How to Get to Kamikochi
Private vehicles are not permitted to enter Kamikochi, meaning that visitors must use authorised vehicles including taxis, coaches or a tour company to enter the valley – at least for the final leg of their journey to the Kamikochi Bus Terminal. Any unauthorised vehicle attempting to enter Kamikochi will be turned away at the entrance. Visitors can choose to drive themselves as far as the one of the public car parks outside of Kamikochi – located between 15 to 30 minutes before the entrance – but must then use a bus, taxi or appropriately registered vehicle to enter the valley. From the public car parks, regular buses or taxis transport visitors to and from Kamikochi.
Want to avoid the hassle to multiple transfers to reach Kamikochi? The quickest and most comfortable way to access Kamikochi directly from Nagano is on one of our group tours. Led by an English-speaking guide, our tour transports you directly into Kamikochi without the need for transfer on the way.
1 Day Tour
|1-Day Highlights of Central Japan Tour: Matsumoto Castle & Kamikochi Alpine Valley|
|Period||May to November|
|Time||10:00 – 18:30|
|Meeting Place||Outside West Exit Matsumoto Station|
1 Day Tour
|1-Day Tour: Wasabi-Picking Experience & Kamikochi Alpine Valley|
|Period||May to November|
|Time||09:00 – 18:30|
|Meeting Place||Outside West Exit of Matsumoto Station|
We can also arrange private tours and charter to Kamikochi from Nagano or any other destination. For details, see ‘Book With Us! Nagano’s No.1 Tour & Charter Operator’ below.
There is no direct bus service to Kamikochi from Nagano and public transport is a little complicated. From Nagano Station, take the Limited Express Shinano to Matsumoto Station – please refer to our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page for the schedule – and transfer onto the direct bus to Kamikochi – only once daily – or switch trains to the Alpico Line and head to Shin-Shimashima Station. Once at Shin-Shimashima visitors must then switch to the Alpico Bus headed to the Kamikochi Bus Terminal.
FROM THE JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK
To reach Kamikochi from the Jigokudani Monkey Park takes time and requires doing so via Nagano and Matsumoto. From the park, you have the option of: 1. a direct express bus from the park to Nagano Station or 2. a local bus to Yudanaka Station followed by an express train to Nagano Station.
Starting from the park, the express bus costs JPY1500 each way and takes 55 minutes to reach Nagano Station. In comparison, taking the local bus from the park to Yudanaka Station followed by the train, takes 15 minutes and costs JPY310 before the express train to Nagano takes another 45 minutes and costs JPY1290 – a total journey of around 60 to 70 minutes and costing JPY1600.
Once at Nagano Station, follow the directions above.
Kamikochi can be accessed using a once daily direct bus service at 530AM – or a combination of train then bus. For visitors wanting to use the train, take the Alpico Line from Matsumoto Station to Shin-Shimashima Station – approximately 30 minutes and costs JPY710 – and then switch to the bus headed for the Kamikochi Bus Terminal – approximately 65 minutes and costs JPY2500 per adult / JPY1250 per child.
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Matsumoto. Please note that seats on the bus cannot be purchased in advance meaning that if you are visiting during a busy period, you will have to line-up and wait for the next available bus.
Visitors coming to Kamikochi by their own car and approaching from the Matsumoto side will use the Sawando public car park and board the bus or taxi headed for the Kamikochi Bus Terminal.
Kamikochi can be accessed by frequent direct bus service from the Takayama Nohi Bus Center – located next to Takayama Station. 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.
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Takayama.Please note that seats on the bus cannot be purchased in advance meaning that if you are visiting during a busy period, you will have to line-up and wait for the next available bus. 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.
FROM SHIRAKAWA-GO & GOKAYAMA
Regular bus services operated by the Nohi Bus company connect Takayama with its world-famous neighbor. Buses run to and from the Nohi Bus Terminal, next to Takayama Station, and can be purchased on the day or online up to a month in advance. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above – see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Takayama.
Regular highway bus services connect Kanazawa Station to Takayama via Shirakawa-go. Departing every 2 to 3 hours and taking around 2 hours to make the journey, a one-way trip costs around JPY3600 while a return ticket will cost around JPY6400. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above. There is no direct train service from Kanazawa to Takayama. Visitors wanting to use the train should proceed to Toyama Station and follow the directions below.
Most visitors choose to use the Limited Express Hida on the Takayama Main Line from Toyama Station to Takayama. This train line is particularly beautiful making the journey itself part of the experience. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above. Taking approximately 90 minutes, there are only two or three convenient services each day and the line is popular with tourists, so if you have the chance to book ahead it can be helpful.
Direct bus services to Kamikochi are also available from from Shinjuku, Tokyo and Shibuya – between 5-7 hour – and Osaka and Kyoto – 6-7 hours. Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares. Alternatively, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station, and once there, follow the directions above to reach Kamikochi. For the shinkansen schedule, please refer to our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable‘ page.
Running from Nagoya Station to Takayama, the Limited Express Hida service is another convenient and picturesque train line that connects Nagoya to some of Central Japan’s most enjoyable destinations. It takes approximately 145 minutes and costs JPY5610 to travel between Nagoya and Takayama. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above to reach Kamikochi. Highway buses operated by Meitetsu and Nohi Bus connect Nagoya and Takayama, taking around 2.5 hours and cost a little over JPY3000.
FROM KYOTO & OSAKA
Reaching Kamikochi from Kyoto or Osaka is relatively straightforward but requires a transfer at Nagoya Station and Takayama. Take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya: taking 35 min / JPY5170 from Kyoto Station and 50 min / JPY5940 from Shin-Osaka Station. Once at Nagoya Station, switch to the Limited Express Wide View Hida service bound for Takayama. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above to reach Kamikochi.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where to go, when to go and what to do when you’re there to make sure you get the most out of your adventure in Kamikochi and Central Japan! As a registered travel agent we can arrange experiences and tours, transport, accommodation and inclusive packages. So no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered including getting you to the best destinations and events in the region.
For guests wanting to access these destinations in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination in the region. 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 and Central Japan.
Got a question about visiting Kamikochi and Central Japan? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!