shirakawago winter

Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Tokyo

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

If you leave Tokyo very early morning, you can visit Kanazawa and Shirakawago as a day trip.

I would like to show you the sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago in this post.

From Tokyo to Kanazawa

The new fleet, E6 / W6 series run on Hokuriku Shinkansen.
The new fleet, E6 / W6 series run on Hokuriku Shinkansen.

The earliest train on the Hokuriku Shinkansen for Kanazawa is 06:16 departure. You can get Kanazawa at 08:46. There are many trains running between Tokyo and Kanazawa. Please find the timetable of the Hokuriku Shinkansen at JR East official site:

JR East official site – the timetable

I recommend you to see Kanazawa first. Because you can spend your time more efficiently by this order.

You will spend your time in the morning in Kanazawa. After lunch time, you can take Nohi Bus for Shirakawago.

Return trip to Shirakawago

World Heritage Site, Shirakawago (C)Akimasa Yuasa / JNTO
World Heritage Site, Shirakawago (C)Akimasa Yuasa / JNTO

Kanazawa 13:15 – (Nohi Bus) – Shirakawago 14:30
Shirakawago 17:30 – (Nohi Bus) – Kanazawa 18:45

I picked this schedule and you can enjoy 3 hours in Shirakawago. But you can make an adjustment as you like. Please find the timetable in Nohi Bus official site:

Nohi Bus official site

As you see Nohi Bus timetable, 17:30 is the last bus to go back to Kanazawa. You have three hours in Shirakawago. The next bus to Shirakawago after 13:15 is 13:40 departure from Kanazawa and arrival Shirakawago at 15:05. It is okay but it is a bit short to see the village.

Go back to Tokyo from Kanazawa

Kanazawa station was renovated before Hokuriku Shinkansen opened.
Kanazawa station was renovated before Hokuriku Shinkansen opened.

The last train on the Hokuriku Shinkansen is Kagayaki 518 at 21:00.

If you want to eat dinner in the restaurant, you can take this last train. You will have two hours. There are many restaurants in Kanazawa station building.

If you want to go back to Tokyo as soon as possible, take earlier departure Hokuriku Shinkansen. You can grab some foods at Kanazawa station and eat on board. On board sales is available on the train. But the variety of items are limited and the price of on board sales is mostly higher than the shops in the station. I recommend you to get something before boarding.

Suggested deal

Hokuriku Arch Pass is most affordable deal. It is cheaper than round trip fare by the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kanazawa. Please see the link below to find the information about this pass:

But you need to add single fare to get the bus to Shirakawago.

JR Pass is also recommended. The round trip fare by Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kanazawa is almost same as 7-day JR Pass price. Even if it does not cover bus to Shirakawago, JR Pass still works for this trip.

Nohi Bus to Shirakawago is not covered by either Hokuriku arch pass or 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.

233 thoughts on “Sample itinerary of day trip to Kanazawa and Shirakawago from Tokyo”

  1. Hi Takeshi San,
    We will be travelling to Japan on 30 Nov, following is our itinerary planned for 9 days 8 nights. Appreciate if you can advise if our itinerary is good:
    30 Nov 19 (Day 1) – Arrive Nagoya
    01 Dec 19 (Day 2) – Takayama
    02 Dec 19 (Day 3) – Takayama
    03 Dec 19 (Day 4) – Shirakawago
    04 Dec 19 (Day 5) – Kanazawa
    05 Dec 19 (Day 6) – Kanazawa
    06 Dec 19 (Day 7) – Nagoya
    07 Dec 19 (Day 8) – Nagoya
    08 Dec 19 (Day 9) – Flight from Nagoya
    Do you think we need to be at Kanazawa for 3 days? is it enough to visit Kanazawa for just 2 days 1 night? Is it worth to visit Matsumoto? planning to take bus from Takayama to Matsumoto on day 3.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Stella san,

      If you intend to visit the place only in Kanazawa city, 1 night 2 days plan is okay in my opinion. I like Matsumoto and Matsumoto castle is one of the best castles in Japan. It is the National Tresure and one of very few castle which is the orginal building.

      If you can visit Takayama, Matsumoto, Shirakawago, Kanazawa in 5 days period, you can use Shoryudo bus pass 5-day wide:
      https://www.meitetsu.co.jp/eng/ticket-info/shoryudo4.html

      This pass covers all places other than Nagoya in your trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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