Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station is a small station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line running from Kanazawa to Tokyo. It is the nearest major train station to Unazuki Onsen and Kurobe Gorge, and as such, caters to visitors passing through enroute to those destinations. On this page you will find the following information:
As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa, reaching Kurobe-Unazukionsen is easy. Once at the station, it’s just as easy to transfer to local services running to nearby Kurobe Gorge while also heading other regional destinations.
The information included on this page is intended for visitors heading to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station enroute to Kurobe Gorge and other nearby attractions. It is not intended to provide complete information about the station or its many facilities, but instead, provide some helpful information for travellers enroute to the most popular destinations in the area.
HOKURIKU SHINKANSEN TO KUROBE-UNAZUKIONSEN
Running from Kanazawa Station to Tokyo Station, the Hokuriku Shinkansen runs to the south-southeast toward the capital and stops at stations including:
Kanazawa / Shin-Takaoka / Toyama / Kurobe-Unazukionsen / Itoigawa / Joetsu-Myoko / Iiyama / Nagano / Ueda / Sakudaira / Karuizawa / Annaka-Haruna / Takasaki / Honjo-Waseda / Kumagaya / Omiya / Ueno / Tokyo
While four services operate on this line – the Kagayaki, Hakutaka, Asama and Tsurugi – only Hakutaka services stop at Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station. To reach the station, expect the following travel times and costs (non-reserved/reserved):
— from Kanazawa: 35 minutes & JPY3560 / JPY4090
— from Nagano: 50 minutes & JPY5940 / JPY6470
— from Tokyo: 140 to 160 minutes & JPY11,550 / JPY12,080
For further information including daily schedules, please refer to our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable’ page.
TRANSFERRING TO THE TOYAMA CHIHO RAILWAY
Many if not most international visitors disembarking at Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station will do so as they head to Unazuki Onsen and Kurobe Gorge. To do so, visitors need to transfer to the Toyama Chiho Railway bound for Unazuki Onsen Station.
The Toyama Chiho Railway operates from Shin-Kurobe Station, a small station connected to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station by a walkway. Services on the line run to Unazuki Onsen Station – 25 to 30 minutes – or the opposite direction to Dentetsu-Toyama Station in Toyama (passengers headed to Toyama are best to do so using the Hokuriku Shinkansen).
THE KUROBE GORGE RAILWAY
Following the directions above will take you to Unazuki Onsen Station. Located in the centre of Unazuki Onsen, the station is under 5 minutes walk from Unazuki Station – terminus of the Kurobe Gorge Railway. Open to the public from mid-April until late-November, Kurobe Gorge Railway is a 20km narrow gauge track following the Kuronagi River through a beautiful landscape of heavily forested ravines.
Open-air carriages allows passengers to breathe in the atmosphere of the surrounding landscape as the train slowly winds its way past a couple of stations to the final stop of Keyakidaira Station. Along the way, walking trails, outdoor hot springs, viewing points and a limited number of restaurants and guesthouses combine to create one of Central Japan’s most relaxing and enjoyable experiences.
RAIL PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO CENTRAL JAPAN
There is no escaping the fact that travel using the shinkansen and other rapid services is expensive. Given the speed and distances covered by these trains, travelers should think of them much like taking a flight, with tickets accordingly priced. International visitors to Japan have the option of purchasing one of several passes which allow for unlimited use of the Hokuriku along with other services – please note, that the passes below do not cover the Kurobe Gorge Railway:
JAPAN RAIL (JR) PASS
Covering all 9 shinkansen lines in Japan and many other train services, the JR Pass is a great option for visitors planning to use the shinkansen more than a handful of times and/or travel large distances. Travelers have the option of 7, 14 and 21-day passes covering either Ordinary or Ordinary and Green Cars. The JR Pass allows for use of any service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line at no additional cost but noting that should holders wish to have a reserved seat, they are still required to book a seat at the ticket office (at no additional cost).
JAPAN RAIL (JR) EAST PASS / NAGANO & NIIGATA
This pass covers the Hokuriku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines serving Nagano and Niigata, along with other regional services. There is only one option of pass, covering 5 days of use within a 14-day period from its date of activation. Notably cheaper than the JR Pass, this is a great option for visitors staying within Nagano and Niigata. Much like the JR Pass, it allows for use of any service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line at no additional cost but noting that should holders wish to have a reserved seat, they are still required to book a seat at the ticket office (at no additional cost).
HOKURIKU ARCH PASS
PURCHASING & ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Passes can be purchased via the official website or via a JR-affiliated sales office. Once you completed payment, you will receive an exchange order. This is a proof of payment and looks almost like a flight ticket with your personal details, type of Pass, and validity (three months from the date of issue). It is important to note that the exchange order is not your actual pass and will need to be exchanged for your pass once in Japan. Whatever you do, do not lose the exchange order and prioritise exchanging it for your pass when you arrive.
The Japan Rail passes listed above are valid for travel to and from this station. Before using a pass, it must first be exchanged/activated. It is important to note that JR passes cannot be exchanged/activated at Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station. Exchanging/activating the pass can however be done at numerous offices located at airports – including Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport and Kansai International Airport – and major train stations throughout Japan. If you have the time, we recommend activating your pass while at the airport. Otherwise, passes can also be activated at these stations on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line: Tokyo Station / Nagano Station / Kanazawa Station.
To exchange/activate your pass you will need your exchange order and passport. Make sure you allow adequate time to exchange and activate your pass if you are intending to use it on the same day or do so a day or two before you plan to start using it (you can always nominate a later activation date). Once you have your activated pass you are free to ride however you can’t insert your pass into the ticket gates. Simply walk through the side booth (permanently attended by station staff) and show your pass. You will be waved through and you can make your way to the platform.
ACCOMMODATION NEARBY KUROBE GORGE
If you’re headed to Kurobe-Unazkuionsen Station then chances are that you’re on your way to Kurobe Gorge. Situated at the entrance of the gorge, Unazuki Onsen is the largest hot spring town in the region and the spot from which the Kurobe Gorge Railway operates. Home to many guesthouses including traditional ‘ryokan’ and large hotels, the hot springs of Unazuki Onsen are known for the clarity of their water, known to aid healthy and vibrant skin. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Unazuki Onsen / Kurobe Gorge Area’ hotel page.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND TOYAMA & WHERE TO STAY
Located nearby Toyama Bay, the city and region are known throughout Japan for its fantastic seafood – best enjoyed at a coastal market or at one of the city’s many restaurants. The city itself is modern and energetic and an ideal launching point from where to access the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, Takayama and the North Alps. For tips and suggestions of what’s on offer, see our ’25 Things To Do Around Toyama & Where To Stay’ page.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station is just one part of Japan’s fantastic rail network. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train is easy and comfortable opening-up all regions of Japan for exploration. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Central Japan offers many, many reasons to visit. Operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator, offering a range of services including group tours, private tours and charters. We can arrange transport including a private vehicle and driver, to transport you to, from and between any regional destination including Kurobe Gorge, Toyama and beyond.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of your adventure in Central Japan and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
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