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

Gassho style housing in Shirakawago.

This segment is partially closed at this point due to the landslide by typhoon. It will be repaired in mid November, 2018.

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.

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.

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

  1. Dear Takeshi San,
    How do i purchase the Hida Wide train ticket from Takyama to Gero and back (i.e. return)?
    Planning to go in January 2018 and i see that the train ride would be a fun thing to do while staying warm.

    Robyn

    1. Hi Robyn san,

      You can book a seat and purchase a ticket at any major JR stations. You can purchase it at Takayama or other JR stations throughout Japan. Unfortunately online reservation is not available. You have to go to the station to get it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Dear Takeshi-san,

    I have bought the 5 Days JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass to go to Shirakawa-go from Shin Osaka for 2 days on my 4th and 5th day of our trip.

    Here’s my plan and please advise if needed :-
    14/12 – use 5D JR Pass from Shin-Osaka to Kanazawa for few hours sightseeing, then take Nohi bus to Shirakawa-go after lunch. We will stay over night in Shirakawa-go.

    15/12 – Depart from Shirakawa-go to Takayama (by Nohi bus??) for few hours walking tour the back to Shin Osaka by 5D JR Pass.

    Please advise if I need to buy any additional pass in order to get to all these destinations that wanted.

    Thank you very much.

    Regards,
    Jaycelyn Ho

    1. Hi Jaycelyn san,

      You have to add a bus fare in Kanazawa. Most of the tourist spots in Kanazawa, such as Kenrokuen, Kanazawa castle, are a bit away from the station. Please see the link below to find more info:
      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4208.html

      When you go back to Shin-Osaka, the common route is taking Wide View Hida from Takayama to Nagoya, and then taking Shinkansen from Nagoya to Shin-Osaka. But Takayama Hokuriku area pass does not cover Nagoya to Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen. If you want to go back to Shin-Osaka by this pass without any extra charge, you have to take same route on Dec 14, or taking Wide View Hida from Takayama to Toyama, taking Hokuriku Shinkansen from Toyama to Kanazawa, and then taking Limited Express Thunderbird from Kanazawa to Shin-Osaka.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi san,
    I am planning to purchase the 5 Days JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass for my coming trip. Would you please be so kind to confirm if all the routes that I am taking will be covered by this pass. I am just not sure if it covers the Nohi bus from takayama to Okuhida onsen (Hodakaso Yamano Hotel) to Shinhotaka Ropeway ?

    Day 1 – Nagoya station to Takayama taking Limited Express ‘Wide View’ Hida train
    Day 2 – Takayama to Shirakawago by Nohi bus
    Day 3 – Stay in takayama
    Day 4 – Takayama to Okuhida onsen to Shinhotaka Ropeway by Nohi Bus
    Day 5 – Okuhida onsen back to takayama by Nohi Bus and Takayama to Nagoya by Limited Express ‘Wide View’ Hida train

    Greatly appreciate your confirmation. Thanks
    Lee San

  4. Am i able to purchase Shinkansen ticket from Takayama to Tokyo from Takayama Station ? I am thinking to only purchase the tickets when i reach Takayama as I will not be staying in a hotel.

  5. Dear Takeshi San
    Kindly advise which passes best suits our 2weeks schedule for Dec 2018:
    18/12 — Kansai airport to Kyoto 2nite — Kyoto to Kinosakionsen 1nite back to Kyoto 1nite — Kyoto to Matsumoto 2nite — Matsumoto to Takayama 2nite — Takayama to Hiroshima 2nite – Hiroshima to Osaka 3 nite — head for kansai airport.
    Question:
    (1) Will the 14 day JR pass covers all the areas mentioned (worth it)?
    (2) or should we just get Kansai Wide Area Pass together with
    (3) Kansai Hiroshima Pass?
    If we were to get (1)&(2) passes, what pass is good for (4) Kyoto-Matsumoto-Takayama-Hiroshima via Nagoya
    Pls advise, we are lost in fixing item (4).
    Thank you Takeshi San

    1. Hi Deffenie san,

      How about these below combination?

      Kansai Wide Area Pass for Kansai – Kyoto – Kinosaki onsen – Kyoto
      JR Pass 7 days for Kyoto – Matsumoto – Takayama – Hiroshima – Osaka
      Other local deals for staying in Osaka and go back to KIX. Please see the links below:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      JR pass and Kansai Hiroshima area pass do not cover subway in Osaka. Local deals are more effective in Osaka.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi San
        Thank you for your advice, we decided to drop Hiroshima and concentrate on the west. Could you advise the best passes for Kyoto-Matsumoto-OkuhidaOnsen-Toyama-Takayama-Osaka?
        Thank you Takeshi San.
        Best Regards
        deffenie

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