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.


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.


  1. Erwin says:

    Hi Takesi, Thanks for replying.
    I’m still on process of arranging the itinerary, our planning like this (a little changing);
    D1 Tokyo Haneda
    D2 sighseeing Tokyo
    D3 Tokyo -Lake kawaguchiko (stay)
    D4 Lake Kawaguchiko-Tokyo-Nagano
    D5 Nagano-Kurobe Alpine route-Toyama
    D6 Toyama-Shirakawago-Kyoto
    D7 Kyoto
    D8 kyoto
    D9 Osaka
    D10 Osaka
    D11 Kansai Airport

    Which JR pass match with our itinerary, we do not want to take shinkansen except for kyoto to osaka route. Any sugestions ?

    Thanks for your advice

  2. Erwin says:

    Hi Takeshi, thanks for this route info.
    We have planning as this;
    1.Tokyo-toyama by night bus (stay toyama)
    2. Toyama-kurobe alpen route for half way and back to toyama
    3. Toyama-shirakawago-toyama
    4. Toyama-kyoto/nagoya ??? (Which is better)

    We are still confused which ones more reliable or more eficient, out from toyama or takayama if we’re going to kyoto ? And how to get to kyoto from toyama ?

    Thanks in advance

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Erwin,

      Toyama is a bit better to get Kyoto than Takayama. It takes just less than 3 hours from Toyama to Kyoto with changing trains at Kanazawa.


      Takeshi /

  3. SCT says:

    We are going to Japan in end Oct for 12 day. Plan to visit Takayama (2days), Kanazawa (1day), Gero (2Days), Nogoya (2days), Nikko (3days) and Tokyo (2days).

    Kindly advise what type of JR pass should we buy for the itinerary stated above.
    Thank you


  4. Eden says:

    I am traveling to Japan in a week and wanted information on how to travel from Takayama to Osaka. I have purchased a JR pass. I know that I can take the Hida Express line to Nagoya and then the Tokaido Shinkansen on to Osaka, but you also mentioned a train that runs once daily from Takayama directly to Osaka, departing Takayama at 15:35 and arriving in Osaka at 19:50. Can you please give me more information about this option, what the name of the train is and whether it is covered by the JR pass? I can’t find any other mention of it elsewhere.

  5. henyagamexgmailcom
    Henya Glazer says:

    Dear Sirs,
    What an outstanding information
    I shall be in Nagano early November 2016
    Going to kANAZAWA by train from Nagano
    How do I reach Shirakawago and Takayama from Kanazawa?
    I shall have J-railpass – but I understand you go by bus
    Should I change the order and go from Nagano first to Takayama and then to Shirakawago and then to kanazawa?
    I shall appreciate if you could answer to my mail- I am not so good on the computer

  6. Tom D says:

    Thank you for this site, it’s an excellent resource.
    What is your opinion of the fastest, most scenic route for a round trip pass from Haneda Airport to Takayam?

  7. Erin says:

    Hello.  I am traveling to Japan at the very end of February 2017.  The itinerary I have made for myself is as follows:
    Day 1- Haneda airport to Shibuya Tokyo
    Day 2- Tokyo
    Day 3- Tokyo
    Day 4- (Activate 7 day JR Pass) Travel to Nagano and then somehow to the snow monkeys in Jigokudani.
    Then travel somehow to Takayama that night?
    Day 5- Travel somehow from Takayama to Kyoto
    Day 6- Kyoto
    Day 7- Kyoto
    Day 8- Day trip from Kyoto to Nara and back to Kyoto by Miyakoji rapid trains between Kyoto Station and JR Nara Station
    Day 9- Travel somehow from Kyoto to Hakone
    Day 10- Travel somehow from Hakone to Tokyo
    Day 11- Fly out of Haneda

    Can you help me figure out at least how to get from Nagano to the snow monkeys in Jigokudani and then to Takayama that same night?

    How far in advance should I buy all the train and bus tickets?  ANY other tips or directions would be @@very much appreciate! Thank you so much for your kind help!!!

  8. Bill L. says:

    My family and I are going to Japan in July of this year for the first time. I would appreciate your advice. Below is the itinerary.

    Day 1: Arrive at Kansai International Airport at 12:00pm -> take train to hotel (staying in Shin-Osaka area) -> go to Dotonbori after check in -> back to hotel after dinner.

    Day 2: Sightseeing

    Day 3: Depart at 9:00am from Osaka to Nara -> back to Osaka at 5:00pm

    Day 4: Depart at 9:00am to Kyoto from Osaka -> check in hotel (staying in Urushitei area) -> sightseeing.

    Day 5: Sightseeing

    Day 6: Depart at 9:00am to Shirakawago from Kyoto -> check in hotel -> Sightseeing

    Day 7: Depart at noon from Shirakawago to Mt. Fuji -> check in hotel (staying in Lake Kawaguchi

    Day 8: Depart at noon to Tokyo from Mt. Fuji – > check in hotel (staying in Shinjuku area)

    Day 9: Sightseeing

    Day 10: Depart at 8:00am from Tokyo to Kamakura -> depart at 2:00pm from Kamakura to Yokosuka -> come back to Tokyo at night.

    Day 11: Sightseeing

    Day 12: Sightseeing

    Day 13: Heading to Narita International Airport at 10:00am to flight home.

    Do you think if I can cover all of the tourist spots in a sort period of time? Should I get the JR pass or the single pass and some discount pass some tourist?

    Much appreciate!

  9. Sawyer says:

    Hi Takeshi
    I’m planning for a 14 days trip to Japan. I’ll be flying into Fukuoka and back from Tokyo. The breakdown of my itinerary is as follows:
    Hakata(1 night) –> Hiroshima (2 nights) –> Osaka(3 nights) –> Nagoya(1 night) –> Magome(1 night) —>(Walking the Nakasendo way) –> Tsumago(1 night) –> Takayama(2 nights) –> Tokyo(3 nights)
    Please advise on the portion where i’ll be traveling from Nagoya ……till Takayama. I’m not sure whether this is feasible. Is there a better way to do this portion of the itinerary? The preferable mode of transport is JR and bus. Thanks for your time!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Sawyer,

      You have two options.

      1. Nagoya – Magome-/Tsumago – Matsumoto – Nagano – Toyama – Takayama
      2. Nagoya – Magome-/Tsumago – Nagoya – Takayama

      If you want to get Takayama as soon as possible, route 1 is recommended.
      If you want to have something different, take option 2. But train does not run very frequently between Toyama and Takayama.


      Takeshi /

  10. Olivia says:

    Hi, i am planning a trip to Japan in early November for 9 days 8 nights. Flight in and out from Tokyo.

    Can I do Tokyo – Nagoya – Takayama – Shirawakago – Mt Fuji – Tokyo ? Or is it possible for Tokyo – Mount Fuji – Takayama – Shirakawago – Tokyo?

    If so, how about transport? Please advice.
    Thank you

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