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.

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

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

  1. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thanks for wonderful article. I am starting to plan my trip to alpine route on April 2018. I was just thinking which is the best and efficient place to start it, is it Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya. I chose these three as we have a direct flight to three places.

    Appreciate your reply!

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