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. Ratna says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    I’m staying in Giro for 4 nights to access Takayama for the spring festival on 14th and 15th April. what trains would you recommend from/to Giro to Takayama and is there a website that I can book the train seats for family of four, as you mentioned that its busy season.

    Many thanks
    Ratna

  2. Janet Chua says:

    Hi Takeshita

    Hubby and I , will be Tokyo for 5 days, after completing our cruise at Yokohama.
    As it is less than 7 days, it costs more to buy the JR Rail pass ,can you please advise us as to the best and economical way to travel from:
    Yokohama to Takayama
    Then
    Return trip Takayama to Shinjuku
    In Tokyo we will be just visiting the suburbs .

    By the way, can we buy the Suica card and use it on Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya? Then on wide view Hida,
    The Matsumoto and Kanazawa line?

  3. Wan Wam says:

    hi takeshi,
    Im planning to visit Shirakawago. What is the easiest way for travelling from Nagoya to Shirakawago? however, from your post it stated to take hida wide view from Nagoya to Takayama and then take bus from takayama to Shirakawago. If I going to use the route do I need to reserve seat for the hida wide view and bus from takayama to Shirakawago? are there any limited space and what’s the travelling time

  4. Phaik Lee Tan says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I’m planning to leave Takayama for Nagoya by train so that I can get the connecting flight from Nagoya to Narita Airport.
    Are there trains running every hour from Takayama to Nagoya?

    When I reach Nagoya station, which train line do I take to go to Narita? Do I go upstairs or downstairs for the train to Narita?

    Thanks,
    Phaik Lee

  5. Meichan says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Will be making a trip to Takayama from Kanazawa.
    Understand that i can take a nohi bus from Kanazawa. But since i will be getting the Jr pass. Was thinking whether can i use it to take the JR route from Takayama to Kanazawa via toyama. Will it be covered by the jr pass?

  6. iszharudin says:

    Takeshi-san,
    I plan to visit a day trip shirakawago in mid dec 2016. Id it already snow at that time? What will be the total cost trip?

  7. Amy says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    I still couldn’t make up my mind and would like to hear your opinion :- my trips should be like this – tokyo depart thn will arrive either kanazawa or takayama thn to shirakawa-cho. Should i stay a night in shirakawa or takayama?If stay a night at Shirakawa thn the next day i will depart to takayama thn back to tokyo later or if i stay at takayama thn depart from tokyo – takayama check in thn the next day will go to shirakawa -kanazawa before back to tokyo. Which plan better? So confusing.
    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Amy

  8. eunice says:

    Hi Takeshi San

    I am making a trip to Shirakawa village from Osaka in April 2017.

    2 options:

    1) Take the Limited Express Wide View Hida from Osaka to Takayama then a bus to shirakawa. What is the timing for this train.

    2) Take shinkansen from Osaka to Nagoya and then take the Limited Express Wide View Hida from Osaka to Takayama.

    Which is the better option with regards to timing, pricing and convenience?

    Or is there another better option than the above 2?

    Thank you & Regards

  9. Ellen says:

    Hello Takashi,
    I have made reservation on Nori bus website for the single trip from Takayama to Shirakawago. However, there is no credit card payment option available. May I know if I could pay at convenience store by credit card on arrival a couple of days before the actual ride please? Sorry to bother you. Thanks.

  10. Will says:

    Hi takeshi,

    Can i reserve seat from nagoya to takayama via hida wide view when i arrive at narita airport JR ticket office with my jr pass?

    Can the activation of jrpass start on a later date when we a leaving tokyo for nagoya? Is seat reservation on nationwide travel possible even when activation is on later date.

    Thanks

    • Hi Will,

      Yes, you can. For example, when I visited Japan last time on February 2. I arrived at Narita airport and exchanged JR pass there. I started to use JR Pass on February 5 but I made all bookings when I exchanged it.
      So it’s completely no problem.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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