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. Lenny elvilia says:

    i am going to visit Tateyama from Tokyo on July.
    and i will be staying overnight at Toyama before explore Tateyama.
    Could you please recommend me the suitable pass from tokyo – dendetsu toyama and nagano – tokyo?


  2. Ary Afandi says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    My family (4 persons) want to visit the Kurabe Alpine Route on 24 June 2016, on the way from Tokyo to Osaka, please inform the best affordable transportation mode. Also I need to know how to deliver our luggages ?

  3. S B Quek says:

    Hi Takeshi /,
    If I have both a JR East Pass and the The Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket, will I be able to travel by bullet train from Toyama -Nagano-Tokyo without additional cost?

  4. Felix Noriel says:


    We’ll be in Tokyo Japan this April 16 and wondering for a day trip in Kurobe Tateyama Alpine to see snow (it will be our first time). It will be our last day in Tokyo and we’ll be going to Osaka next. Are there any routes we can get to Kurobe Tateyama Alpine via Osaka for a day trip as well?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Felix,

      You can do it. You may start from Nagano to visit Alpine route and take Hokuriku Shinkansen from Toyama to Kanazawa, limited express Thunderbird from Kanazawa to Osaka. I have sample itinerary from Osaka. You may get some info access to Osaka after Alpine route.

      On Apr 16, that will be the first day of full operation on Alpine route. It will be super super busy there. You have to purchase Tateyama Kurobe option ticket as soon as possible.

      You may not be able to purchase a ticket on the spot.


      Takeshi /

  5. Elene says:

    Dear Mr Takeshi

    I am planning to go to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Tokyo. May I know which is the cheapest way to go.

    Thank you

  6. Laini ngaran says:

    Hi Mr Takeshi..

    Good day
    Me and my friend want to plan a backpack trip from osaka-kyoto-tateyama kurobe route-tokyo. Do we possible to have night bus/train from kyoto to toyama (the start point of the kurobe alpine route-if i’m right) and can we buy kurobe alpine route ticket on the spot at the bus/train station? And at shinano omachi station do their have express bus direct to tokyo on evening? To tokyo from omachi station which transport mode if better?
    Thank you.

  7. kay says:

    Hello Takeshi,
    I will be in Tokyo in 7/2016.I plan to visit Alpine corridor.I plan to buy Hokuriku arch pass along with Tateyama Kurobe Option ticket.My Hokuriku pass covers transfer from Narita airport to
    Tokyo ??or i will need to buy separate ticket.I plan to use shinkansen to go from Tokyo to Toyama.then use the one way Tateyama kurobe option ticket to do the crossing.Is there a Ryokan or hotel to stay near Murodo ??.then end the trip in NAGANO & FLY BACK FROM Narita on 4/8/2016.Will i be able to use my pass to go from Tokyo station to Narita ??

  8. silvia says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    Is it possible to your knowledge to buy passes for the Alpine Route online? We’ll be landing in Tokyo on the 23rd April but am afraid I won’t find any at the airport if they sell out too quickly…:) Are there usually passes available later on, too?

    Many thanks,


  9. Mhai says:

    Hi Jprail,

    I’m going to Japan alps route on 16 April which is the first day it operate fully.

    I’ve found in it official website that Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket will start selling again on 16 April 2016.

    Could I buy this option ticket along with JR Pass?

    As you mentioned in this article, option ticket is offered to JR East holders only, but in its website, they’re noted as following.

    “The Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket is on sale for a limited time as an optional ticket for passengers with any JR Pass (for example, the Hokuriku Arch Pass) for travel to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.”

    Best Regards,

  10. dee says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I just check Hyperdia, and I wonder can I use JR pass from Takaoka to Shinimamiya? Refer to Hyperdia, from Takaoka to Kanazawa, I can take JR and Shinkansen Tsurugi, but from Kanazawa to Osaka, I need to take LTD. EXP THUNDERBIRD 34. Is it cover by JR Pass?

    Thank you in advance.

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