How to get to Takayama by a train and a bus

TakayamaChubu Area
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Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.
Takayama Old Town is very popular tourist district.

Takayama is one of the most popular destinations for overseas travelers. Especially spring and fall seasons are very popular since the festivals are held. This city is also known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawago.
I would like to tell you about the access to Takayama in this post.

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Overview

Takayama access map. Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Takayama access map. Click to view large. (C) JP Rail

Takayama is a small town but it is one of most popular tourist places in Japan in these days. The old preserved district is busy in all season. Please watch the movie below about this charming old town:

This town is located in the middle of Nagoya, Toyama, Kanazawa and Matsumoto.

Nagoya is most common gateway station to get Takayama. But there are some more ways to access to Takayama, such as Kanazawa, Toyama and Matsumoto. I would like to show you the ways to get Takayama.

Access from Tokyo, Nagoya and many other cities by the limited express Wide View Hida

Limited Express Wide View Hida at Takayama station
Limited Express Wide View Hida at Takayama station

Nagoya can be reached by the Shinkansen from Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and many more stations on the Tokaido Shinkansen easily and directly. This route is fully covered by JR Pass.

Most of travellers take the limited express Wide View Hida from Nagoya to Takayama. Travel time is 2.5 hours to get Takayama from Nagoya. This train departs from Nagoya almost every one hour. Please see the post, below to find more information about the limited express Wide Veiw Hida:

And you can get more information about Nagoya station in the link below:

Access from Osaka by the limited express Wide View Hida

There is only one round trip to Takayama from Osaka directly. Please find the timetable in the link below:

Due to COVID-19, it may be operated on a schedule different from the normal timetable. Check the train schedule on Hyperdia.
Hyperdia perfect guide, train timetable and route search engine

If you can catch this train, it is convenient. But it is only one round trip a day. Most of travelers take the Shinkansen to Nagoya and transfer to the limited express Wide View Hida.

Access from Toyama by the limited express Wide View Hida

Gassho style housing in Shirakawago.

If you travel in Hokuriku region, you may get on the limited express Wide View Hida from Toyama. Travel time is 1.5 hours. However there are only 4 round trips a day. There are local trains too. But there is no local trains that connects Toyama and Takayama directly, And also it is very slow. Please check the timetable in the link below:

Due to COVID-19, it may be operated on a schedule different from the normal timetable. Check the train schedule on Hyperdia.
Hyperdia perfect guide, train timetable and route search engine

Access from Kanazawa or Toyama via Shirakawago by Nohi bus

Nohi bus has the biggest network in this area.
Nohi bus has the biggest network in this area.

This route is not a train trip and is not covered by JR Pass. But Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass covers this bus service. This is very popular route because Shirakawago is located on the way. If you have a plan to go to Shirakawago, you may consider about visiting Shirakawago and Kanazawa. Please see the link below to find the timetable and the fare of Nohi bus:

Nohi Bus official site

The following posts also may help you to build your trip plan:

How to access to Shirakawago from Takayama, Kanazawa, Takaoka and Toyama.
How to access Kanazawa from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Yokohama, Hiroshima, Hakata and many more places. Which route is the fastest and the cheapest?

Access from Matsumoto by bus

This route is not a train trip and is not covered by JR Pass either. But if you want to access to Takayama from Nagano or Matsumoto, you may use this route. This bus service is also operated by Nohi bus:

Nohi Bus official site

This route is not covered by Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass either.

I traveled from Matsumoto to Takayama via Shin-Hotaka by this bus. Please find my trip report in the movie below. You can find the interior of the bus, the scenery and the bus stops on the way.

Takayama station and Takayama bus terminal

Both the station and the bus terminal are located side by side.

Takayama station and Nohi bus Takayama Bust Terminal (behind the staiton building)

Takayama station is very small. It has only two platforms and three tracks. The station building is very small and it has only one ticket gate.

Please watch the movie below to see whole Takayama station and the bus terminal:

Overview of Takayama station
Overview of Takayama station

There are many bus services from Nohi Bus Takayama bus terminal. You can catch the bus to Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Matsumoto, Shin-Hotaka at this bus terminal.

Takayama bus terminal
Takayama bus terminal
Bus stops are located in front of bus terminal.
Bus stops are located in front of bus terminal.
Ticket window in bus terminal
Ticket window in bus terminal
Convenience store is in the terminal building.
Convenience store is in the terminal building.

I hope this post helped you to build your trip plan to Takayama.

Comments

  1. Serina says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    Below is my itinerary for my trip in Japan:
    Day 1: Arrive Osaka Kix (stay 1 nite near Kix)
    Day 2-4: Osaka > Kyoto
    Day 5-7: Kyoto > Takayama
    Day 8: Takayama > Osaka
    Day 9: Osaka
    Day 10: Departure

    I would like to travel from Kyoto to Takayama via Nagoya, preferably by LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW).
    Please advise me which type of rail pass is suitable for this trip if I do not want to get the JR pass.

    Arigatou gozaimasu.

  2. Sam says:

    Hi, may I ask if I’m travelling from Tokyo to Takayama what is the recommended JR pass to buy? From Takayama to Jigokudani Monkey Park can the JR pass can be used too?

    Thank you.

  3. Tom Livingstone says:

    Hi there, I am travelling to Japan on 28th September, arriving in Tokyo on that day and staying there for 4 nights before travelling to Takayama from there and staying there for 2 nights. I am then travelling from there to Kyoto and staying there for 4 nights. We will buy a 7 day JP rail pass which will cover us from the day we travel from Tokyo to Takayama onwards.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. Which is the best way (in terms of scenary) to travel from Tokyo to Takayama? I can see two options; via Nagoya, and via Toyama. I have read that both the trips are scenic, but i cant tell which would be the best!

    2. What is the best way to get from Takayama to Kyoto?

  4. Tammy says:

    HiTakeshi-san,
    I want to spend 4 days 3 nights in Kanazawa, Shiriwaga-Go and Takayama. In your opinion which way is easier for transit and travel time saving:
    3 days 2 night in Kanazwa, then go to Takayama via Shiriwaga-Go, then stay in Takayama for 1 night, back to Tokyo the next day late afternoon from there.
    or
    4 days 3 nights in Kanazawa, side trips to Shiriwaga-Go and Takayama, then go back to Tokyo the last day late afternoon.
    Also please advise the transport from Kanazawa or Takayama to Tokyo by JR train. Thanks

  5. Tammy says:

    Hi Takeshi / JPRail.com, Thanks a lot for your helpful advise. I will go to Fjui area first then back to shinjuku from Hakone in the late afternoon. Do you think it is worth it to take the romance car? It might be too late have any good view at that travel time. What is your opinion?

    • Hi Tammy,

      I recommend you to take Romancecar. Otherwise you have to transfer at Odawara and train is a regular commute car. It’s not a good idea to take this kind of car to travel with luggage.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Kerrie Lonn says:

    We are travelling in one day one way from Tokyo to Kanazawa (staying there for 2nights) not on a JR pass until later. What is the most scenic interesting way to get there either by bus or train or part of alpine route ( maybe even a day trip out of Kanazawa? Not sure how much time is needed to see scenery?

  7. stephanie says:

    Hi Takeshi

    I am travelling to Japan in Oct 2015.

    I am planning to go to Osaka, Kyoto, Takayama, Shirakawa-Go & Tokyo.

    Total duration is about two weeks.

    I will be landed at Osaka and fly off from Tokyo.

    Can you please advise how do I get to each places by train/buses. Japan railway lines are too complicated for me. there is two many routes. Can you please advise which routes are the quickest way you would recommend

    Thanks

    • Hi Stephanie,

      My most recommended route is Osaka-Kyoto-Kanazawa-Shirakawago-Takayama-(via Nagoya)-Tokyo. But if want to go to Shirakawago without baggage, my route is not recommended. Because you will visit Shirakawago with baggage. There are lockers and baggage storage. But if you don’t have baggage, obviously much easier. However Kanazawa is very nice city and worth visiting.

      It’s so easy to complete this route in two weeks. 3 days is okay for Takayama and Shirakawago. So you still have 10 days left for Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. I think you can add some more places to visit. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. KAI SEONG says:

    Plan going to Takayama – Shirakawago for 4-5days.
    if i plane to take train from Haneda to Nagoya, then book 5days JR-Hokuriku ticket.
    is it the trip deal.

    • Hi Kai,

      What are you going to do after Takayama/Shirakawago? Are you going back to Tokyo or going to Osaka?
      I need to see the whole part of your itinerary before choosing the deal.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • KAI SEONG says:

        Dear Takeshi-san,

        Plan: Tokyo -Nagoya – Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa – Tokyo.
        I will reach Haneda on 24/10/15 11pm. so will go to Nagoya on 25/10/15 to heading to takayama.

        Tokyo – Nagoya – single trip JR train (25/10/2015)
        Nagoya – Takayama – Shirakawago – Kanazawa – Nagoya – Hokuriku pass (26/10/15-30/10/15)
        Nagoya – Tokyo – single trip JR train (31/10/2015)

        Tokyo city- 2days Tokyo subway ticket (31/10/15 – 1/11/15)

        My return flight at Haneda.

        thank you

        • Hi Kai san,

          JR Pass 7 days is better choice for you. It covers all train trips from Oct 25 to 31. You have to add bus fare for trip to Shirakawago. But JR pass + bus fare is cheaper than single fare (Tokyo – Nagoya round trip) + Takayama Hokuriku Pass. If you use JR pass, you can go back to Tokyo from Kanazawa directly by Hokuriku Shinkansen.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-kanazawa.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • KAI SEONG says:

            Hi Takeshi-san,

            So, if i buy 7day national pass then it will include Kanazawa – Tokyo by Hokuriki Shinkansen too?

            thank you.

            regards,
            Kai Seong

          • kai says:

            Dear Takeshi-san,

            As i checked on Hyperdia, round trip Tokyo – Nagoya – JPY 12520.
            So, if JPY12520 + 13500=26020

            7day national pass =29110

            Is my statement correct?
            rgds,
            Seong

            • Hi Seong,

              JPY 12520 is only base fare. If you take Shinkansen, you have to pay another JPY 4500 one way. If you take a local train from Tokyo to Nagoya, the fare is only 6260 yen one way. But it’s local commute train and not realistic to move from Tokyo to Nagoya by this kind of trains because of very slow and many transfers.

              Hokuriku Shinkansne is covered fully by JR pass. You can get back to Tokyo from Kanazawa directly by JR pass.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. Rosni says:

    Dear Takeshi
    Is there a direct bus from Nagoya airport to Takayama?
    Thank you.

  10. Felicia says:

    Takeshi-san,

    I’m going to stay in Kanazawa, and make a 1 day trip to both Shirakawago & Takayama.
    I understand that the most efficient way to go there is by taking the Nohi Bus.
    But when I view their schedule, seems like they only stop at Shirakawago for 45 minutes. I’m afraid it’s not enough time to go explore the World Heritage place.
    Can I buy separate bus tickets as for; Kanazawa-Shirakawago, Shirakawago-Takayama, and Takayama-Kanazawa ?

    Thank you.
    Regards,
    Felicia

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