How To Get To Obuse
Located between Nagano City and the Yamanouchi area – home of the Jigokudani Monkey Park – Obuse is a small but historic town famous for its chestnut confectioneries, ‘miso’ and ‘sake’ breweries, and the Hokusai -kan Museum. Being located so close to Nagano Station, Obuse is easy to access using public transport. On this page you will find the following information:
Most visitors traveling to Obuse will do so via Nagano Station. As such, most of the directions provided below instruct how to get to Nagano and from there, follow the directions to Obuse included in the ‘From Nagano’ section. For visitors heading to Obuse from nearby Jigokudani Monkey Park, Shiga Kogen and Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen, it is also likely that you will have reached those destinations via Nagano. However, as you will be approaching Obuse from the opposite direction, let’s begin with those three points of origin before discussing how to get to Obuse from Nagano and all other locations.
Visitors combining their visit to Obuse with the monkey park or other destinations including Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen or Suzaka, might want to consider purchasing a 2-Day Snow Monkey Pass.
WHERE IS OBUSE?
Obuse lies around 18KM / 30-minutes to the north-east of Nagano City. Running from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station, the Nagano Dentetsu Line includes a stop at Obuse Station. Most limited express and local services stop at Obuse, making it easy to get to. Obuse Station is small and easy to navigate, located 10 to 15-minutes walk from the main are of town. The town is also small with enough to see and enjoy for a morning or afternoon but is unlikely to entertain you for an entire day, making it an ideal destination to combine with a visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen and Nagano City – destinations that can all be accessed using the Nagano Dentetsu Line.
HOW TO GET TO OBUSE
In this section you will find information on how to reach Obuse from the following starting points:
JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK – SHIGA KOGEN – YUDANAKA & SHIBU ONSEN – NAGANO CITY – TOKYO – NARITA AIRPORT – HANEDA AIRPORT – KANAZAWA – KARUIZAWA – KARUIZAWA – TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE – MATSUMOTO – TAKAYAMA – KYOTO & OSAKA
We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and in recognition that most international visitors will be using the train network to move around Japan, most directions are for using the trains. If there is alternative option i.e. express or local bus, that is notably faster or economical, we also include that information.
FROM THE JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK
To reach Obuse from the Jigokudani Monkey Park is straight-forward. Take the Nagaden local bus to Yudanaka Station followed by the limited express train to Obuse Station. Starting from the park, the Nagaden local bus from the park to Yudanaka Station – 15 min / JPY310 – followed by the Nagano Dentetsu Line to Nagano Station – 45 min / JPY710 = a total journey of around 70 minutes and costing JPY1600.
FROM SHIGA KOGEN
Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest and highest ski resort and within easy reach of Obuse. Take the local bus – Shiga Kogen Line – from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Bus Station to Yudanaka Station and then follow the directions above. For further details, refer to the above link to the Nagaden local bus.
FROM YUDANAKA & SHIBU ONSEN
The joint hot spring towns of Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen are home to numerous guesthouses – most with in-house hot springs – within easy reach of the monkey park, Shiga Kogen and Obuse. To reach Obuse, take the local bus or walk to Yudanaka Station – approximately 15 to 20-minutes walk from Shibu – and follow the directions above.
FROM NAGANO CITY
Obuse lies just outside the boundary of Nagano City, mkaing it quick and easy to get to. Obuse is a stop on the Nagano Dentetsu Line running from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station. Express services from Nagano to Yudanaka take approximately 25 minutes while local services take 35 minutes. To access the Nagaden train platforms at Nagano Station, simply exit the station via the Zenko-ji Exit and proceed down the escalator immediately to your right. Once at the bottom, head to your left and you will soon see the Nagaden ticket window, machines and platforms. Limited express services to Obuse take 25 min / JPY680. For full details, see our ‘Nagano Dentetsu Line’ page.
If you’re visiting Japan from abroad, chances are you’ll be spending some time in Tokyo. From the capital, it’s an easy two-step journey to reach Obuse. Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line either Tokyo Station or Ueno Station to Nagano. The journey takes between 90 to 110 minutes (depending on which train you take) and costs between JPY8000-9000 one-way.
The Kagayaki and Hakutaka services starting from Tokyo Station are the fastest while the Asama service, which originates at Ueno Station, is slower, stopping at more stations en route to Nagano. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
FROM NARITA AIRPORT
Nagano can be reached in a two-stage journey from the airport via Tokyo Station. Two rapid train services connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo, from where you can head onto Obuse using the Hokuriku Shinkansen via Nagano.
1 / the Narita Express (NEX) runs from Narita to Tokyo Station. It takes 55 minutes to reach Tokyo Station (depending on the service) and costs JPY3070 with trains departing every 30 to 60 minutes. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above.
2 / the Keisei Skyliner runs from Narita to Ueno Station. It takes between 40 to 55 minutes to reach Ueno Station and costs JPY2520 with trains departing every 30 to 40 minutes. Once at Ueno Station, transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Nagano.
FROM HANEDA AIRPORT
Nagano can be reached in a two-stage journey from the airport via Tokyo Station. Two train services connect Haneda Airport to central Tokyo, from where you can head onto Obuse using the Hokuriku Shinkansen via Nagano.
1 / the Tokyo Monorail connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Hamamatsucho Station in around 30 minutes. From the airport take the monorail to Hamamatsucho Station (20 min/JPY170) and then switch to the JR Yamanote Line or JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line Rapid bound for Tokyo Station (5 min/JPY160) – a total journey of around 30-minutes / JPY660 one-way. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above to Nagano.
2 / the Keikyu Railway connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Shinagawa Station. Take the Keikyu Airport bound to Shinagawa Station (approx.11 min/JPY300) and transfer to the Yamanote Line bound for Osaki to reach Tokyo Station- 13 min / JPY170 or a total journey of around 30 min / JPY470. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above to Nagano.
As the northern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, the journey from Kanazawa Station to Nagano Station is easy. There are four services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – the Kagayaki, Hakutaka, Asama and Tsurugi – however only the Kagayaki and Hakuata services connect Kanazawa and Nagano. Using the Kagayaki, the journey from Kanazawa to Nagano takes 65 minutes / JPY8920 or 85 to 90 minutes / JPY8590 using the Hakutaka. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above. For further details, see our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen’ and ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable’ pages.
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. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
Running from Nagoya Station to Nagano Station, via Matsumoto, the Limited Express Shinano connects two of the region’s major cities. The Limited Express Shinano operates approximately once an hour and makes the journey between Nagano and Nagoya in approximately 3 hours and costs JPY6930. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above. For further details including daily timetable, please refer to our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page.
FROM THE TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE
The easiest way to reach Obuse is from Ogizawa Station – on the Nagano-side of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route – from where you can take the Alpico Bus to Nagano Station – approximately 100 minutes journey time. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above. Alternatively. from Tateyama Station on the Toyama-side, take the Toyama Chiho Railway to Toyama Station and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen, bound for Nagano. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
From Matsumoto Station, take the Shinano Line to Nagano Station. There are many services every day including the Limited Express Shinano – taking around 50 minutes – and local services – taking around 1.5 hours. For the daily train schedule, please refer to our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
There is no direct public transport from Takayama Station to Nagano, presenting travelers with different options. For those traveling by train, the easiest option is to take the Hokuriku Shinkansen north to Toyama – approximately 50 minutes – and follow the directions above. The total journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours depending on which services you use. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above.
Bus services from Takayama to Shirakawa-go and Gokayama along with Kamikochi make Obuse accessible from those destinations. Noting that Obuse can also be reached from Kamikochi via Matsumoto, refer to the destination pages for instructions how to get to both Takayama and Matsumoto.
FROM KYOTO & OSAKA
For visitors coming from Kyoto and Osaka, you have three options to reach Nagano: 1. also take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen to reach Nagano Station; 2. take the Limited Express Thunderbird service to Kanazawa and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen heading south to Nagano and Tokyo; or 3. take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya Station and transfer to the Limited Express Shinano bound for Nagano – as described above. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above. All routes take 4+ hours with options 2 and 3 being notably cheaper than option 1.
15 THINGS TO DO AROUND OBUSE & WHERE TO STAY
A small but historic town, Obuse is an ideal destination for a morning or afternoon, in combination with exploration of Nagano City, Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen or the Jigokudani Monkey Park. The Obuse Hokusai-kan Museum profiles the life and work of Japan’s most famous artist, Hokusai Katsushika, who spent some of his final years painting in Obuse. Indeed Obuse boasts his last great masterpiece, a rising phoenix on the ceiling of Ganshoin Temple while in more recent times, has become famous for its chestnut confectioneries and other tasty treats. Our ’15 Things To Do Around Obuse & Where To Stay’ page has tips and suggestions of what’s on offer and where to stay – we hope we can tempt you to visit!
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy the region’s many fantastic destinations including Obuse and beyond.
For guests wanting to access the resorts 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 including from/to Nagano Station and any resort 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 that experience 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 Obuse? Contact us and let’s get planning together!