How to get to Takayama by a train and a bus

Chubu Area
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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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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. arielove
    Ariel says:

    I am travelling from Nagoya to Takayama to stay for 2 nights then travel to Osaka. Could u please advise what is the fastest/cheapest route to travel from Takayama to Osaka?


  2. Kitu says:

    I’m planning a 8 days trip to Japan in March (excludes to and fro flight). In this trip, I’ll be covering Tokyo 3 days, Osaka 1 day and Kyoto 2 days.

    I’m really interested in covering Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawago. I’m also keen on visiting Toyama. I need help with planning this part of the trip. I only have 2 days to cover this area. I will also be taking the 7 days JR pass.
    1. Out of the 4 areas which one should I add or skip and which area is a must visit?
    2. In what order should I cover these 4 areas and where should I base myself for the overnight stay?
    3. I’m open to covering these places either on directly from Narita airport or Tokyo or Osaka/Kyoto. what would you advise?
    4. Does the JR pass cover trains to these 3 places? I’m aware that only buses go to shirakawago. Do I have to book the bus in advance?

    Thanks a ton!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi ( administrator) says:

      Hi Kitu,

      Takayama and Shirakawago are most recommended. Kanazawa is next and Toyama is at the last in my opinon. I don’t think you can get 4 places in one day.

      I think you may visit Takayama or Kanazawa first from Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto. Don’t go there from Narita even if you arrive in very early.

      If I were you, I do the following trip plan:

      You may stay in either Shirakawago or Takayama. Shirakawago is the best location but the number of hotels is very limited. Takayama is easier to find the hotel.

      Reservation is required to take a bus for Kanazawa-Shirakawago. If you want a flexibility, you can go to Takayama from Kanazawa by train and make a round trip to Shirakawago from Takayama. There are lots of bus running which does not require a booking.


      Takeshi /

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