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. Prayudi says:

    Hi Takeshi san,

    Amazing, your article was from a few years back, but I found it the most informative guide to Tateyama for those trying to visit the area on a day trip.

    My wife and I will be in Tokyo in the week of Nov 5, 2018 and we will have our Nationwide JR Pass. I’m not ambitious for the day to complete the Alpine route. We would just take half of the journey.

    1. Do you think we could go and reach Murodo, spend a couple of good hours and go back using the same route we’re going to return back to Tokyo on a day trip? or it doesn’t make any difference but to complete the trip?

    2. If doing half of the trip is more efficient in terms of time, which starting point would you advise Tateyama or Ogizawa?

    Many thanks Takeshi san, appreciate for your input


    • Hi Yudi san,

      If you want a round trip to Murodo, you should start from Tateyama because it’s closer. But even if you do this, total trip time from Tokyo to back to Tokyo is not much different from Tateyama to Ogizawa complete trip. Because if you complete the route, you can start or finish at Nagano. It is close to Tokyo than Toyama (gateway to Tateyama).

      I recommend you to do complete all route. It’s worth seeing all part of the route.


      Takeshi /

    • Sugeng Prayudi says:

      Hi Takeshi san,

      Many thanks for your advice. We shall try to complete the route then and share here our experience here for others as well.


  2. Brendan says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    Very insightful itineraries!.
    I seek your advise.
    I’m flying in from Taipei to Tokyo on the 8th of October and departing on the 12th of October.

    We intend to visit the Tateyama Alpine area to view the autumn scenery.
    Based on reading, we plan to depart from Tokyo to Tateyama on the 9th and return back to Tokyo on the 11th of October.
    Is it better traveling directly to Tateyama or Ogizawa from Tokyo?

    Can you recommend itineraries for those 3 days around Tateyama? I understand that Shinagawa (World Heritage) is also close by? Should we just find a hotel in Tateyama or Ogizawa? and move around that location during those days? Any other good scenery/sights/towns worth visiting?

    Reading through your recommendations, it may not be worth buying a JR Pass (7 days), but worth buying the Tateyama Kurobe ticket as well as the Hokuriku Arch pass?

    Also, which is the most convenient to Tateyama? Traveling from Tokyo or Nagoya?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Brendan,

      Shirakawago (not Shinagawa. Shinagawa is a place in Tokyo.) is a nice place to visit. You can take a bus to get there from Toyama. Please see the link below:

      You can add Shirakawago before or after trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. You can get there from Tateyama too but it takes about one hour from Tateyama to Toyama by train. So you can leave Tokyo early and complete to visit Shirakawago, and moving to Tateyama. Or add Shirakawago on last day before going to Tokyo.

      I think Shirakawago and Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route are enough for 2 nights 3 days trip plan. If you really want to add other place and okay with packed itinerary, you may add Kanazawa.

      Hokuriku arch pass is okay for your trip. It’s cheaper than JR pass.


      Takeshi /

  3. kc says:

    Dear Takeshi
    Would be grateful for your help please.
    This is my itinerary :
    Oct 1 – Central Airport to Matsumoto – Okazaki – Matsumoto
    Oct 2 – Matsumoto – Kamikochi – Matsumoto
    Oct 3 – Matsumoto – Nagano – Ogizawa – Alpine route – Toyoma
    Oct 4 – Toyoma – Kurobe gorge – Toyoma
    Oct 5 – Toyoma – Shirakawago – Toyoma
    Oct 6 – Toyoma – Kanazawa – Toyoma
    Oct 7 – Toyoma – Takayama
    Oct 8 – Takayama
    Oct 9 – Takayama
    Oct 10 – Takayama – Nagoya
    Oct 11 Nagoya – Central Airport
    Does it make sense to use this pass :
    Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass? Because this is 5-day consecutive what other pass should I combine this with please? Thank you.

    • Hi kc,

      Actually there is no deals available. As you thought, your trip route is covered by Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass. But it’s 5 days. Other passes which have longer coverage period, such as JR pass is too expensive. You cannot get the worth. If you add any other deals, such as Takayama Hokuriku area tourist pass, you cannot get the worth either. The only deal which you can use is Tateyama Kurobe option ticket.

      Regular ticket is your choice for other part of your trip.


      Takeshi /

  4. Iin says:


    My name is iin. My hubby and i wil go to Tokyo for a week on 18 to 24 this november 2018. I am really curious whether we could still stroll round the snow wall walk and enjoying the ropeway on that date.

    Your information would change our itenerary. Looking forward to ur reply.


  5. Matt says:

    I have the JR Pass Nationwide and will be based in Tokyo. I will want to visit the Snow Corridor as a day trip. Is this possible and what is the fastest way to do so and be back in Tokyo for dinner/supper?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Matt,

      You can take the route for Tokyo-Nagano-Ogizawa-Alpine route-Toyama-Tokyo. If you leave Tokyo early as I mentioned in the post above, you can come back to Tokyo around 15 minutes after 19:00.


      Takeshi /

  6. Jennifer Ding says:

    Hi Takeshi San,

    I will be travelling to these places at the end of the month and till now, have no idea as to should I get the JR pass or just use the pay as usage pass.

    Places that I will be travelling to will be :

    Day 1: Singapore to Tokyo to Kawaguchiko
    Day 2: Kawaguchiko to Matsumoto
    Day 3: Matsumoto to Tateyama kurobe alpine route to Kanazawa
    Day 4: Kanazawa to Ogimachi Village
    Day 5: Kanazawa to Shirakawago to Takayama
    Day 6: Takayama
    Day 7: Takayama to Osaka
    Day 8: Osaka to Singapore

    Please help as I am super lost.


  7. Lily Chew says:

    Hi Takeshi San.
    I have JR hokuriku Shinkansen pass and like to visit Tateyama kurobe alpine route on 22 May . I will start from Toyama and end at Ogisawa staying one night at ones Kyo hot spring town.

    1. Is it cheaper to buy the option ticket of 9000 yen single I already have a JP rail pass? OR buy single alpine route ticket.

    2. If I need the option ticket, can I buy it on my arrival day at Haneda airport 17/ May ? I also going to Kanazawa station , I can do at this station as well.

    3. From Shinano omachi which is the fastest way to get to Tokyo .
    Thank you


    • Hi Lily san,

      I think you meant Hokuriku arch pass.

      I will answer your inquiry on the assumption that you will use this pass.

      1. Yes. Hokuriku arch pass does not cover Alpine route at all.

      2. You can purchase it at Haneda. Advance purchasing is recommended.

      3. You can take express bus to get Nagano by Tateyama Kurobe option ticket. And you can take Shinkansen to get Tokyo by Hokuriku arch pass. Actually this is only route which is covered by Hokuriku arch pass.


      Takeshi /

  8. Gam Ng says:

    Hi, I will going to Murodo (1 day trip) on 20th Nov. They’re recommend me to go by Omachi IN.
    1. Where can i buy JR Pass Limited Express Azusa 3
    2. What kind of JR Pass that fully covered by JR Pass. Limited Express Azusa is that a Wide Pass?
    3. Once I arrivie at Shinano-Omachi where can I buy local bus to continue my journey until Murodo?

    Thank you in advance for your help to answer my curious.

  9. Mir says:

    Hi Takeshi.

    I have read your post and it made me very interested to have a day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route from Tokyo. I am likely to get the JR pass but I have some questions that I hope you would be able to answer for me.

    1) With the JR Pass, is the entire route covered?

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

    According to what you wrote, for both Limited Express Azusa 3 and the local bus, are they both covered by the JR pass?

    2) You mentioned after that, that the total trip time is about 2 hours for Ogizawa to Tateyama. However, after reaching Shinano-Omachi as written above, how do we get to Tateyama? Is it with the same Alpico Bus Line that you listed in your post?

    3) Is it the same way back?

    I am mainly confused because I am not sure as to what is covered and how going on the route works. If it is not too inconvenient for you, do you mind writing down the route that I should take to get to the Alpine route from Tokyo and back with the JR pass? Would really love it if I can see which part is covered and what I would need to top up because I got too confused reading since I intend to make full use of my pass.

    Thank you in advance. I love reading your site.

    • Hi Mir,

      Please see the link below to find the info about Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. This is the route which you will take between Shinano-Omachi and Tateyama/Toyama.

      Basically you don’t go back to Shinano-Omachi. You will take this route and go through the route to Toyama.

      JR Pass covers Shinjuku to Shinano-Omachi and Toyama to Tokyo. You need to add Tateyama Kurobe option ticket for taking this route:


      Takeshi /

      • Mir says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for the reply. Just to sum it up, can I be sure that I just need to follow the route you stated: Tokyo – Shinano-Omachi (JR Pass covered) – continue the entire route with the Tateyama Kurobe option ticket – From Toyama back to Tokyo (JR Pass covered) ?

        Also, if we are buying the Tateyama Kurobe option ticket, is it like everyone is travelling the same route so all we do is show the ticket and follow through the route or we have to manually find the transfers ourself? For example, according to the route on the site , after reaching Shinano-Omachi, we have to head to Ogizawa with the Alpico bus, and later on the trolley bus and cable car and so on. So, are we supposed to personally find the right alpico bus, trolley bus etc throughout the route on our own, or will there be signs/ only one route that everyone follows and having the ticket just means we have paid for all the rides for the route? I hope you understand what I mean.

        Also, since the focus of Tateyama Kurobe is mostly during the snow season, can I ask if it is actually still as pretty in July where we will be in a few days? Or is it not worth it?

        Do let me know. I look forward to your reply 🙂

        • Hi Mir,

          When you take a bus at Shinano-Omachi, you need to find the bus stops because there are several stops. But it has a big sign and not hard to find it. Shinano-Omachi is quite small station.

          After arriving Ogimachi, you need to show your Tateyama Kurobe option ticket at the ticket counter. Another ticket will be attached to take all transportation on alpine route. On alpine route, you can change it by yourself but it’s very very easy. You need to walk for 10 to 15 minutes on Kurobe dam. But in other stations, you just need to change it at same buildings. It has many many signage and staff will take care of your. Even kids can find it.

          All you have to do is just follow the signage and staff.

          Summer day in Alpine route is amazing too. As long as weather is good, it’s worth visiting.


          Takeshi /

  10. Lay says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I am travelling to Tokyo in Oct (14- 19 Oct) and I would like to have your advise on my trip and what is the most economical way either by getting the JR pass or not.

    14 Oct: Staying at a friend place at Kawasaki. Plan to visit Kamakura.

    15 Oct: Move from Kawasaki to Shinjuku. Take train from Shinjuku (JR Ltd Exp Azusa) to Matsumoto. From Matsumoto to Shinano machi (JR Oito Line). Then local bus from Shinano Omachi to Ogizawa. Start the Alpine route, Ogizawa to Toyama Dentetsu. Overnight at Toyama (I am just wondering, is there an express bus from Shinjuku straight to Ogizawa )?

    16 Oct: Take Nohi bus from Toyama to Shirakawago. Spend about 4hrs at Shirakawago, then take Nohi bus from Shirakawago to Takayama. Overnight at Takayama.

    17 Oct: Take Nohi bus from Takayama to Shinjuku. Overnight at Shinjuku.

    18 Oct: One day trip to Mt Fuji
    19 Oct: Walk around Tokyo (Asakusa) in the morning. Afternoon go to Narita airport.

    Appreciate your advise on this! Many thanks!


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