Takayama is a small but modern and busy station servicing the historic old town of and nearest major station to the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama and alpine valley of Kamikochi. On this page you will find the following information:
Takayama Nohi Bus Center adjoins the station, from where regular services connect Takayama to the nearby attractions of Kamikochi and Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Most famous for its old town and thriving food scene, Takayama is one of Central Japan’s most popular destinations which can easily reached from nearby Toyama or Kanazawa or even further afield from Nagoya using the Limited Express Hida service.
Navigating the station is easy. Access to the platforms is from the second floor with only one set of ticket gates. A convenience store directly next to the gates sells snacks, drinks and ‘bento’ (lunch boxes), while a café, coin lockers and Tourist Information can be found on the first floor, just outside the station’s East Exit / Entrance.
TRAIN LINES / SERVICES TO TAKAYAMA STATION
It is important to note that Takayama Station is not on any shinkansen line. The nearest shinkansen stations are: 1. Toyama Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line and 2. Nagoya Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. There is only one line running to and from Takayama, heading south through Gifu to Nagoya Station and north to Toyama Station.
LIMITED EXPRESS HIDA
Originating at Nagoya Station, the Limited Express Hida service allows easy access to Takayama with services stopping at the following stations:
*These stations are only stops on services to and from Toyama Station. Most services start and finish at Takayama Station so if you are intending to board or disembark at one of these stations make sure to check the specific service includes a stop at your preferred station.
Some services run all the way from Nagoya to Toyama via Takayama, and likewise from Toyama to Nagoya via Takayama. However, most services terminate at Takayama. It takes approximately 145 minutes and costs JPY5610 to travel between Takayama and Nagoya or 85 minutes and JPY2890 from Takayama to Toyama. For the fuschedule, please refer to our ‘Limited Express Hida Timetable’ page.
RAIL PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO TAKAYAMA
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:
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 almost any Shinkansen service and most major rapid services 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). It also covers the Limited Express Hida service to and from Takayama.
PURCHASING & ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Passes can be purchased via the official website or via a JR-affiliated overseas sales office. Once you have 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. For full details please refer to the specific page for each pass (as listed above).
Prior to using your pass, you must actually get your hands on it by exchanging the order/proof of purchase you received online. This can be done a numerous JR Pass Exchange Offices found at any major train station or airport including Narita Airport and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya, and Kansai International Airport in Osaka. If you have time to do so before leaving the airport, you can use the pass immediately. Tokyo Station is another popular place to exchange and activate a JR Pass at either of these offices:
— JR East Travel Service Center (Marunouchi North Exit): 07:30 to 20:00
— JR Central Ticket Office (Yaesu North Exit): 07:30 to 20:00
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). Please note, passes cannot be exchanged/activated at Takayama Station. However, once your pass is activated, it can be used to travel to and from Takayama.
BUS SERVICES TO TAKAYAMA NOHI BUS CENTER
Takayama is a common starting point for many visitors heading to the popular destinations of Kamikochi and the World Heritage-listed villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. The Nohi Bus Center is located next to the station, just outside the East Exit/Entrances. Tickets for the following services are purchased at the ticket window or machines and cannot be bought in advance:
Kamikochi can be accessed by frequent direct bus service from the Takayama Nohi Bus Center. Taking approximately 1 hour, this bus will take you as far as Hirayu Onsen where you will need to disembark and board the bus headed into Kamikochi – another 25 to 30 minutes. Visitors coming to Kamikochi by their own car and approaching form the Takayama side will use the Akandana public car park and board the bus or taxi headed for the Kamikochi Bus Terminal. Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Takayama. For suggestions of what to do once there, see our ’15 Things to Do in Kamikochi & Where to Stay’ page.
TO SHIRAKAWA-GO & GOKAYAMA
The Nohi Bus company operates multiple daily services to and from the village of Ogimachi. Roundtrip tickets are available to Ogimachi only or with the option of all three villages, including Suganuma and Ainokura, with options of multi-day tickets. For adults, expect to pay between JPY4800 and JPY9500 depending on which option you choose. The bus journey from Takayama to Ogimachi takes approximately 50 minutes. Suganuma can be reached from Ogimachi using the local bus head for Shin-Takaoka – it takes around 30 minutes and costs JPY870. Ainokura can also be reached from Ogimachi using the local bus headed for Shin-Takaoka Station – it takes 45 minutes from Ogimachi and costs JPY1300. Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Takayama. For suggestions of what to do once there, see our ’15 Things to Do in Shirakawa-go & Where to Stay’ page.
PRIVATE CHARTERS TO / FROM TAKAYAMA
Based in Nagano, we are the region’s No.1 tour and charter operator. Operating all year round, we can provide charters to any destination in Central Japan, with customised itineraries to suit your travel needs and interests including pick-up or drop-off at Takayama Station or directly at your accommodation. We have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region, including transport to and from any regional destination. 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 interests and 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.
Got a question about visiting Takayama? Head to our ‘Charters’ main page or click on the INQUIRY button below, let us know what you need, and we’ll get back to you with a quote.
HIDA TAKAYAMA TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE
Located outside the station’s East Exit/Entrance, the Hida Takayama Tourist Information Office is open from 08:30 to 18:30 (Apr.-Oct.) and from 08:30 to 17:00 (Nov.-Mar.). General information, accommodation and transportation enquiries, and other services including baggage storage are available. Full-time English-speaking staff are also on-hand to assist.
ACCOMMODATION NEARBY THE STATION
Most people heading to Takayama are drawn to the city by its beautifully preserved buildings, traditional craft scene and great food. As such, many travellers also want to stay in the old town and enjoy a traditional guesthouse. Takayama offers some great accommodation in and around the old town however don’t feel it’s your only option when staying there. It is a small city and the old town can be reached on-foot from most popular hotels while outside of the city, there are some great alternative accommodation options. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Takayama City Area’ hotel page.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND TAKAYAMA & WHERE TO STAY
When people talk about the beauty of Takayama and encourage you to visit, they are speaking of the city’s beautiful historic centre – one of Japan’s best remaining examples of an Edo Period (1603-1868) town. Through that time, Takayama was renowned for the skill of its carpenters, timber craftsmanship and other artisans. Today, that mastery can still be seen in the charming streetscape of Takayama’s old town. The city is equally well-known for its thriving food scene including its famous Hida beef and Takayama ramen, while outside of the city, visitors can access some of Japan’s most rewarding destinations including the World Heritage-listed villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama and the beautiful alpine valley of Kamikochi. For tips and suggestions of what to do while there, including accommodation listings, see our ’25 Things To Do Around Takayama & Where To Stay’ page.
HOW TO GET TO TAKAYAMA
Lying deep in Central Japan, Takayama takes time to reach but given the efficiency of the Japanese transport network, that journey is usually simple. The Limited Express Hida service runs from Central Japan’s largest city of Nagoya, to Takayama and onto Toyama in the north. Bus services also connect Takayama to Toyama and Kanazawa to the north and the popular alpine valley of Kamokochi and onto Matsumoto to the west. For information on how to reach the city, see our ‘How To Get To Takayama’ page.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Takayama 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
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, along with an English-speaking guide, to transport to, from and between any destinations in the region including Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, Kamikochi, Matsumoto and Nagano. We’d love to be part of your adventure in Central Japan and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2022 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 and Central Japan.
Got a question about visiting Takayama and Central Japan? Click on the INQUIRY button below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!