How to get to Takayama by a train and a bus

TakayamaChubu Area
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.

Overview

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

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.

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

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

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

Comments

  1. Maricris says:

    Hi Takeshi:

    Can you please help us see which JR pass and which Shinkansen line is best for our trip on Dec. 30-Jan 1 ? We will be a family of 6. and will be coming from Tokyo:

    Dec 30- depart Tokyo for Takayama (via Nagoya)
    pm take bus to Shinhotaka Okuhida Onsen-go (is the bus covered by the JR PASS?)

    DEC. 31-Bus to Takayama. Late morning depart for Shirakawago. Then proceed to Gokayama. Then Takaoka, Matto, to stay in an onsen. Kanazawa ryokans are all full so we were booked in a small village outside Kanazawa. Is this accessible by bus?

    Jan 1 late afternoon Shinkansen to Tokyo from Kanazawa

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Maricris,

      You can take Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya and take Wide View Hida to Takayama. JR Pass does not cover any bus services around Takayama. And you may also take Hokuriku Shinkansen from Kanazawa to Tokyo.

      Sorry but I have no idea about the access to your accommodation near Kanazawa. Please ask your accommodation about access.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Maricris says:

        Thank you Takeshi. I gather from your reply that individual tickets are more advisable for us than trying to get a JR Pass?

        Just want to say, that your website has been of invaluale help to me and I would imagine to all travelers to Japan.

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
          Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

          Hi Maricris,

          Actually JR Pass may be cheaper even though it does not cover any bus. Train fare from Tokyo to Takayama via Nagoya and Kanazawa to Tokyo is almost same as JR Pass 7 days pass. You can take a train in Tokyo before/after trip to Kanazawa and Takayama. I think JR Pass gives you better value.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Yew says:

    Hi Takeshi san,
    Good day to you.
    My plan trip to Takayama and stay there for one night on 10/12/2015 and the next day going to Shirakawa-go, can i know whether there is snow falling on that period?

    Thank you,
    Yew

  3. Ida says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I am traveling with my friends from Tokyo and want to see Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa. We allotted 4 days for the these cities and I couldn’t really figure out which city to go first and stay in order to take advantage of our JRpass and not to move from lodging to lodging every night. We will leave the area to Kyoto afterward. Please help and thank you very much.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail.com says:

      Hi Ida,

      You may take Shinkansen to get Nagoya and transfer to limited express Wide View Hida to Takayama. You may stay there for two nights. And then take Nohi bus (JR pass does not cover) to get Shirakawago from Takayama. After visiting Shirakawgo, take Nohi bus again to get Kanazawa. You may stay one night and next going to Kyoto.

      If you don’t like to visit Shirakawago with luggage, you can make a day trip from Takayama. When you move to Kanazawa, you can take train to Kanazawa via Toyama. There are luggage storage in Shirakawago but this is one of you choices.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Dear Takeshi

    I would like to get your guidance on whether I should obtain the JR East pass and the Hokuriku area pass for my travel itinerary below or just purchase single fares along the way.
    My total stay in Japan is 16 days consisting of the following travels:
    Day 1 : Narita to Tokyo
    Day 4: Tokyo to Takayama
    Day 7: Takayama to Nozawa Onsen
    Day 13: Nozawa Onsen to Tokyo
    Day 16: Tokyo to Narita

    I have looked into the various train options I can take and it seems I can travel to Takayama via Nagoya or Nagano, however the Nozomi train is not covered in the pass, I believe? As I will be travelling to Nozawa Onsen after Takayama, am I better off taking the Hokuriku Shinkansen route option? I understand this is only valid for 5 days so I am not sure how to go about maximizing my pass for my entire trip, as I am staying in Nozawa Onsen for 6 nights before heading back to Tokyo.

    Your advice and guidance on which option I should take is very much appreciated!

    Kind regards, Ching

  5. Johan says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    We are planning to go to Takayama on December 20.
    To get to Takayama should reach Nagoya first.
    To get to Nagoya, would it be faster from Shin Osaka or from Tokyo ?

  6. May says:

    Dear Takeshi,
    I am planning to go to the following places in Japan for 12 days and I hope you could give comments on the rail passes:

    Chibu airport to Nagoya
    Nagoya to Takayama (1 day) – shoryudo highway bus ticket
    Takayama to shirakawago -> Takayama (1 day) – shoryudo highway bus ticket
    Takayama to Nagoya (1day) – shoryudo highway bus ticket
    Nagoya to Kyoto (4 days) – 5 days Kintetsu pass or kodama per trip ticket
    Kyoto to Nara – 5 days Kintetsu Pass
    Nara to Osaka (1 day) – 5 days Kintetsu Pass
    Osaka to Hiroshima- JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass (1 day)
    Hiroshima to Kobe to Osaka – JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass
    4days) –
    Osaka to Kansai airport – JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass or Nankai rapid per trip

    Are the above suggestions of rail passes viable or are there better options to cut down our traveling time between Nagoya and Kyoto and from Kyoto to Osaka or Osaka to Kansai airport?

    Thank you

  7. wanderlustwithrap
    Rachel says:

    Hi,

    I would like to know how can i get to Shirakawa-go from Takayama.
    My plan is as follow:-
    Morning i will leave from Kanazawa to Takayama to check in and deposit my luggage. And from there, i will do walk around takayama and shirakawa-go. At night, i will go back to the hostel to rest for a night before i hit tokyo the next day.

    I check the bus and it is quite expensive (is it the cheapest way?) and i cannot use JR pass.

  8. Lily Chua says:

    Hi Takeshi-San,
    I would like to have your guidance for our coming trip to the following places:

    To arrive Japan on Wed, 25 Nov

    Tokyo
    Mount Fuji (plus Gotemba)
    Takayama and
    Shirakawa-go

    How should we plan for our itinerary?

    Should we start directly from:
    Nagoya (Chubu airport) or
    Tokyo (Narita airport)

    to reach Takayama for 1 night rest.

    Or would it better we stay 1 night in Tokyo first and then , start next day to Takayama.

    These are our intentions to cover the places :

    Tokyo :
    Disney SEA
    Tokyo Sea Life Park

    Mount Fuji
    Gotemba factory outlet

    Takayama main town
    Shiragawa-Go

    Can these plan work :
    Plan A:

    Narita to Tokyo: 1 night (arrival early morning 0800)

    Tokyo out to Takayama : 1 night
    (Via either Hokuriku Shinkansen or
    Tokaido Shinkansen )

    Takayama to Gotemba : 1 night
    (Please advise the best route to go about)

    Gotemba to Tokyo: 3 nights

    Or any other better plan B itinerary that I should follow.

    I would love to hear from you soon…

    Many thanks in advance,
    Li
    Singapore

  9. Riley says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    We have an upcoming trip to Nagoya in December. We are arriving noon time on the 20th and planning to go to Takayama the next day. Can we still get reserved seats Hida Limited Express Train tickets when we buy on the afternoon of the 20th for a morning travel on the 21st? Thank you.

  10. Nicole says:

    Hi,
    I would like to check out the following should I buy single fare or getting JR pass
    Osaka- 2 days
    Hiroshima- 3 days
    Mt Fuji- 1 day
    Tokyo- 3 days

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