Sample itinerary of day trip to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from Nagoya and Osaka / Kyoto

1 to 3 days
Tateyama Ropeway gives you the amazing experience. (C) Nagano Prefecture / (C) JNTO
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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

Comments

  1. Rose says:

    Takeshi
    We have a 3 day trip to Japan starting April 21, and was hoping your could help with hat JR pass/es to get so we get the correct one for best travels on our trip. I’m a little confused to get JRpass or JREast pass, and also Tateyama option ticket. Below is our planed travels.
    – Narita -> Shinjuku (and return) hopeing to use N’EX
    – Alpine route Day trip. Shinjuku -> Nagano/Omachi ->ALPINE ROUTE-> Toyama -> Shinjuku (we expect to also get Tateyama Option Ticket
    – Shibazakura Festival and Mt. Fuji Day trip. Shinjuki -> Kawaguchiko/ Motosuko area and attractions (may bus ride to Fuji 5th station while there if have time) -> Shinjuku
    – Last day plan to stay in Tokyo around Shinjuku and shibuya before

    We were thinking the JR East with Tateyama option ticket and possibly a Kawaguchiko bus ticket would cover everything we plan is this correct? Or a full JR pass and added options?

    Thank you so much in advance for the help

  2. Pauline Lim says:

    Hi Takeshi san

    Our family of 4 adults will be in Nagoya and Osaka for 7 days. We are planning to buy the JR Pass, but are not sure if the pass will cover rail and bus for long distance travel such as Nagoya to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (day trip) Nagoya to Osaka, and from/to airports.

    Hope you can advise.

    Thank you, Pauline
    17.04.2016

  3. Brey says:

    Hi Takeshi

    I hv been doing homework on this trip for the past 7 days, reading from all sources in the web

    Finally, to summarize and to get your opinion:

    Background:
    1) Im staying in Nagoya as my base from 12-17th April 2016
    2) There are 2 passes that I found:

    a) JR East & JR West
    Tateyama Kurobe Open Ticket (One Way)
    – Price: JPY 9,000
    – Cons: only for Tateyama – Shinano Omashi
    – Cons: need separate train tickets to either Toyama or Shinano Omashi

    b) JR Central
    Alpine Takayama-Matsumoto
    http://touristpass.jp/common/pdf/forGeneral/gen_alpine_en.pdf
    – Price JPY17,500
    – Unlimited rides on JR [b]”conventional line”[/b]

    Questions:

    Using JR Central Tourist Pass:

    1) I plan to start from Nagoya early morning:

    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

    2) If I start at Nagoya in the morning, I will arrive at Ogizawa at 1155am and need to take the 1230pm trolleybus. This option will lose 2 hrs compared to starting at Shinano Omachi at 0925am.

    3) Since 16th April 2016 is peak season, I might travel to Shinano-Omachi on 15th April 2016 to stay one night.

    4) Is Alpico bus included in this JR Central Tourist Pass? Or there is another bus?

    http://www.alpico.co.jp/access/express/nagano_omachi/#station

    – First Alpico bus from Shinano Omachi is 0925 and arrive at Ogizawa 1000am. First trolley bus is 1030am.

    6) Return from Toyama to Nagoya:

    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

    7) For the 4 time reservation seat:
    How do I get the reserved seat using this pass?

    1st: Nagoya 8:00 – (Limited Express Shinano 3) – 10:05 Matsumoto

    2nd: Matsumoto 10:27 – (Limited Express Azusa 3) – Shinano-Omachi 11:03

    3rd: Toyama 19:37 – (Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 513) – Kanazawa 19:56

    4th: Kanazawa 20:06 – (Limited Express Shirasagi 66) – Maibara 22:01

    Queue at the train station counter each time?

    Thank you
    Brey

    • Hi Brey,

      Actually I have never noticed this deal. Thank you very much for letting me know this. I have read this PDF.

      But if you access alpine route from Shinano-Omachi side, you have to travel after April 16. Is it okay? There is no services until April 15 from Ogizawa to Kurobe dam. Please see the link below:
      http://www.alpen-route.com/en/timetable/timetable_nagano.html?date=0410-0415

      If you travel on April 16, there are many more services.
      http://www.alpen-route.com/en/timetable/timetable_nagano.html

      If you access alpine route from Toyama side, you can access to Midagahara before April 15. But you cannot go through this route until April 15.
      http://www.alpen-route.com/en/timetable/timetable.html?date=0410-0415

      If you use this pass, you cannot take Toyama-Kanazawa-Maibara-Nagoya route. This pass covers only Toyama-Takayama-Gifu-Nagoya route. But train do not run very frequently. The last direct train, “Wide View Hida”, departs from Toyama at 17:13. If you miss this train, you cannot get back to Nagoya.

      • Brey says:

        Hi Takeshi-san

        Thank u so much.

        I was so engrossed in all the details until i forgot to look at the big picture

        the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine (TKA) website has repeated reminders about A-Class super peak crowd and waiting time up to 90 mins per transfer

        I might not go this trip now and maybe come back another time in the future.

        Thank you for this website. Keep it up.

        Domo arigatou gozaimasu

        • Hi Brey san,

          No problem. Doitashimasite.
          I understand that you wish you go there. Great snowwall is very attractive and looks so impressive.

          Hope you come back near future to enjoy there.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Huichin says:

    Hi Takeshi

    I will be departing from Kyoto to Alphine. What is the best rail/bus route we can take? And the pass to buy? What will be the estimated Travelling time to reach Alphine? Thanks much!!!

  5. Lyana says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    If I’m using JR Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket, does it means that I don’t have to queue to purchase a ticket at Kurobe Alphine? and the pass is not cover bus from Ogizawa to Shinano-Omachi right?

  6. Juliana says:

    Hi, I would need your advice as I’m pretty clueless and confused how to get to the Alpine route. My family will be staying at APA HOTEL〈TOYAMA-EKIMAE〉at Toyama because we thought it’s convenient to the Alpine route. However, after google all the tour group online, it seems most of the trips start from Nagano or Nagoya! =( What is the best way for us to travel? thanks a million!

  7. Beng Hwee says:

    Dear Takeshi-san
    I arrive Nagoya on 24 Feb at 8am. I would like to stay overnight in an onsen ryokan in Gero or in the city of Moriyama or around. I will be in Nagoya till Friday, 26 before taking the JR to Tokyo and will depart from Haneda airport on 1 March.

    My questions are:
    1. If I go Gero, what’s the best way from theInternational Airport in Nagoya? Or would you recommend any other onsen towns which are not too far for a one day stay.
    2. Is it possible to take JR or a combination of trains from airport to Gero to Moriyama?
    3. I will take the JR from Nagoya to Iidabashi where my hotel is?
    4. In my case, will you recommend getting a JR pass to cover my travels in Nagoya and Tokyo.

    • Hi Beng san,

      1. Chubu airport -> (Meitetsu railway) -> Nagoya -> (JR) -> Gero
      There is only this route.

      2. I have no idea about Moriyama.

      3. You can take same train to Nagoya from Gero. And then take Shinkansen to Tokyo. Iidabashi can be accessed by local train in 10-15 minutes.

      4. JR Pass is more expensive than single fare ticket. Single fare ticket is only your choice. There is no deal to cover your trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Fransyustiana says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,
    I am really glad finding this website since we’ve been preparing to visit Japan, specially to Alpine Route.
    We will be going to Alpine Route from Tokyo, take one way route to Ogizawa.
    Could you please help us about how we are going from Ogizawa to Osaka?
    We know that there is no express trains, but since this will be the first time for us to Japan, we really need help for all the access (types of transport, time schedule, fares).
    Thanks in advance.

  9. cindy says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    We’re planning to go to Shirakawa-go & Tateyama Kurobe Alpine from Osaka.
    If we’re using this pass, is this pass also cover transport from Kanazawa – Shin Takaoka (return) ? We’re planning to take the bus to shirakawa-go from shin takaoka using the free kippu deals.

    Or do you have any other sugestion about pass that suit to our plan?

    Thank you!

  10. Gin Lee says:

    Hi,
    We are travelling in a family of 6, which include 3 teenage girls (15 to 19) and a boy (11). We would like to chose a suitable rail pass for 5 days for our travelling from 15 Dec 2015 from Osaka to Kanazawa, Toyama(maybe), Shirakawago, Takayama and last stop on19 Dec 2015 at Nagoya before flying off from CHUBU on 21 Dec morning.
    What is the best rail or bus network or combination we should use for this trip? Or is it better for us to drive?

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