How to Get to Karuizawa
Located approximately 170km to the north-west of Tokyo, Karuizawa is a small mountain resort town popular with Tokyo-ites and international visitors alike.
As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – running from Tokyo to Kanazawa – Karuizawa Station is readily accessible from the capital, nearby Nagano, Toyama, Kanazawa and many other connected stations.
We hope that the following information is helpful in planning your visit to Karuizawa:
Both Nagano Station and Karuizawa Station are stops on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, meaning that getting from one to the other is quick and easy – taking only 30 min / JPY3210. The line also includes stops at:
For daily trains schedules, please refer to our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable’ page.
From the Jigokudani Monkey Park
To reach Karuizawa from the Jigokudani Monkey Park is easily done via Nagano Station. 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 limited express train to Nagano takes 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.
From Kusatsu Onsen
Karuizawa is the nearest major train station to Kusatsu Onsen. Regular bus services running from Karuizawa Station – 80 min / JPY2240 run to and from Kusatsu. For details including the timetable, please refer to our ‘Karuizawa Station’ page.
From Kanazawa & Toyama
As northern stops on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, it’s easy to get to Karuizawa from both Kanazawa Station and Toyama Station. From Kanazawa takes 120 min / JPY11,120 and from Toyama takes 95 min / JPY9370.
From the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route
The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route has two points of acccess: from the Nagano-side and from the Toyama-side. To reach Karuizawa, it will be easiest to come down the Nagano-side to Ogizawa Staion and then take a bus to Nagano Station – approximately 100 minutes.
Once at Nagano Station, simply follow the directions above to reach Karuizawa.
Once at Shin-Kurobe, walk through to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station and board the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound Karuizawa.
As the southern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, getting from Tokyo Station to Karuizawa is easy. Depending on which service you choose, it takes 65 to 80 min / JPY5490.
Taking approximately 90 minutes and costing JPY2890, 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.
Once at Toyama, follow the directions above to reach Karuizawa.
From Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
The Nohi Bus company also operates several daily services from Shirakawa-go to Toyama Station. It takes approximately 60 minutes and adults should expect to pay around JPY1730 one-way.
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Toyama.
Alternatively, take the bus on from Shirakawa-go to Takayama and from there, take the Limited Express Hida service to Toyama – as described above. Once at Toyama, follow the directions above to reach Karuizawa.
Karuizawa can be reached from Kamikochi via Takayama Station, with frequent services running to and from the Takayama Nohi Bus Center – located next to Takayama Station. From the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, take the bus to the Hirayu Onsen Bus Terminal – 25 to 30 minutes – and then switch to the bus headed to Takyama – another 60 minutes.
Please see the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Takayama. Once at Takayama Station, transfer to the Limited Express Hida service bound for Toyama Station and onto Karuizawa – as described above.
Alternatively, you can also take the bus from the Kamikochi Bus Terminal to Shin-shimashima Station, and then transfer to the Kamikochi train line abound for Matsumoto Station. Once in Matsumoto, follow the directions below.
From Matsumoto Station, it’s a two-step journey to Karuizawa via Nagano Station.
Take the Limited Express Shinano – 50 min / JPY2370 – to Nagano Station and switch to the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Tokyo via Karuizawa (as described above).
There are different options for getting to Karuizawa from Nagoya with the simplest being a two-step journey via Tokyo Station.
From Kyoto and Osaka
Likewise, from Kyoto and Osaka take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo Station and switch to the Hokuriku Shinkansen to reach Karuizawa. From Shin-Osaka Station it takes 145 to 175 min (depending on which service you choose) / JPY13,870 – and from Kyoto Station it takes 135 to 160 min (depending on the service) / JPY13,320. Once at Tokyo, follow the directions above to reach Karuizawa.
Private Charters & Tours to/from Karuizawa
Based in Nagano City and operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator, offering a range of services including group tours, private tours and charters.
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 including transport to and from any ski resort in the region.
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 that experience 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.
Got a question about arranging a charter or tour from Karuizawa? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com and let’s get planning together!