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

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

  1. Hi Takeshi-San,

    We are planning for a day tour to Tateyama from Osaka and planning to purchase Hokuriku Arch Pass.

    I see that you recommended to start the alpine route from Ogizawa, but would it be better if i started from Toyama instead?

    this would means I reach Tateyama earlier correct?

    I have also saw your suggestion to buy the option ticket which will covers the express bus service from Ogizawa to Nagano.

    therefore from Nagano I can take the JR trains back to Osaka since it is covered under the JR pass.

    will my plan be feasible? Seek your kind advice

    1. Hi Seng Wei san,

      You may do so. The reason why I start from Ogizawa in this sample is maximizing the time on Alpine route. When I made this sample, I checked the timetable and calculated the staying time on Alpine route, Ogizawa route is a bit longer. But the timetabe will be different. So you can start from Toyama and go to Nagano as you think. You can take the Hokuriku Shinkansen and the limited express Thunderbird to go back to Osaka by Hokuriku Arch Pass.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for the advise.

        Would like to extend my gratitude to you for running this website and providing so many helpful resources for first time travellers like myself.

  2. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I need help in planning my tateyama kurobe alpine route from kyoto and back to osaka on a day trip. Any guide on how we can do it? Much appreciated your help.

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply Takeshi san. Went through again with your post and figured out the options for the kyoto-alpine route-osaka. Maybe you can suggest the quick and affordable way on how to do this, like which train to choose and the earliest time to leave kyoto to ogizawa. Thanks again!


        1. Hi Zeineth san,

          Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is not very closed to Osaka/Kyoto. There is no quicker ways. Please do not think about saving the cost. Saving the cost means spending time more. But the day trip to Alpine route is already very busy trip. You have to take the limited express Thunderbird between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa, and take the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Kanazawa, Toyama and Nagano. You can find the timetables in the links below:


          Hokuriku Shinkansen

          *There are some more trains between Toyama and Kanazawa but this above link does not show it. Please use hyperdia to find all as well:

          Alpine route


          Takeshi /

  3. Hi! What clothes or shoes do you recommend to wear when going to Alpine Route. Is it cold all throughout the course? Thank you!

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    Me and my family ( 3 adults ) will visit Japan from 29 May – 11 June with schedule plan as below :

    Day 1 : arrv.Narita 8.10 am – to Osaka by shinkansen
    Day 2 : Osaka Universal Studio
    Day 3 : Osaka – Kyoto
    Day 4 : Kyoto – Tateyama Alpine Route – Tokyo
    Day 5 : Tokyo Mt.Fuji
    Day 6 : Tokyo Disneysea
    Day 7 : Tokyo – Hakodate
    Day 8 : Hakodate
    Day 9 : Hakodate – Sapporo
    Day 10 : Sapporo
    Day 11 : Sapporo – Tokyo
    Day 12-14 (dep.Narita 17.45) : Tokyo City

    My concerns are :
    1. I am wondering if this trip is enjoyable as Japan will be entering summer season. It is too tight and tiring? Any suggestion ? I will use 14 days JRpass.
    2. We will go to Takeyama one day from Kyoto, and back to Tokyo. Where should we put our luggages when we are in alpine route? Can we rent luggage storage at the station ? Which station should we go to?

    Your advise is highly appreciated.


    1. Hi Lily

      1. It may be a bit tight on day 1 to 3. You will arrive in Narita in early morning. But you will spend at least 2 hours in Narita for custom, immigration, exchanging JR pass. And then spend at least 4 hours. It’s total 6 hours but may be 7 hours. So when you get Osaka, it will be mid afternoon. You don’t have many hours to see Osaka on day 1.

      You will spend a whole day in USJ on day 2 and then going to Kyoto on day 3. If you are okay with this, you can keep this itinerary. But if you feel it’s a bit tight, you may cut one day in Hakodate and add one day in either Osaka or Kyoto.

      2. Actually in this case, you cannot store your luggage. Because you will start your trip from Toyama, and then finish at Nagano, and go to Tokyo. I recommend you to send your luggage from Osaka to Tokyo. Usually it takes one night two days to ship. Please make sure your hotel that they can receive your luggage. Most hotels can do. But if you use Air BNB or other rental property, they don’t receive it. In this case, you have to bring your luggage to Alpine route.

      I understand that is not realistic. So make a day trip from Kyoto or Tokyo. If you add one more night in Kyoto, you can go back to Kyoto. You also make a day trip from Tokyo on day 13. Please see the link below about the day trip from Tokyo:


      Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi san,

    Me and my family of 3 will arrive at osaka on 16/05/19 and will go straight to kyoto.
    So its like:
    16/05 to 19/05 – Kansai airport to Kyoto for 3 nights
    19/05 to 22/05 – Kyoto to Nagoya for 3 nights and on 21/05 day trip to Alpine Route via Shinano Omachi.
    22/05 to 25/05 – Nagoya to Osaka, maybe day trip to Nara on one of the dates.

    Is Jr pass for 7 days recommended together with Jr Alpine takayama Matsumoto Area tourist pass? Or do you have other alternatives?

    1. Hi Steve san,

      I recommend you to use JR pass 7 days from 19th to the end of your trip. And you have to add Tateyama Kurobe option ticket because JR pass does not cover Alpine route.
      (*I think this will be on sale in 2019 again.)

      Alpine Takayama Matsumoto area tourist pass seems to be a good option but it does not cover Nagoya-Osaka/Kyoto. And also it covers only Takayama line (Nagoya-Takayama-Toyama). But Nagoya-Maibara-Kanazawa-Toyama route is faster than Nagoya-Takayama-Toyama route.

      You may use Kansai one pass and Haruka deal for the first few days:


      Takeshi /

  6. Dear Takeshi san,

    I inquired about this route from Tokyo (separate article) but we ended up doing one day trip from Osaka on 10 Nov 2018 to sinanoomachi then to ogizawa. It was doable, we started from shin osaka at 6.27 on hikari as your itinerary suggested and was able to complete the route. The time felt shorter than what we would have liked to at Murodo. Since we walked up the 220 stairs at Kurobe dam we lost a lot of time. Last bus from Murodo was 3.15 to tateyama and then continued to get on to 6pm thunder bird from kanazawa, we were already back in osaka around 10pm.

    Just wanted to say thank you very much for your article, it was our last day of national JR pass so it was all worth it.


  7. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Thank you for a very informative article. My family is visiting Japan this October and we have decided to do an overnight tour to Alpine Route and Shirakawago from Nagoya and end it in Osaka. May I know your suggestion for the most efficient route? I have currently drafted our plan but not sure if this is the best way to go:

    Day 1:
    Nagoya-Nagano-Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route-Toyama (overnight)

    Day 2:

    Thank you and hope to receive your reply.

    1. Hi Vina san,

      Your trip plan is almost okay. But I have a few things to mention to you.

      On day 1, you should go to Shinano-Omachi instead of Nagano. You have to change trains at Matsumoto but total trip time via Shinano-Omachi is shorter than Nagano route.

      On day 2, train route between Toyama and Takayama is closed now. Please see the link below:

      Trip time is longer than usual. Even if this segment is open, it is too much to see Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa in one day. I don’t think you have enough time to see Kanazawa. Even if you don’t drop by Kanazawa, you should go though Kanazawa on the way to Osaka. So this route is right.


      Takeshi /

      1. Appreciate your quick reply, Takeshi-san. We’ll most probably just skip Takayama and go directly to Shirakawago from Toyama via local bus.

        As for all the rides needed, may i ask what passes would be more useful for us? As of the moment, I am thinking of purchasing the Tateyama Option Ticket (one-way) but not sure if there is another pass that could cover our trip to Shirakawago and Kanazawa altogether.

          1. Hi Takeshi-San,

            In that case, would you recommend for us to purchase the one way option ticket in Chubu airport upon arrival in Nagoya? then purchase all other tickets (ex. Kanazawa-Osaka) of our travel at their designated stations even without prior reservation?

            Sorry for bombarding you with a lot of questions.

            1. Hi Vina san,

              I recommended you to take the route via Shinano-Omachi instead of Nagano. But I found that you have to go to Nagano. Because Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket is sold at Nagano. You cannot get it at Nagoya and Shinano-Omachi either. Please see the link below to find the info about “Where to purchase”.

              You can purchase a train ticket at Chubu airport.

              If you can decide which train you will take, you can purchase a ticket in advance. Otherwise you have to purchase it one by one. For example, you have to purchase a ticket for Kanazawa to Osaka at Kanazawa station.


              Takeshi /

                1. Hi Vina san,

                  That is a good idea. You have to pay a regular fare but Ogizawa – Toyama fare is not far from Tateyama Kurobe option ticket price. It’s around only 500 yen higher.


                  Takeshi /

  8. Hi Takeshi-san,
    My family is planning to visit the alpine route on May 15, 2018 via Nagoya and entering the alpine route via Shiano-omachi. I plan to make it a day trip and return back to Nagoya at night. I have several questions. 1. can I buy the Shinkansen tickets from Toyama to Kanazawa and Maibara to Nagoya a few days in advance so that I don’t have to queue to buy tickets and waste time as the transfer times are a bit tight? 2. If I can’t buy the shinkansen tickets in advance, can I use my IC card to ride the Shinkansen? 3. there are 2 transfers from Toyama to Nagoya. Are the departure platforms for the transfer near to each other? Thank you and hoping for your reply.

    1. Hi Sandy san,

      1. Yes, you can. You can purchase it in advance at any major JR station. In Nagoya area, you can purchase and book it at most of JR stations.

      2. IC card does not cover Shinkansen anyway.

      3. Please see the links below:
      Maibara (Click “Maibara” to find the map in the link below)
      Usually Shirasagi arrives at platform #7 or #8 and need to Shinkansen platform at #12 or #13. But Shirasagi arrival platform may be changed. 10 minutes is okay to transfer anyway because Maibara is not a big station.


      Takeshi /

  9. 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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