How to Get to Shirakawa-go
Most visitors to the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama will use public transport them from Kanazawa, Toyama or Takayama. The following information provides the basics of how to get there while noting that the three villages are also accessible using by private car, with parking available at each.
The Nohi Bus company operates multiple daily services to and from Ogimachi, from their terminal located next to Takayama Station. Roundtrip tickets are available to Ogimachi only or all three villages, including Suganuma and Ainokura, along 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 headed 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.
The Hokuetsu Bus company operates regular services between Kanazawa Station and Ogimachi (with some additional services to Suganuma from March until November). The bus departs from the East Exit of Kanazawa and takes between 75 to 85 minutes to reach Ogimachi, depending on the service you use. Adults should expect to pay around JPY1850.
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Kanazawa.
The Nohi Bus company also operates several daily services from Toyama Station to Ogimachi and onto Takayama. It takes approximately 60 minutes to reach Ogimachi from Toyama. Adults should expect to pay around JPY1730 one-way or JPY3120 return. Buses depart from outside the stations Central Gate.
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Toyama.
Take the Nohi Bus service from Matsumoto Station to Takayama and then transfer to the bus headed to Shirakawa-go. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach Takayama and then follow the directions above.
There is no direct public transport to Shirakawa-go from Nagano Station. It can however be accessed via Matsumoto or Toyama. To reach Matsumoto, take the Limited Express Wide View Shinano – approximately 50 minutes – and follow the directions above. To reach Toyama, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen – just over 60 minutes – and follow the directions above.
Alternatively, some visitors choose to travel back to Shin-Takaoka using the shinkansen and switch onto a bus headed for Shirakawa-go however we don’t recommend this. It is no faster than the options above and both Mastumoto and Toyama make for better transit locations, worth stopping and visiting enroute to Shirakawa-go.
From the Jigokudani Monkey Park
The park and Shirakawa-go are separated by a considerable distance, requiring multiple transports to move between one and the other. For that reason, it is best attempted over two days. Visitors have the option of using the Nagaden Express Bus service from the park to Nagano Station, or a combination of local bus to Yudanaka Station followed by train from Yudanaka to Nagano Station.
Both options are covered by the Snow Monkey Pass but are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Once at Nagano Station, follow the directions above to reach Shirakawa-go.
Highway buses operated by Meitetsu and Nohi Bus connect Nagoya Station and Takayama, taking around 2.5 hours and costing a little over JPY3000. We recommend using the Limited Express Wide View Hida service from Nagoya Station.
Also taking around 2.5 hours and costing around JPY6000, this service is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and allows a very comfortable journey to Takayama. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above.
There is no direct train from Tokyo to Shirakawa-go so it takes a little time and planning but the villages can be accessed via Takayama, Mastumoto or Toyama. For visitors wanting to reach Takayama directly from Tokyo, the Nohi Bus company operates several daily services from Shinjuku, that take approximately 5.5 hours. Once in Takayama follow the directions above (given the distance and time to reach Takayama from Tokyo, it’s best to plan to head onto Shirakawa-go the following day).
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Tokyo.
Alternatively, the Limited Express Azusa runs from Shinjuku Station to Matsumoto and takes around 2.5 hours. There are two services per hour. Once in Matsumoto, follow the directions above.
Another option is to take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station or Ueno Stations to Nagano, Toyama or Karuizawa. Once there, follow the directions above onto Shirakawa-go. Both train services are covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
Got a question about visiting Shirakawa-go, including the option of a private charter or tour? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!