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.

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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. Sy says:

    Hi Mr. Takeshi

    I will visit Tokyo and Osaka on 24 – 30 November 2016

    Between that time, I would like to visit Tateyama Alpine Route in 1 day tour. If I use JR pass, which is the best way for me to go from Tokyo or from Osaka? I plan to buy Tateyama Kurobe option ticket but the ticket is on sale till Nov 13. I need your advice what transportation can I use to travel the Tateyama Alpine Route.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. Rita says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I would like to ask, if I have JR pass National wide, do I still need to buy Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket? What is this ticket for? Is it a ticket for 1-day tour? Thanks.

  3. dea says:

    Hi Mr. Takeshi
    I’m planning to go with this route : Tokyo – Tateyama – Kanazawa – Shirakawago – Tokyo. Which is the best route for me given I own the JR Pass? And is it possible for me to visit Tateyama on February? Please kindly advise. Thanks.

  4. dee says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I have a plan like below:
    6-9 October: around Tokyo, on 9 October I will go to Toyama from Tokyo (I will use JR pass), stay 1 night at Toyama
    10 October: go to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route from Toyama (should I buy Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?)
    at night I will go to Osaka from Tateyama (use JR Pass)
    11-12 October: around Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima (use JR Pass)
    13-14 October: around Kyoto, Nara and go back to Tokyo for night flight (I will use JR Pass again)

    FYI, I will activate the JR Pass from 8-14 October, is it a good plan? And do you think I really need to buy Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass for travel on 10 October?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Dee,

      I agree with your plan. You will use JR pass in the right way.
      Most recommended deal for Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is Tateyama Kurobe option ticket.

      However if you use this deal, you have to go through this route until the end. That means you have to travel to Nagano after Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and then go to Osaka. It’s possible but it will be a long trip. You have two routes to get Osaka. One is Nagano – Nagoya – Osaka and other one is Nagano – Kanazawa – Osaka.

      If you want to leave your luggage in Toyama, you may use Kanazawa route and stop by Toyama on the way to Kanazawa.

      And also you can use luggage delivery service.

      If you use this delivery service, you can Nagano – Nagoya – Osaka route. Actually trip time between these two routes are not much different. If you want to save your cost, you can leave your luggage at Toyama. But you have to make an extra stop at Toyama.

      Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass is too much and too expensive for your trip.



  5. Celest says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I would like to check, is that possible to plan to go Alpine Route at 24 Nov (end of Nov)? Kindly please advise.

    Thank you.

  6. Ms. Sha says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I plan to do the Alpine Route next week. I will start my journey from Toyama. After the Alpine Route i need to return back to Toyama. I still cant get the clear picture how to return back to Toyama after the Alpine Route. For you info i have the Takayama-Hokuriku Pass

  7. Melissa says:

    Hi Takeshi san,
    May I know when is the good time to visit the alpine route for hiking purposes? Is it possible to do it on April 2017?

  8. Tuti Hartini says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m planning to go to Japan on Nov 15 (Will arrive at Osaka), is the alpine route still accessible on that date??since on the website it will be open till Nov 30. Is it recommended to visit alpine route on that date?


    • Hi Tuti san,

      It’s still open but not surprised if it’s closed due to the severe weather. In my opinion, it’s not the right season to visit there. The weather is winter condition.


      Takeshi /

  9. Kelly Aurellia says:

    Hi Mr. Takeshi,

    need your advise for a day trip to tateyama.

    we will arrive at Narita Airport on 19 June 2016.
    and the next day we gonna take a day trip to Tateyama.

    at the Narita Airport we gonna buy tateyama kurobe option ticket. and we also gonna use JR Pass for this trip.

    we stay at Royal Park Shiodome Tokyo Hotel.
    here is our schedule for the tateyama trip on 20 Jun 2016,
    (i learn it from google maps)

    Go to Tateyama :
    05:30 walk from hotel to Shinbashi Station
    05:49 take Tokaido Line (Takasaki) from Shinbashi to Tokyo Station
    06:16 take Hokuriku-Shinkansen Kagayaki 501 from Tokyo Station to Toyama Station
    08:26 arrive at Toyama Station
    continue with Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket (from Toyama to Nagano)

    Back to Tokyo :
    15:55 take Hokuriku-Shinkansen Kagayaki 510 from Nagano to Tokyo Station
    19:31 take Yamanote Line for Shibuya/Shinjuku to Shinbashi Station.
    19:34 walk to Hotel

    is the timetable from google maps still valid ? any advise ?
    thanks in advance for any advise.
    regards, Kelly

  10. Kurarisu says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m planning to do the Alpine Route this June. Will it be possible to get the Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket with a Tokyo Wide Area Pass? I plan to take the Shinkansen up to Sakudaira and then pay for the remaining train rides until before I get to the first area covered by the option ticket, and then go around Toyama a bit after doing the mountain route then hop on a highway bus at night to go back to Tokyo and arrive the next day. Will this be doable? Thank you!

    • Hi Kurarisu san,

      Yes, it will work. You need to pay the additional fare for Sakudaira to Nagano. You can use Tateyama Kurobe option ticket from Nagano to Toyama.


      Takeshi /

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