

You can walk on Kurobe dam. (C) Nagano Prefecture / JNTO

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 Tokyo from Toyama

There are many Hokuriku Shinkansen trains to Tokyo. The fastest Hokuriku Shinkansen train “Kagayaki” runs once an hour.

For example, if you start from Ogizawa at 9:40, you will be Toyama around 16:00. You can take the following train.

Toyama 16:58 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 510) – Tokyo 19:12

Of course, you can stay on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route more and take later Hokuriku Shinkansen train.
The last two of Hokuriku Shinkansen trains are the following:

Kanazawa 19:39 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 516) – Tokyo 22:12
Kanazawa 21:00 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 518) – Tokyo 23:32

You have 4 extra hours if you take the last train to Tokyo. You can enjoy Toyama and try to eat local cuisine for dinner.

Even if you take All JR trains route (Shinjuku – Shinano-Omachi route), you can reach Toyama around 18:00. You can take these trains very easily.

Now you know how easy to make a day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo.

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

If you stay Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route as much as you want, the route from Ogizawa is better. Because Hokuriku Shinkansen runs late night. But if you take the route from Toyama, the last bus to Nagano from Ogizawa is 16:30 departure. You can have a bit more time on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route if you start from Ogizawa.

However if you start from Toyama, you can stop at Nagano a little bit. The bus arrive Nagano at 18:10. The last Hokuriku Shikansen train to Tokyo from Nagano depart at 22:08. If you are interested in Nagano, you may start from Toyama. You can visit Zenko-ji temple even in night time. It is open for public 24 hours.

Add Kanazawa if you want to have more

Higashichayagai area is one of most popular spots in Kanazawa. (C) Kanazawa City / JNTO

Higashichayagai area is one of most popular spots in Kanazawa. (C) Kanazawa City / JNTO

As I explained above, you can reach Toyama around 16:00. If you love to challenge and visit the places as many as you want, you can add Kanazawa. This is not very recommended but it is possible.

Toyama 16:26 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Hakutaka 565) – Kanazawa 16:48
Kanazawa 21:00 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 518) – Tokyo 23:32

You have 4 hours in Kanazawa if you are okay in night time. I recommend you to spend more in Kanazaawa. But your schedule is very tight and want to see Kanazawa, this is one of the options.

Suggested deal

Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket is on sale from April 16 to November 6, 2018. This ticket is valid for 5 days and it is sold at 9,000 yen. You may use this ticket until November 13, 2016. Please see the official site at the link below to find the detailed information.

For other part of this trip, Hokuriku Arch Pass may be the best choice. It covers Tokyo to Nagano, and Toyama to Tokyo.

Hokuriku Arch Pass user guide. Clarify valid trains, coverage area and compare single fare and pass
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka are covered by this deal. (C) ©Sue Ann Simon (upper left), Osaka Government Tourism Bu...

Japan Rail Pass may be considerable. This covers both Tokyo – Nagano (or Shinjuku – Shinano-Omachi) and Toyama – Tokyo. You cannot get the worth of JR pass by this day trip. But if you have other trip in your trip plan, JR Pass is more convenient and more versatile.

JR East Pass does not cover Toyama. You need to add fare for Toyama – Joetsu-Myoko. The additional fare is 5,630 yen for this segment. If you add this fare on top of JR East Pass at 22,000 yen, it is more expensive than Hokuriku Arch Pass and it is not much different from JR Pass 7 days at 29,100 yen.

If you pay single fare, the total fare is 20,930 yen (Toyama – Tokyo 12,730 yen and Tokyo – Nagano 8,200 yen). Actually this is cheaper than both JR Pass and Hokuriku Arch Pass. But both pass covers local train in Tokyo, Haneda or Narita airport access. You may get the worth by this day trip + some more trips. If you add one more long trip, you can get even 7 days JR Pass.

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 perfect guide, train timetable and route search engine
If you want to build your itinerary by yourself, Hyperdia will help you a lot. This site is transportation search engine. You can search the timetables and routes of all trains, flights and airport shuttle bus. But this site is a bit tricky and too many functions and options to you. This guide will help you to find the way to use this site.

Alpico Bus Line, Express bus service for Nagano – Omachi, Ogizawa
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
This post is written by Mr. Jonathan Ayre. He is one of the frequent visitors. He offered me some images, writing ar...


  1. Rozilah Rahman says:

    Hi, I’m planning to go to alpine route on the 18/04 via train. Do you think it’s possible to do a day trip from Tokyo?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. Ling says:


    Is Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Ticket still available? I cannot find any information from the JR web site.


  3. dee says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Please remove my comment before, I made a mistake/ typo 🙂

    I have a plan to visit Kurobe Tateyama in October, so I will take a train (with JR pass) from Tokyo then I will stay a night there, and then go to Osaka/ Kyoto after that. which area that you can recommend me if I want to stay a night? if I’m not mistaken, the nearest station from Tokyo is Ogizawa, and the nearest station from Osaka is Tateyama.
    Or is it more convenience to take a day trip from Tokyo-Kurobe Tateyama-Tokyo, at least I don’t need to take my luggage all day long?


    • Hi Dee san,

      Day trip from Tokyo-Alpine route-Osaka is not impossible. You can find day trip itinerary to Alpine route from Osaka at the link below. You can combine day trip itinerary from Tokyo and Osaka, and make it day trip.

      But if you want to make the trip be easier, I suggest you to stay in Toyama. It’s much easier and cheaper to find the hotel than Tateyama.


      Takeshi /

      • dee says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        I’m looking for budget hotel, and find one in Takaoka, is it still manage-able if I spend one night in Takaoka, then in the morning I go to Alpine route, then go back to Takaoka to pick my luggage, after that go to Osaka?

        Or if I choose to take day trip from Tokyo-Toyama-Tokyo, then go to Osaka in the same day, will I waste many time?

        Thanks in advance. 🙂

        • Hi Dee,

          I have just stayed in Takaoka last week. It’s not a bad choice.
          It’s a good idea to stay in Takaoka and make a day trip to Alpine route. Lots of local trains run between Toyama and Takaoka. You can get Toyama very easily from Takaoka.


          Takeshi /

          • dee says:

            Hi again,

            One more question, if I want to go back to Takaoka, the best course that I can take is route from Tateyama station Kurobe dam (round trip), right? or Tateyama station => Ogizawa station (one way)?

            Thanks in advance 🙂

  4. Miccifacs21 says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We will be in Japan again on May 2016. But this together with kids, parents and in laws. Is it possible to go directly to Murodo Snow corridor with out passing through the Tateyama Alpine route? We will be coming from Tokyo station using JR Pass. Im kinda confused with the train stations. Thank you

  5. Josephine SKL says:

    I am in Tokyo for Sakura in late March 2016. But I have only a free day extra and excited to know a day trip is possible from Tokyo to Takayama Alpine, which is the best and fastest way I am interested to experience the Shinkansen either one way or return journey and how much?? Please advise and thanking you in advance.

  6. Selena Chua says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    Thank you for your valuable advice. It has helped me greatly in my planning for my upcoming trip. We plan to go Tokyo-Matsumoto, spend 3 nights there as a base to visit Kamikochi, Takayama (with current bus trip promotion of 2500yen with JREast pass),and the sights in Matsumoto and surroundings, then on the 4th day we leave for Shinano-Omachi and do the Alpine route, ending in Toyama. We then plan to take the shinkansen back to Tokyo from Toyama. May I ask if a JREast pass is the best option, even with the extra charge from Toyama to Joetsu-Myoko? The rest of our trip will be 6 nights in Tokyo, with possible side trips to Karuizawa and Yokohama.
    Thank you in advance!

  7. Benjamin says:

    Hi there, i have the option to fly in to either Tokyo or Nagoya. If I fly into Nagoya, I would leave my bags in Nagoya before leaving for the Takayama route. I would return to Nagoya as well. If I fly into Tokyo, I might consider exiting via Nagoya. Bags would be a problem since I can’t possibly leave my bags in Tokyo. Is there anyplace en-route to stay over one night? I would like to hike to the top of Mt Tateyama and I don’t think a day trip will suffice to cover the entire alpine route. I am travelling in mid October. Any advice for what I should do with my bags and where I can possibly stay for one night?

    • Hi Benjamin,

      If you stay in hotel, Tokyo before heading to Alpine route, ask your hotel about delivery service. Some hotels have contract with deliver company. Baggage can be delivered usually overnight. The cost is around 2000 to 3000 yen per bag. If you care about luggage on Alpine route only, you can ask baggage delivery service at Shinano-Omachi. They can send it to Toyama.

      If you travel from Tokyo to Nagoya via Alpine route, I don’t have any recommendation of the places to stay. Delivery service is the best solution in my opinion.


      Takeshi /

  8. Choy Koun says:

    Hi Takeshi-san

    Good morning! It is really great to hear that it is a mission possible from traveling to Toteyama from Tokyo by day trip. May I ask I plan my itinerary as below is it possible?


    I’m planning to take night bus back to Tokyo from Kanazawa, but can you advise how to go Takayama from Hakone? Is it I need to travel back to Tokyo only go Takayama/Kanazawa? Any pass should I buy for this itinerary?

    Thank you!

  9. Thank you so much, i’ll patiently wait for it lol.

    Ah really?! But i think i’m still going to visit it since i used to travel to japan on January, and now i’ve got a chance to visit it on early november when the route is opened, i don’t want to miss it ;”(

  10. Hi JPrail, since i want to visit Alpine Route on November 4th, 2015 from Nagoya, what route do you recommend?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Cacanotabi,

      You can take Limited Express Shinano from Nagoya to Matsumoto. You can transfer to Limited Express Azusa there to Shinano-Omachi.
      After complete Alpine Route, you can take Hokuriku Shinkansen to get Kanazawa and transfer to Limited Express Shirasagi to Nagoya. I will write up sample itinerary from Nagoya soon.

      By the way, do you know it’s very cold up there in early November? It might be snow and temperature is below 0 degree.


      Takeshi /

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