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

Takayama has lovely preserved street. It is one of most popular destinations in Japan. ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO
Takayama has lovely preserved street. It is one of most popular destinations in Japan. ©Akimasa Yuasa/©JNTO

I have received many inquiries about trip to Takayama and Shirakawago from both Nagoya and Osaka. We have never had a deal for Takayama from Kansai area, such as Osaka and Kyoto. Now JR Central and JR West have released Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. This pass includes not only train trip to Takayama and Kanazawa but also bus trip to World Heritage Shirakawago from both Kanazawa and Takayama.

In this post, I would like to share the information about this useful deal, Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass with you. And I will compare the price of pass and single fare too.

*I posted about newer version of this pass. Please find the details about newer version of this deal, please see the link below:
https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/takayama-hokuriku-area-pass-perfect-deal-to-get-takayama-kanazawa-toyama-shirakawago-from-nagoya-or-osaka.html

Who is eligible

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

Types and prices

There is only 5 days pass.

TYPES Adult Child (6-11yrs)
5 Days 10,500 yen 5,250 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.

Sales location

You CANNOT purchase this pass in Japan. You have to purchase an exchange order before you leave your country. Please find the sales location at the link below:

Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass official site

*This pass will be sold until June 26, 2015.

*This pass will be on sale after July 1 as “Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass (Takayama Hokuriku Area Shusyu Kippu)”. The price will be higher at 13,500 yen for 5 days. But it will include Toyama and Kansai airport. And also it covers the bus between Shin-Takaoka and Shirakawago.Please find the details about newer version of this deal, please see the link below:
https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/takayama-hokuriku-area-pass-perfect-deal-to-get-takayama-kanazawa-toyama-shirakawago-from-nagoya-or-osaka.html

Coverage area and valid transportation

Kentrokuen garden is one of Three Japanese Gardens.  	© Kanazawa City/© JNTO
Kentrokuen garden is one of Three Japanese Gardens. © Kanazawa City/© JNTO

takayama-hokuriku-pass

The pass covers Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Gero, Gifu and Nagoya. This pass is very suitable for the tourist who travel from Osaka/Nagoya to Shirakawago via Kanazawa, from Nagoya to Shirakawago and Nagoya-Takayama-Shirakawago-Kanazawa-Osaka/Kyoto (or revere).

As you see the map above, this pass covers the following trains and bus services:

JR train between Osaka/Kyoto and Kanazawa
JR train between Nagoya and Taayama
Nohi Bus lines between Takayama and Kanazawa via Shirakawago

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.

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 does not cover any train/bus services between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto directly. You cannot take Shinkansen either.

takayama-hokuriku-pass2

So if you think about circle route, like, Nagoya – Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa – Osaka/Kyoto – Nagoya, you have to pay extra for the trip between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto. If you look for cheaper option than Shinkansen to Kyoto/Osaka from Nagoya, Kintetsu Rail Pass may be considerable.

Compare cost between pass and single fare

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

One way fare

Osaka – Kanazawa by Limited Express reserved seat 7650 yen
Kyoto – Kanazawa by Limited Express reserved seat 6900 yen
Nagoya – Takayama by Limited Express reserved seat 6030 yen
Kanazawa – Shirakawago by Nohi bus 1850 yen
Takayama – Shirakawago by Nohi bus 2470 yen
Kanazawa – Takayma by Nohi bus 3390 yen

Let’s see the basic itineraries and compare costs.

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, this itinerary is very attractive and gives you a great deal

As you saw the above, this pass gives us a huge deal. Actually I have been looking for the deals to get Shirakawago and Takayama from both Nagoya and Osaka. This is that I have been looking for. I hope this pass will be sold as regular product.

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

  1. Hi Takeshi, I intend to buy the Takayama-Hokuriku area pass for my holiday itinerary (Nov to Dec) below. I will be travelling with 2 kids and a big lugguage. Please advise if the pass can be used for this plan and any recommendations please:

    30 Nov – Osaka Airport (whats the best way to get to Nagoya?)

    1-3 Dec – Nagoya (Do i need to book the train seats to Takayama with the pass? How can i book)

    3-5 Dec – Takayama (Do i need to book the bus seats to Shirakawago? How can i book?)

    5-6 Dec – Shirakawago

    6-7 Dec – Kyoto

    7-11 Dec – Osaka (Any pass to recommend if i want to go Nara and USJ for day trip?)

    Many thanks.

    Ho san

    1. Hi Ho,

      If you arrive in Kansai airport, the following route is the best way.

      Kansai airport (Nankai railway) Namba/Osaka-Namba (Kintetsu railway) Nagoya
      There is no deals to cover this trip. You should use Kintetsu railway limited express train from Osaka-Namba to Nagoya. You need to pay express surcharge but if you don’t, you need to change trains several times and all trains are commute train. It’s not a good choice for travelers.
      http://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/about/limited_express/index.html

      You can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass. If you go to Kyoto via Kanazawa, you don’t need to pay extra.

      You can exchange the pass in advance when you arrive in Kansai airport. You can book a seat when you exchange the pass. But you need to make a call to book a seat for the bus to Shirakawago.
      https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

      You can find the deal for the trip to outside Osaka, such as Nara in the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html

      Please see the link below to find the local deal in Kyoto and Osaka:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      You need to add local deal in Kyoto too because Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not cover any local transport in Kyoto. You can take train from Kyoto to Osaka.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I will be visiting Japan in February – March 2018. The following is our itinerary:

    1. KIX – Kanazawa (Stay at Kanazawa)
    2. Kanazawa – Suganuma (Stay at Suganuma)
    3. Shirakawago – Takayama (Stay at Takayama)
    4. Takayama – Hirayu (check in) – Shinhotaka Ropeway – Hirayu (onsen + ski) (Stay at Hirayu)
    5. Hirayu – Gero – Kyoto (Stay at Kyoto)
    6. Kyoto
    7. Kyoto
    8. Kyoto – Nara – Osaka (Amazing Pass) (Stay at Osaka)
    9. Universal Studios Osaka
    10. Osaka – KIX

    Can you kindly advise if purchasing a Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass is more worth it than just purchasing normal bus and train tickets? As the pass does not cover some of the places that we are visiting (eg: Gero to Kyoto) and the last five days. Can you suggest us any better alternatives?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jyniie san,

      Takayama Hokuriku Toruist Pass is now sold as Takayama Hokuriku area pass. The price is a big higher, Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/takayama-hokuriku-area-pass-perfect-deal-to-get-takayama-kanazawa-toyama-shirakawago-from-nagoya-or-osaka.html

      You may use this pass for the first 5 days. But it does not cover Takayama-Hirayu-Shin Hotaka-Takayama. You need to add single fare. And also after visiting Geo, you will travel to Kyoto via Nagoya or Gifu. Gifu or Nagoya to Kyoto is not covered either. Single tikcet is required. Takayama Hokuriku area pass is your choice anyway even though you need to add many.

      You can add local deal after arriving Kyoto. Please see the link below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Single fare is required for Kyoto-Nara-Osaka.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi
    We will be in Nagoya early Dec for 9-10days.
    Hv planned a 2nights stay in Nagano towards the end of the trip, before returning to Nagoya for the last night before flight departure the next day.
    I am looking at day trips from Nagano to Hida Takayama and Shirakawago as well.
    Will the Takayama Hokuriku Pass be useful to get?
    Should we do either Takayama/Shirakawago en route to Nagano/back from Nagano or as separate day trips?
    Thanks!
    Joe

    1. Hi Joe,

      This pass does not help your trip from Nagano to Takayama. Because this pass does not cover for Nagano to Toyama. You cannot get the worth of this pass after arrival in Toyama. Unfortunately regular ticket is your choice and it’s cheaper.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi
        Thanks for the prompt reply.
        We will be based in Nagoya for the first 6 days .
        If we make day trips to Takayama/Shirakawago from Nagoya, is it cost effective to get the pass?
        Thanks and regards
        Joe

  4. Hello Takeshi,

    I would like to know if Takayama-Hokuriku pass is suitable for my itinerary and do i need to get Kansai Wide area pass also?
    Please kindly advise which itinerary stated below is more feasible?

    Itinerary A
    3 Feb: Nagoya – Takayama
    4 Feb Takayama-Shirakawago
    5 Feb: Shirakawago-Kanazawa
    6 Feb: Kanazawa – Kaga Onsen
    7 Feb: Kaga Onsen – Kyoto – Nara – Yamazaki 18 distillery – Kyoto
    8 Feb: Kyoto – Osaka
    9 – 10 Feb: Osaka
    11 Feb: Osaka – KIX

    Itinerary B
    3 Feb: Nagoya – Takayama
    4 Feb Takayama-Shirakawago
    5 Feb: Shirakawago-Kanazawa
    6 Feb: Kanazawa
    7 Feb: Kanazawa – Kyoto – Kinosaki Onsen
    8 Feb: Kinosaki Onsen- Osaka
    9 – 10 Feb: Osaka
    11 Feb: Osaka – KIX

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Lai,

      If you do plan A, Takayama Hokuriku area pass until you get Kyoto. Single ticket to get Nara and Kyoto to Osaka are required. And add local deal for Kyoto, Osaka and Osaka to KIX.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      For plan B, you need to add Kansai wide are pass after you reach Kyoto on 7th.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi,
    Thanks for the reply.

    For Day 2, do u mean that I can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass to ride JR Train to USJ and other places in Osaka?

    Day 3-5 – I am thinking to take the train all the way to & from Takayama because people in my travel group (9 ladies) mostly will bring along big luggages, so i am afraid it would be inconvenient to drag it on the bus. We will be staying at Takayama for 2 nights and will use the pass to go to Shirakawago/Hida-Furukawa after we drop-off our luggages ^^; From Takayama to Shirakawago/Kanazawa, if we want to use Nohi bus, do we still need to call to book tickets or can directly go to Takayama Nohi Bus Center to get the tickets? Should I call them 1 month earlier or a day earlier is ok?

    About the Kansai One pass, maybe I should buy at Kansai Airport when I arrived and use it from Day 1 @ Osaka (instead of buying Osaka Amazing Pass) and continue using it to Kobe/Kyoto/Nara.
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    1. Hi Syara,

      You can use this pass to take JR local train in Osaka. Please see the link below:
      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

      Most of express bus has a big luggage space. You don’t need to keep your luggage at your seat. But most of train do not have luggage space. You need to have your luggage at your space.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

      So for example, when you travel from Kanazawa to Takayama, I mentioned two ways, bus from Kanazawa to Takayama and train from Kanazawa to Toyama to Takayama. In this case, bus is better choice if you have a big luggage.

      I highly recommend you to book a seat for the bus one month earlier. Your group is a big. Shirakawago is very very popular in these days. You can take some buses from Takayama without reservation but it’s first come first serve basis. If you take a bus from Kanazawa, reservation is required. Anyway advanced reservation is required.

      You should get Kansai one pass. Don’t mix up with Osaka amazing pass and Kansai one pass. Kansai one pass is sort of ICOCA. It does not give you unlimited ride. It gives you convenience and discount. Osaka amazing pass includes major attractions and unlimited subway ride in Osaka. If you are sure to visit many places in Osaka, Osaka amazing pass is better. It’s totally up to your trip plan.

      And also you didn’t mention you will arrive in Kansai on day 1. You said Osaka-Kobe-Osaka. But if you arrive in KIX on day 1 and make a trip to Kobe, you should use Kansai thru pass 3 days for day 1, day 5 to Nara and either day 6 or 7.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      This is cheaper than using Kansai one pass

      And also if you will go to KIX from Kyoto on day 7, you should start using Takayama Hokuriku area pass on day 3. You can take express train Haruka from Kyoto to KIX by this pass.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/kansai-airport-limited-express-haruka.html

      You may use Osaka amazing pass or Kansai one pass or other deal for day 2 in this case.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thanks for the reply. Here is my plan from the day arrived until end:-

        23 Oct (9.30pm) – arrived KIX, will be staying in Osaka for 3 nights (KIX-Namba-Noda(Hanshin Line))
        24 Oct – morning to Kobe, around Osaka later in the afternoon/evening
        25 Oct – half of my group will go to USJ, another half will visit around Osaka
        26 Oct – early train from Osaka to Kanazawa-Takayama. Stay in Takayama for 2 nights.
        27 Oct – Takayama and around
        28 Oct – going to Kyoto and visit around Kyoto. Will be staying in Kyoto (near Nijo stn) for 3 nights.
        29 Oct – around Kyoto & Nara (still planning, changed Nara to next day so I can use Kansai Thru Pass 3 days?)
        30 Oct – around Kyoto (still planning)
        31 Oct – early train to KIX. Flight departs 11.00am

        Maybe I would buy single tickets (or Kansai 1 pass) to and from KIX, buy Takayama-Hokuriku pass (26th to 28th) & Kansai Thru Pass 3 days (24th, 29th & 30th). What do u think?

        -Syara-

        1. Hi Syara,

          Your choice of tickets is right.
          You can activate Takayama Hokuriku area pass on 25th. It does not help you so much but it’s valid for 5 days anyway.

          You can use Haruka discount ticket for Kyoto to KIX.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/icoca-and-haruka-ticket-very-flexible-and-good-deal-for-tourist-who-stay-in-kansai.html

          Haruka takes you to KIX from Kyoto directly.
          http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/intervaltime.html?dep_node=KYOTO&arv_node=KANSAI%20AIRPORT&search_target=intervaltime&diagram=201932&year=2017&month=9&day=20&searchday=20170920

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi,
            thanks for all the replies. Very helpful for my trip! I am glad i found this page ^^

            Cheers,
            Syara

  6. Hi Takeshi,
    I am going to Osaka end of next month. Pls advise whether is it worth to take Takayama – Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass for D3 to D5 based on my draft plan below:-

    D1: Osaka-Kobe-Osaka (ICOCA)
    D2: Osaka-USJ- around Osaka (Osaka Amazing Pass)
    D3: Osaka-Takayama (without bus)
    D4: Takayama-Shirakawago-Takayama-Hida Furukawa-Takayama
    D5: Takayama-Kanazawa (without bus) -Kyoto-Nara
    D6: Kyoto (ICOCA)
    D7: Kyoto (ICOCA)

    thank you!

    1. Hi Syara,

      You can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass for day 2 to 5. Even if you use Osaka amazing pass on day 2, you need to take JR train to USJ which is not covered by Osaka amazing pass.

      On day 3, you need to go to Kanazawa first. And then take a bus to Takayama via Shirakawago. Or take Shinkansen from Kanazawa to Toyama and another train from Toyama to Takayama. So if you leave early morning from Osaka on day 3, you can drop by Shirakawago or Hida-furukawa on the way to Takayama if you like.

      On day 5, you cannot go to Nara by this pass. It covers the trip until you get Kyoto. After arriving Kyoto, you need to add single fare or using ICOCA. You can use Kansai one pass instead of ICOCA. It’s same type card as ICOCA. But Kansai one pass offers discount at many attractions. It’s better choice than ICOCA.
      https://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      On day 2, do you really need Osaka amazing pass? You have to visit at least three attractions. If you go to USJ, you will spend many hours there. Actually even if you spend one full day in USJ, it may not be enough. I think USJ + 3 attractions in one day is very very tight. Please make sure where you want to go.
      https://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/en/facility/free

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hello Takeshi,

    I want to ask you whether the Takayama Hokuriku Pass will be appropriate for my trip.

    19/9 – Osaka – Kyoto
    21/9 – Kyoto – Takayama (via Kanazawa)
    22/9 – Takayama – Shirakawago – Takayama
    23/9 – Takayama – Osaka (via Kanazawa)

    Can i use the Takayama Hokuriku Pass?

    Cheers.

      1. So,

        19/9 – Osaka – Kyoto via LTD EXPRESS THUNDERBIRD

        21/9 – Kyoto – Takayama (via Kanazawa) via LTD EXPRESS THUNDERBIRD & NOHI BUS

        22/9 – Takayama – Shirakawago – Takayama via NOHI BUS

        23/9 – Takayama – Osaka (via Kanazawa) via LTD EXPRESS THUNDERBIRD & NOHI BUS

        Correct?

          1. Yay, thanks alot for the reply!

            One more question, Kansai Airport – Kyoto via LTD EXPRESS HARUKA is also included in the Takayama Hokuriku Pass right?

            Cheers.

      2. Hi Takeshi,
        Have bought All Japan JR pass. Need your advise on what’s the best/fastest route to get to Takayama and Shirakawago from Kyoto for Full day trip?
        As we will be going back to Kyoto after day trip, should we visit Takayama 1st then Shirakawago or the other way round?
        Need your advise on this, as this the 1st time me and family travelling to Kyoto.

        Thanks!

        Regards
        Kevin Khua

        1. Hi Kevin,

          You will take the following route:
          Kyoto (Shinkansen) Nagoya (limited express Wide View Hida) Takayama
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-access-to-takayama-by-trains-and-buses.html

          In this link, you may find the direct train from Kyoto to Takayama but do not take this train. You need to leave from Kyoto much earlier. Otherwise you cannot visit both places. You may find the timetable at Hyperdia:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

          It doesn’t matter which place you visit first, Shirakwago or Takayama. You can find the bus timetable in the link below. Try to find the good connection at Takayama station.
          https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/highwaybus/shirakawago.pdf

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

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