Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass. Perfect deal to get Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka

Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO
Tanabata festival decoration in Takayama ©Y.Shimizu/©JNTO

Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass was released in 2014 and it has been one of the most popular deals so far. But it is supposed to be discontinued at the end of June 2015 because this deal is Shinkansen 50th years anniversary product. I have received many comments that said this deal would be continued to sell or not after July 1, 2015.

Now JR Central and JR West have made a decision to continue this product. I think they noticed this is very popular and lots of demand. The price is higher but coverage is bigger. In my opinion, it is good change even though price is higher.

In this post, I would like to share the information about this deal, Takayama – Hokuriku Area Pass with you. I will tell you the difference from Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass (available until end of June) and compare the price of pass and single fare too.

This deal will be on sale after July 1, 2015. If you travel before Jun 26, please use the following deal.
Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass

Who is eligible

Visitors who land as “Temporary Visitor” status can purchase this pass.

Types and prices

There is only 5 days pass.

TYPESAdultChild (6-11yrs)
5 Days14,000 yen7,000 yen

*5 year old or younger child is free. Maximum 2 children per one adult.

The pass must be used in consecutive days. The validity of a rail pass starts from 12 O’clock at night.

ex) If you start to use 5 days pass on May 1, the pass is expired at 23:59 on May 5.

So the price is 3,000 yen higher than Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. But the coverage area is bigger and I will tell you later about coverage.

Sales location

You CANNOT purchase this pass in Japan. You have to purchase an exchange order before you leave your country. I believe sales location is same as current pass Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass:

Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass official site

This pass will be sold after July 1, 2015. But of course, you can purchase it in advance because this pass cannot be purchased in Japan. Since the official announcement has just placed, only PDF information is available at official site.

JR Central Tourist Pass official site

I think the detailed online information will come up soon at the site above.

Coverage area and valid transportation

Kentrokuen garden is one of three best Japanese Gardens.  ©JTA/ ©JNTO
Kentrokuen garden is one of three best Japanese Gardens. ©JTA/ ©JNTO
Coverage map of Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass (Click to enlarge)
Coverage map of Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass (Click to enlarge)

The pass covers Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Gero, Gifu and Nagoya as same as old version. And this pass also covers JR trains in Osaka city area, Kansai airport, JR Takayama line between Takayama and Toyama, Hokuriku Shinkansen between Toyama and Kanazawa, and Kaetsuno bus between Shirakawago and Shin-Takaoka. Now you can access to Toyama, Gokayama / Ainokura area, and Kansai airport. This additional coverage is a big difference for some travellers. Especially you can start to use this pass right after arrival in Kansai airport. This makes your trip be much easier.

I just want to list up of trains and bus services that are covered by this pass:

JR train (limited express Haruka) between Osaka and Kansai airport
JR train within Osaka city limit
JR train (limited express Thunderbird) between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa
Hokuriku Shinkansen between Toyama and Kanazawa via Shin-Takaoka
JR train between Nagoya and Toyama via Takayama
Nohi bus between Takayama and Kanazawa via Shirakawago
Kaetsuno bus between Shirakawago and Shin-Takaoka

You can take limited express, rapid and local on the segments above. But it covers only ordinary class. This pass covers reserved seat up to four times too. And also you cannot use reserved seat on Limited Express Haruka (Kansai airport – Shin-Osaka/Kyoto) and Hokuriku Shinkansen. There are non reserved seats available on these train. So you still can take these trains. But the fastest train “Kagayaki” on Hokuriku Shikansen does not have any non reserved seat. You cannot take Kagayakai on Hokuriku Shinkansen. You have to take other two trains, Hakutaka or Tsurugi on Hokuriku Shinkansen.

Please find more details about Hokuriku Shinkansen at the following link:

Hokuriku Shinkansen, Direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo

Nohi bus is major public transportation to get Shirakawago and express bus service is operated. This bus service is covered by this pass fully but you need to book before on board. You can find the phone number and timetable at Nohi Bus Official Site.

This pass also covers another bus line, Kaetsuno bus that runs between Shirakwago and Hokuriku Shinkansen station, Shin-Takaoka. Now you can access to Gokayama and Ainokura by this pass without any extra.

This pass does not cover any trains and bus services between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto directly. You cannot take Shinkansen either. It is same condition as old version of this pass.

takayama-hokuriku-pass2

If you want to make circle tour, Osaka / Kyoto – Kanazawa – Shirakawago – Takayama – Nagoya – Osaka, Kintetsu Rail Pass may be considerable

If you are okay with taking same route to go back to Osaka or Kyoto in 5 days, you do not need to pay any extra. Now this pass covers Takayama – Toyama. So you can take a different route to go back to Osaka. You do not need to take same bus service from Takaymaa to Kanazawa via Shirakawago.

But some of you want to go down to Nagoya and make a direct access to go back to Osaka. But you have to pay around 6500 yen to go back to Osaka by Shinkansen reserved seat. If you are okay with this additional charge, you can go for it. If you want to save your extra cost, Kintetsu Rail Pass may be considerable. Kintetsu Railway’s Limited Express has same quality as JR’s Limited Express trains. It is much slower than Shinkansen. But it is cheap and also if you go to Namba, Kintetsu takes you there directly. Please find more information about Kintetsu Rail Pass, please refer the following link:

Kintetsu Rail Pass, Most affordable deal for Osaka/Kyoto-Nagoya and access to Ise.

Compare cost between pass and single fare

First of all, please see the fare table for major segments below:

One way fare

Kansai airport – Shin-Osaka by Limited Express NON reserved seat2330 yen
Kansai airport – Kyoto by Limited Express NON reserved seat2850 yen
Osaka – Kanazawa by Limited Express reserved seat7650 yen
Kyoto – Kanazawa by Limited Express reserved seat6900 yen
Nagoya – Takayama by Limited Express reserved seat6030 yen
Toyama – Takayama by Limited Express reserved seat3360 yen
Toyama – Kanazawa by Hokuriku Shinkansen NON reserved seat2810 yen
Kanazawa – Shirakawago by Nohi bus1850 yen
Takayama – Shirakawago by Nohi bus2470 yen
Kanazawa – Takayama by Nohi bus3390 yen
Shirakawago – Shin-Takaoka by Kaetsuno bus1800 yen

Let’s see the basic itineraries and compare costs. You may find more information about access to Takayama and Kazawa at the links beloiw:
How to access to Takayama by trains and buses
How to access to Kanazawa and Toyama from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya

Round trip to Shirakawago via Kanazawa from Osaka by Limited Express Thunderbird and Nohi bus

Limited Express "Thunderbird"
Limited Express Thunderbird runs between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa.

Return fares by Limited Express Thunderbird between Osaka and Kanazawa 7650 yen X 2 = 15300 yen
Return fares by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 1850 yen X 2 = 3900 yen
Total 19200 yen

Even if you don’t go to Takayama, this pass is still cheaper than single fare. If you depart from Kyoto, the pass is way cheaper than single fare too.

Round trip to Shirakawago via Takayama from Nagoya by Limited Express Wide View Hida and Nohi bus

Wide View Hida at Toyama station
Wide View Hida by KIHA85 series at Toyama station (C) JP Rail

Return fares by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Nagoya and Takayama 6030 yen X 2 = 12060 yen
Return fares by Nohi bus between Takayama and Shirakawago 2470 yen X 2 = 4940 yen
Total 17000 yen

Many travellers who stay in Nagoya want to visit Shirakawago. This pass is much cheaper than single fare as well.

One way trip to Nagoya from Osaka via Kanazawa, Shirakawago and Takayama

World Heritage Shirakawago has lots of traditional Japanese residences. ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO
World Heritage Shirakawago has lots of traditional Japanese residences. ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO

Single fare by Limited Express Thunderbird between Osaka and Kanazawa 7650 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 1850 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 2470 yen
Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Nagoya and Takayama 6030 yen
Total 18000 yen

If you arrive in KIX and depart from Chubu and make this route in 5 days, you also include Kansai airport to Osaka. This itinerary is very attractive and this pass gives you a great saving!

Small circle trip from/to Osaka via Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama and Toyama

Most of  train is operated by this fleet, E6 / W6 series.
Most of train is operated by this fleet, E6 / W6 series.

Single fare by Limited Express Thunderbird between Osaka and Kanazawa 7650 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago 1850 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Shirakawago and Takayama 2470 yen
Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Takayama and Toyama 3360 yen
Single fare by Hokuriku Shikansen and Limited Express Thunderbird between Toyama and Osaka via Kanazawa 8910 yen
Total 24240 yen

Now you can make a different route on the way back to Osaka by this pass. You have only 5 days. But you can include Toyama. this pass does not cover any local transportation in Toyama. But you can visit Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route when you are in Toyama.
*You cannot go through Alpine route to Shinano-Omachi in this itinerary. It is completely outside coverage area. You have to make a round trip to Murodo or other point on Alpine route.

Suggested itinerary
Day 1 Osaka – Kanazawa
Day 2 Kanazawa – Shirakawago – Takayama
Day 3 Takayama – Toyama
Day 4 Toyama – Alpine route – Toyama or Kanazawa
Day 5 Toyama or Kanazawa – Osaka or KIX or Kyoto

Yes. You can do it in 5 days. If you arrive in Kansai airport early morning, you can start this sample right after you arrive in Kansai. You can reach Kanazawa on day 1.

Small circle trip from/to Nagoya via Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama and Toyama

Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Nagoya and Takayama 6030 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Takayama and Shirakawago 2470 yen
Single fare by Nohi bus between Shirakawago and Kanazawa 1850 yen
Single fare by Hokuriku Shikansen between Kanazawa and Toyama 2810 yen
Single fare by Limited Express Wide View Hida between Toyama and Nagoya 7650 yen
Total 20810 yen

It is similar plan as above but depart/arrive in Nagoya. You can make a trip to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route in this itinerary too.

Suggested itinerary
Day 1 Nagoya – Takayama
Day 2 Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa
Day 3 Kanazawa – Toyama
Day 4 Toyama – Alpine route – Toyama
Day 5 Toyama – Nagoya

Assessment

As you saw the above, even though price is higher than old version, this pass is still a great deal. Actually when old version of this pass was on sale, I said “I hope this pass will be sold as regular product.” I love JR Central and JR West decisions. This deal will be

835 thoughts on “Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass. Perfect deal to get Takayama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Shirakawago from Nagoya or Osaka”

  1. Hi Takeshi san,

    Im planning my trip to shirakawago on May 27-28 from osaka to kanazawa. Just overnight to kanazawa. Is there a bus from kanazawa going to kyoto? I just need a cheap way to go see shirakawa-go from osaka then going back will stop to kyoto before heading to osaka for my return flight.
    Arriving kix may24
    May 25 osaka aquarium
    May 26 somewhere in osaka – hiking
    May27-28 kanazawa/shirakawago and kyoto if possible
    May29 nara
    May 30- dotonbori
    May 31- return flight

    Thank you

    1. Hi Meanne san,

      I am not very familiar with the bus between Kanazawa and Kyoto. It may run on this route but I don’t have any info.
      Even if it runs, you have to purchase a ticket for bus to Shirakawago. I think Takayama Hokuriku area pass is cheaper because it covers all. You may use this pass for the last 5 days of your trip. But this pass does not cover Nara. It covers JR train in downtown Osaka. You may get KIX by this pass too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi San,

    May I trouble you again? I have been doing all my research. The more I look and research, I get confused even more …

    Can you check and advise me on the below? Please … :

    Arriving at Kansai on 22 April morning – stay in Kyoto from 22-24 and depart to kanazawa on 24 . From here I planned for 1/2 day trip to shirakawa and another day to Kurobe alpine (to murodo and back to kanazawa) . The rest of the free time, I will explore kanazawa. Then on 27, I will depart to Osaka . Depart from Kansai airport on 29th morning. Booked all my hotels.

    There’s only transport to consider now. Since my stay is for about 8 days, including day of departure, I would purchase my haruka-Icoca (1 way to Kyoto ) + a reserved seat haruka ticket from tennoji to Kansai airport. Is the reserved seat necessary considering I have bulky luggage and that the golden week is approaching. Right? If so, reserved seat should be done on day of arrival in advance?

    The Takayama Hokuriku Pass ticket would be bought online and will be activated on 24 -28 (during my stay on kanazawa) . I presume the journey from Kyoto station to kanazawa and to toyama and back to Osaka are all included. And the bus trip to shirakawa too. Is this period peak period in shirakawa? Can I book/reserve a bus seat a day before my trip to shirakawa?

    The train from toyama to the alpine route is not included in the takayama-hokuriku pass, I presume.

    I also have another question. Is the takayama-hokuriku pass (5 days) better or is the Kansai-hokuriku pass (7 days) better in my case?

    1. Hi Elaine san,

      If you use ICOCA and Haruka, you cannot take a reserved seat. If you really want to take a reserved seat, you have to purchase a regular ticket. But I think non reserved is okay. Golden week will be still one week ahead. Please see the link below to find the info about reserved and non reserved.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/reserved-seat-vs-non-reserved-seat-how-to-get-a-seat-on-non-reserved-car.html

      You should book a seat for Nohi bus in advance. It’s busy in all season. You can book it one month prior to departure date. But you need to make a call. You can book it even though you don’t have an actual Takayama Hokuriku area pass. You can tell that you will use it when you book it.
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

      Kansai Hokuriku area pass covers Haruka but does not cover Nohi bus. Takayama Hokuriku area pass is better choice.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi San,

    Just want to know, if I buy Takayama Hokuriku and after takayama, i’ve plan to go to winter illumination (Nabano No Sato) at Nagoya. from nagoya station to kuwana station is still covered by Takayama Hokuiku Pass or I should buy another train / JR ticket.

    Pls your advise.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Thanks

    Ulrike Nadia

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Apologies if this has been covered in your posts but I am quite confused at the moment.

    I intend to go from Osaka to Shirakawago on a day trip. I have the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. Unfortunately Nohi bus is fully reserved.

    Seems like I can take the Shin-Takaoka – Shirakawago route with this pass. What would be the best route from Osaka (Namba) to Shin-Takaoka be with the pass?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Nasuha san,

      Just pay a few hundred yen to take subway Midousuji line from Namba to Umeda (=JR Osaka). After JR Osaka, you can use the pass to take limited express Thunderbird to Kanazawa and Hokuriku Shinkansen from Kanazawa to Shin-Takaoka. You can take Kaetsuno bus from Shin-Takaoka to Shirakawago.

      Technically you can take only JR train from JR-Namba to JR Osaka by this pass. But you need to change trains at Imamiya station and this route is sort of detour route. You should add few extra to take subway and save your time and make your trip easier.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi-san
    Can i book Nohi bus from Takayama to Shin Hotaka ropeway. Is this covered by JR Takayama Hokuriku pass.
    Do I need to reserve this ticket?

    Regards, Mei Ling

    1. Hi Mei Ling san,

      I mentioned you Shin Hotaka is outside coverage area of this pass in previous reply. You need to pay on top of Takayama Hokuriku area pass.
      Reservation is not accepted for taking this bus.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-san
        Apologies, I didn’t see the earlier reply, that’s why I asked again.
        Thank you for replying

        Regards, Mei Ling

  6. Hi!

    Just wanted to ask if the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass covers my itinerary below:

    Day 1 – Kyoto station – Kanazawa station (via JR thunderbird)
    From Kanazawa to Takayama (via Nohi Bus)
    Day 2 – Takayama to Shirakawago (via Nohi Bus) and vice versa
    Day 3 – Takayama – Toyama – Kanazawa – Shin Osaka

    Also, is the pass covered for the following:
    Takayama – Nagoya and Nagoya to Toyama – Kanazawa – Shin Osaka

    Thank you!

Before you leave your comment, please see the conditions below.
  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded but nothing happens. Your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • I cannot recommend any hotels other than which I have stayed. Basically I cannot talk about hotels in this site. The number of hotels are too many to talk about by my experience.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals.
  • Please do not ask me to reply to your inquiry by email. In this website, I would like to share all information with any readers. I do not communicate with you directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA