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.

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

  1. Hello,

    We are arriving at chubu int’l airport at 830pm, is there a way to go straight to toyama for the kurobe alpine route? and also from Toyama to Takayama

  2. Hi Takeshi.
    We are a family of 5 arriving Nagoya on May 12 and will like to go directly to Takayama for the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Tour the following day.
    Can you please tell me the best way to get to Takayama from Nagoya?
    Thanks.

  3. Hi
    I will go to Takayama from Tokyo
    When i search the route via Hyperdia, it said took the Shinkansen Kagayaki 503 from Tokyo to Toyama, from Toyama use the Ltd exp wida no. 8 to Takayama

    My questions are: s it cover by JR Pass to use the Ltd exp wida train? How to book the train from Toyama to Takayama?

    Please advice

    Thx

    1. Hi Mega,

      Both trains are covered. You can book Wide View Hida at any JR stations which have the reservation window. In Tokyo, most of stations have the window. You can book both Kagayaki and Wide View Hida at same time.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Is it possible to catch a direct train from Takayama to Osaka Kansai to arrive on time to catch a flight the same afternoon at 4.40 pm for Kuala Lumpur?

    1. Hi Anna,

      There is no direct trains from Takayama to Kansai airport. You have to change trains at least twice, Nagoya and Shin-Osaka. Trip time is around 5 hours. If you leave early morning, you can get Kansai airport by noon.
      Please use hyperdia to check the timetable:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hello, I will be travelling from Matsumoto to Hirayu Onsen, where I will spend one night. The next day I will travel from Hirayu Onsen to Takayama. Please could you tell me how to buy bus tickets for these two journeys? Thanks, Amy

  6. Hello Takeshi,
    Need advise on which JR Pass to purchase if would like to travel from Osaka to Takayama , Takayama to Shirakawago and return back to Osaka. Should I just get a return Shinkansen ticket or JR Pass, which would be cheaper ?

    1. Hi Teri,

      You cannot get the worth of JR pass by this trip. Regular ticket is cheaper. You may use Takayama Hokuriku area pass if you are okay with traveling via Kanazawa:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/takayama-hokuriku-area-pass-perfect-deal-to-get-takayama-kanazawa-toyama-shirakawago-from-nagoya-or-osaka.html

      You cannot take the route via Nagoya from Osaka to Takayama by this pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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