How to access to Takayama by trains and buses.

Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.
Preserved path in Takayama. It is very popular tourist district in Takayama.

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.

Gateway stations

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

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 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 Shinkansen from Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and many more stations on Tokaido Shikansen easily and directly. This route is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. If you don’t use Japan Rail Pass, you may able to get Nagoya directly from Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata by Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Nozomi. If you cannot catch the direct train to Nagoya, simply transfer at Shin-Osaka. You can reach Shin-Osaka even from Kagoshima and Kumamoto in Kyushu by Kyushu-Sanyo Shinkansen, Mizuho and Sakura.

Most of travellers take 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, Access to Takayama and Hida from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Hida to get the details.

And you can get Nagoya station layout at JR Central official site.

Access from Osaka by Limited Express Wide View Hida

There is only one round trip to Takayama from Osaka directly. As of July 2016, the timetable is the following:
Osaka 08:02 – Shin Osaka 08:07 – Kyoto 8:34 – Takayama 12:14
Takayama 15:35 – Kyoto 19:22 – Shin Osaka 19:46 – Osaka 19:51

If you can catch this train, it is convenient. But it is not frequent service. Most of travellers take Shinkansen to Nagoya and transfer to Limited Express Wide View Hida.

Access from Toyama by Limited Express Wide View Hida

If you travel in Hokuriku region, you may get on 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 when you make your itinerary. You can check it at Hyperdia.

Gassho style housing in Shiakawago.
Gassho style housing in Shiakawago.

Access from Kanazawa via Shirakawago by bus

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

This route is not train trip and is not covered by Japan Rail Pass either. But this is very popular route because of Shirakawago. If you have a plan to go to Shirakawago, you may consider about visiting Shirakawago and Kanazawa. Please see the following posts to learn more.

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?

Now Kanazawa can be accessed from Tokyo by Hokuriku Shinkansen in less than 3 hours. It is much more accessible than before.

Access from Matsumoto by bus

This route is not train trip and is not covered by Japan Rail Pass either. However, if you use JR East Pass, you can get a bus ticket at the discounted price. You can get more information about this deal at City of Takayama official site (English).

JR East Pass does not cover Takayama. And Matsumoto is the closest city in JR East Pass area.

Takayama station and Takayama bus terminal

Both station and bus terminal are located at same place.

Takayama station (left / white building) and Nohi bus Takayama Bust Terminal (right / Brown and green sign)
Takayama station (left / white building) and Nohi bus Takayama Bust Terminal (right / Brown and green sign)

Takayama station is very small. It has only two platforms and three tracks. Station building is very small and it has only one ticket gate. It was under construction when I visited there in February, 2016.

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.

212 thoughts on “How to access to Takayama by trains and buses.”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m planning to go to Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawago, however I’m not sure which would be a better route. Could you pls advise me?

    Plan 1
    Day 1: Osaka – Kanazawa (catch noshi bus after lunch time) to Shirakawago (1night) – Day 2: takayama (1 night)
    Day 3: Takayama to Kyoto

    Plan 2
    Day 1: Osaka to takayama (1night)
    Day 2: travel to shirakawago (1night)
    Day 3: Kanazawa to Kyoto

    Which is a better route?

    Thank you.

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Can the route be fully covered by Takayama Hokuriku area pass? What line should I take for going to Kyoto?

        Thank you.

        1. Hi Li,

          It’s covered with some condition. For trip between Kyoto (or Osaka) and Kanazawa, you can take limited express Thunderbird. But for the trip between Takayama and Osaka (or Kyoto), you have to go through Shirakawago or Toyama. You cannot go to Gifu or Nagoya because this pass does not cover the trip between Gifu/Nagoya and Kyoto.


          Takeshi /

  2. Hello Takeshi ~

    My family will be traveling to Japan in July to celebrate my grandmother’s 100th birthday. We fly into Tokyo and then plan on stopping in Takayama (Hida Furukawa) for one night before moving on to Kagoshima.

    Can you tell me the best way to get from Hida Furukawa to Ibusuki, Kagoshima? How long will this take? And then from Kagoshima to Osaka? How long will this take?

    We will be purchasing a 14 day rail pass.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Cathy,

      It’s a quite long trip.
      Hida Furukawa (Limited Express Wide View Hida) Nagoya (Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari) Shin-Osaka (Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura) Kagoshima-Chuo

      When you go back to Osaka from Kagoshima, you can take same way.

      Please see the links below to find the trip time.

      Hida Furukawa to Nagoya

      Nagoya to Kagochima-Chuo

      You can take the trains which are shown by H (Hikari), S (Sakura) or K (Kodama) by JR Pass in the timetables above. JR pass does not cover Nozomi (N) and Mizuho (M).


      Takeshi /

      1. Thank you, Takeshi. I don’t think we could do 15 hours on the train. I was looking at different routes.

        When I use the HyperDia website and select Takayama to Hirakatashi, it says that is takes 3 hours to the Kyoto station and an additional 1 hour to the Hirakatashi station. Can I get off at Kyoto station using this route?

        This route seems shorter to arrive in Tokyo than Takayama to Kyoto station. HyperDia says its takes over 4 hours.

        I do not understand why the route is different and why it would take longer. Can you please let me know if I am not understanding the schedule correctly?

        Thank you!

        1. Hi Cathy,

          I’m wondering why you compare the trip time to Tokyo and Kyoto. Tokyo, Kyoto and Hirakatashi are completely different locations and cannot compare. Hirakatashi is in Osaka. If you go to Tokyo, it takes about 4.5 hours. If you go to Hirakatashi, it takes 4 hours as you said. You can drop by Kyoto. You need to change trains at Kyoto anyway.


          Takeshi /

          1. Thank you for your quick reply! I am sorry I made a mistake in my question. I did not mean to type Tokyo. I meant to say Kyoto.

            I am wondering why it is faster to get to Kyoto by taking the Takayama to Hirakatashi route than the Takayama to Kyoto route.

            Also, if I take the Takayama to Hirakatashi route, can we get off at Kyoto station?

            Thank you, and sorry for my earlier mistake.


          2. Hi Cathy,

            I don’t think it happens. There is no direct routes from Takayama to Hirakatashi. Usually if you go to Hirakatashi, you will go through Kyoto. In this case, you can get off Kyoto if you want.


            Takeshi /

  3. Hello,
    We are planning to travel to Takayama directly from Kansai Airport via Shin Osaka and then Nagoya. Would like to find out if JR Pass covers thru and fro Kansai Aiport? Is there is direct train from Kansai Airport to Shin Osaka without any transfer? We are planning to get a JR Pass for our 12 days trip in Japan. Thank you

      1. Hello Takeshi,
        Thank you for the reply.
        Appreciate your advise on the transport option in Japan:
        Day 1
        Touch down Kansai Airport 6am
        Kansai Airport – Takayama via Shin Osaka and then Nagoya
        Day 2 Takayama
        Day 3 Takayama
        Day 4 Takayama
        Day 5 Takayama-Osaka via Nagoya and then Shin Osaka
        Day 6 Osaka
        Day 7 Osaka-Kobe
        Day 8 Osaka-Himeji
        Day 9 Osaka-Hiroshima
        Day 10 Osaka
        Day 11 Leave for Kansai Airport

        Can you please advise if this is possible or if there is a more cost effective option?
        5 days Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass (does this covers Kansai Airport to Nagoya via Shin Osaka on Haruka Express)
        5 days JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass
        One way Tennoji to Kansai Aiport on Haruka Express

        Also, appreciate if you can advise if there is enough time to squeeze in Osaka-Nagasaki for day trip. If yes, then should I opt for 7 day JR Pass plus 5 days Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass? Or is there is other options?

        Many thanks in advance.

        Yee Wen

        1. Hi Yee Wen,

          Please forget using Takayama Hokuriku area pass. As long as you want to take Shin-Osaka, Nagoya to Takayama route, it does not cover as you notice. The best option is JR pass 7 days. If you can visit Himeji and Hiroshima on day 6 and 7, both trips are covered by JR Pass. Kobe is much closer than these places. You can use Hashin tourist pass for trip to Kobe.

          In Osaka, there are lots of deals available. Please see the links below:


          Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi San,

    Good day to you.

    We are a group of 4 adults. We will stay in Toyama for one night. Then, We plan to go to Takayama in the morning and go back to Toyama same day and back to Tokyo by shinkansen same day. We have booked hotel in Tokyo.

    Kindly advice what transport systems we need to take. We also have 7 days JR pass.


    1. Hi Owena san,

      You can take limited express train Wide View Hida between Toyama and Takayama. But there are only 3 round trips a day by this express trains between Toyama and Takayama. There are more local trains but it’s slow and need to change trains between Toyama and Takayama. So try to take Wide View Hida. You can check the timetable in Hyperdia:

      You can take Hokuriku Shinkansen to get Tokyo from Toyama.


      Takeshi /

  5. We have bought the Alpine-takayama-matsumoto Area Tourist Pass. After taking the Alpine Route we will stay in the Toyama hotel for two nights. We want to go to Takayama and Shirakawago for a one day trip then back to the Toyama Hotel on same day. Would appreciate if you can tell me is there an office in Toyama where we can buy the reserved seat ticket for the next day?

          1. Thank you so much. I have tried to book online but can only book for 6 people as we have 8 people altogether. Glad to hear we can use English to communicate on the phone.

  6. Hi Takeshi
    (16-30 Nov – Nagoya-Kyoto-Kanazawa-Shirakawago-Takayama-Nagoya)
    We (4 pax) will be traveling on the above date and routes.
    Would like to seek your advice on which pass is suitable and the feasibility for our itinerary below –
    Day 1 – 5 (16-20 Nov): arrive Nagoya 8.40am would travel to Kyoto (day trip to nearby area)
    Day 5-10 (20-25 Nov): Kyoto- Kanazawa/Toyama (going for Shogawa River Cruise and may stay a night at Omaki Spa Kanako ryokan)
    Day 10-11 (25-26 Nov): Kanazawa/Toyama – Shirakawa-go (1 night)
    Day 11-12 (26-27 Nov): Shiragawa-go- Takayama (one night at Takayama)
    Day 12-15 (27-30 Nov): Takayama-Nagoya-Home
    Please also advise whether we are spending too much time on 1 location. Or should we do a reverse route (Nagoya-Takayama-Shirakawago-Toyama-Kanazawa-Kyoto-Nagoya)?
    Our main objective is to see autumn leaves.
    Many thanks. Looking forward to your advice.
    Best Regards

    1. Hi Catherine,

      You will be able to see fall foliage in Kyoto and Nagoya. But it’s too late to see it in the mountain area, such as Shirakawago and Shogawa. Early November is the season in these areas. If you go to Takayama first, you may be able to see it because mid November is the season. So you should take reverse route and the chance to see is increasing.

      I think 6 days in Toyama and Kanazawa is a bit too much. Even if you go to Shogawa, 3 to 4 days are okay.

      Takayama Hokuriku area pass is only choice to take this route. But it’s valid for 5 days only. If you complete Nagoya-Takayama-Shirakawago-Toyama/Kanazawa-Kyoto in 5 days, you may use it. Otherwise single ticket is your choice.

      In Kyoto, there are many deals available:

      Kyoto to Nagoya



      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you so much for your advice.
        There is another question in regards to Takaoka Station and Shin-Takaoka. Am a little confuse on these two stations.
        When someone tell to take a Kaetsuno bus from Takaoka station(JR Hokuriku main line), should it be from Takaoka or Shin-Takaoka ? (Understand that JR no longer operates in Takaoka station.)
        Please advise

  7. Hi takeshi
    We want the cheapest way to get from Takayama to Tokyo on April 12th. (Our plans have had to change and our 7 day rail pass has run out. Grateful for any help.

  8. Hello Takeshi,

    We’d like to visit Takayama, Shirakagawo and Hokkaido and are thinking of getting a JR Pass. Unfortunately we already booked our accommodations in Tokyo for 8 days already. I wonder is it possible to visit these places on a daytrip? And if it is, is it better to get a JR Pass?

    Below is a summary of what we already booked.

    Day 1 Sun 11AM Arrival
    Day2 M 7PM Robot Show
    Day3 T Disney Sea
    Day4 W 430PM Concert/Show
    Day5 Thur Takayama? Shirakawago?
    Day6 Fri Hakone Day Trip Tour
    Day7 Sat Hokkaido??
    Day8 Sun Departure

    If it’s not possible to do a daytrip to these places, is the schedule below enough time?
    Day1 Arrive – Straight to Takayama
    Day2 9am Takayama to Shirakawago
    2pm Shirakawago to Tokyo

    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Kim,

      Day trips are possible.
      First of all, please see the link below:

      This shows you Kanazawa and Shirakawago. But you can remove Kanazawa and add Takayama. You have to take earliest Shinkansen (6:16-8:46) and catch the bus at 9:10 to Shirakawago. Please see the bus schedule in the link below:

      If you have trip to Shirakawago on week day, you can get off Shinkansen at Toyama and take 8:45 bus to Shikrawago from Toyama. Shinkansen arrive Toyama at 8:27.

      It’s up to you how much you stay in Takayama and Shirakawago. But the last train from Takayama departs at 18:46. It goes to Nagoya and need to change Shinkansen to Tokyo.
      Takayama 18:46 – 21:02 Nagoya 21:24 – 23:08 Tokyo

      So you can choose which bus you take from Shirakawago to Takayama. You can find the schedule in the same timetable from Kanazawa to Shirakawago. If you go there, reservation is required for Toyama or Kanazawa to Shirakwago. Reservation is highly recommended for Shirakawago to Takayama. You can find online reservation site in the timetable.

      Regarding trip to Hokkaido, you can visit Hakodate only. Please see the link below:

      JR pass is strongly recommended. You can get the worth of 7 days pass by either trip to Shirakawago or Hakodate. If you do both, 7 days pass is huge deal.


      Takeshi /

  9. Hi Takeshi

    My sister n I will be arriving KIX on 20 sep night by Airasia. We plan to stay in an apartment nearby Nagai station, Osaka. Would like to seek your advice on which pass is suitable for our itinerary below –
    Day 1 – arrive KIX at around 9.40pm – would we be able to check into our apartment or we need to stay near the airport for the night
    Day 2 – possible for a day trip to Shiragawa-go or alternative
    Day 2 – Shiragawa-go via Kanagawa – Takayama (one night at Takayama)
    Day 3 – Takayama-Kanagawa-Kyoto
    Day 4 – Kyoto-Osaka
    Day 5 – Osaka
    Day 6 – Kansai afternoon flight

    Many thanks. Look forward to your advice.

    Regards Kathryn

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      You can use Takayama Hokuriku area pass.

      As long as your flight arrives on time, you can get your place in Nagai. You can start using this pass right after you arrive in KIX. But ticket office is closed at 23:00. You have to hurry to get there after arrival.

      You can get Kyoto by this pass. But this pass does not cover any local transportation. You need another deal for sightseeing in Kyoto.


      Takeshi /

  10. Hi Takeshi

    I would like to visit Takayama from Nagoya via Toyama. I’ll also be going to Alpine route on the next day. Can you kindly suggest which mode of transport will be most efficient. I tried checking hyperdia but the trip from Toyama to Takayama seems to be quiet tedious.

    My planned itin is as follow:
    1. Osaka- Nagoya
    2. Nagoya -Toyama – Takayama (stay in Toyama)
    3. Toyama – Alpen route incl.Kurobe dam and snow wall ( stay in Toyama)
    4. Toyama-Tokyo

    I’m planning to buy JR Pass for this trip. I’ve also found there are very few Nohi bus available from Toyama to Takayama. I was suggested to have Toyama as my base so I could fit in my Alpine route on the next day.

    Perhaps you have better itin for my planned trip this June? I’ll be taking elderlies in this trip, so less transfer would probably work best.

    Thank You and really appreciate your reply.

    1. Hi Aulina,

      You can keep this itinerary but you should visit Takayama on the way to Toyama from Nagoya. If you go to Toyama first, you will waste your time. Especially you will use JR pass. You should take a train as many as you can and try to avoid using bus. Nohi bus is not covered.

      There are few trips of limited express Wide View Hida from Takayama to Toyama in the afternoon.
      Takayama 15:10 – Toyama 16:36
      Takayama 17:17 – Toyama 18:52

      If you leave Nagoya in early morning, you can have half day.

      For Alpine route, you can use Takayama Kurobe Option ticket.

      You can go through Nagano and take Shinkansen back to Toyama. Or you can use luggage transfer service from Toyama to Nagano and you can stay in Nagano.

      If you use this service, you don’t need to go back to Toyama.

      But in this case, JR pass may be more expensive than single fare.


      Takeshi /

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