How To Get To Kurobe Gorge
Accessed via the hot spring town of Unazuki Onsen in Toyama Prefecture, Kurobe Gorge is known for its natural beauty and one of Japan’s most scenic rail lines, the Kurobe Gorge Railway. On this page you will find the following information:
Carved-out by the Kurobe River which ascends to the world below from high in Japan’s tallest mountain range, Kurobe Gorge is inextricably linked to the more famous Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route passes over the mountains from Nagano into Toyama. Often overlooked by international visitors, Toyama is unique pocket of Japan, nestled between the north coast and the mountains, of which Kurobe Gorge stands-out. Accessible from the small hot spring town of Unazuki Onsen, the gorge can be enjoyed riding the Kurobe Gorge Railway from April until November, with the autumn leaves of October and November offering a spectacular reason to visit later in the year.
Readily accessible using the Hokuriku Shinkansen line via Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station, Kurobe Gorge stands-out as one of Central Japan’s most enjoyable destinations. We hope the following information is helpful in planning your visit. Let’s start with the most obvious question:
WHERE IS KUROBE GORGE?
Located in Toyama Prefecture, Kurobe Gorge lies around 50KM / 60-minutes to the north-east of Toyama City. Regarded as one of the most beautiful gorges in Japan, Kurobe is best-enjoyed riding the Kurobe Gorge Railway – a 20KM / 80-minute scenic line running to and from Unazuki Station along the Kurobe River. Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station is the nearest major station to the gorge. A stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa via Nagano, Kurobe-Unazukionsen can be reached in 140 to 150-minutes from the capital, 35-minutes from Kanazawa and 50-minutes from Nagano.
HOW TO GET TO KUROBE GORGE
In this section you will find information on how to reach Kurobe Gorge from the following starting points:
KUROBE-UNAZUKIONSEN – TOYAMA – KANAZAWA – TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE – NAGANO CITY – JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK – KARUIZAWA – MATSUMOTO – TAKAYAMA – KAMIKOCHI – TOKYO – NARITA AIRPORT – HANEDA AIRPORT – NAGOYA – 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.
Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station is the nearest shinkansen station to Kurobe Gorge, and as such, is a convenient hub from which to reach the gorge and railway. It is on the Hokuriku Shinkansen LINE running from Kanazawa to Tokyo and includes stops at:
Kanazawa / Shin-Takaoka / Toyama / Kurobe-Unazukionsen / Itoigawa / Joetsu-Myoko / Iiyama / Nagano / Ueda / Sakudaira / Karuizawa / Annaka-Haruna / Takasaki / Honjo-Waseda / Kumagaya / Omiya / Ueno / Tokyo
Once at Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station, crossover the walkway to Shin-Kurobe Station and transfer to the Toyama Chiho Railway bound for Unazuki Onsen Station. The journey from Shin-Kurobe Station to Unazuki Onsen Station takes between 20 to 30 minutes and costs JPY640-JPY750 (depending on which service you choose).
Once at Unazuki Onsen Station, simply follow the signs to nearby Unazuki Station and the Kurobe Gorge Railway. For daily train schedules, see to our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable’ page.
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Toyama Station to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station – 12 min / JPY1470. Once there, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Kanazawa Station to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station – 35 min / JPY3560. Once there, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
FROM THE TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE
The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route can be access via two stations – Tateyama Station on the Toyama-side of the mountain range and Ogizawa Station on the Nagano-side. To access Kurobe Gorge from the Alpine Route, it is best to come down the Toyama-side to Tateyama Station and once there, take the Toyama Chiho Railway Tateyama Line to Terada Station, and once there, transfer to the Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line bound for Unazuki Onsen Station. The journey takes between 120 to 160 minutes depending on which services you choose and costs JPY2140.
Please note, because of the time required for both activities, it is not possible to experience the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route and Kurobe Gorge Railway on the same day. We recommend booking in either the Unazuki Onsen / Kurobe Gorge area or Tateyama Station area and enjoying the region on a mutli-day visit.
FROM NAGANO CITY
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano Station to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station – 45 to 55 min / JPY5940. Once there, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
FROM THE JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK
To reach Kurobe Gorge from the Jigokudani Monkey Park takes time but is relatively straight-forward when 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 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.
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Karuizawa Station to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station – 75 to 85 min / JPY8260. Once there, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
From Matsumoto Station, take the Limited Express Shinano to Nagano Station. There are many services every day taking around 50 minutes. For the daily train schedule, see our ‘Limited Express Shinano Line Timetable’ page. Once in Nagano, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
The Kurobe Gorge can be accessed 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. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above to reach Kurobe Gorge.
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station – 140 to 150 min / JPY11,550 – and once there, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
FROM NARITA AIRPORT
Kurobe Gorge can be accessed from the airport via Tokyo Station or Ueno Station. Two rapid train services connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo, from where you can make the onward journey to Kurobe Gorge.
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 Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station and follow the directions above.
FROM HANEDA AIRPORT
Kurobe Gorge can be reached from Haneda via Tokyo Station. Two train services connect Haneda Airport to central Tokyo, from where you can make the onward journey to Kurobe Gorge.
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.
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.
From Nagoya Station, take the Limited Express Shirasagi – 180 min / JPY6930 – to Kanazawa Station. Once in Kanazawa, follow the directions above to reach Kurobe Gorge.
FROM KYOTO & OSAKA
From Shin-Osaka Station and Kyoto Station Kurobe Gorge, can be reached fairly easily via Kanazawa Station. From either of those stations, take the Limited Express Thunderbird to Kanazawa. Frequent services run between the cities and involve the following travel times and costs: 150 to 155 minutes / JPY7260 from Shin-Osaka and 125 minutes / JPY6490 from Kyoto. Once in Kanazawa, follow the directions above to reach the Kurobe Gorge.
RIDE THE KUROBE GORGE RAILWAY
Running 20km from Unazuki Station to Keyakidaira Station, the Kurobe Gorge Railway is one of Japan’s most scenic train-rides. Following the Kurobe River, the line passes over 20 bridges and through around 40 tunnels – a beautiful landscape and experience that can be enjoyed riding the train’s open-air carriages. For more information, see our ‘Ridge the Kurobe Gorge Railway’ page.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND TOYAMA & WHERE TO STAY
Nestled between Japan’s north coast and highest mountain range, Toyama is a beautiful region best-known for its seafood, the Kurobe Gorge and the iconic Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. Toyama City itself is modern and energetic and an ideal launching point from where to access the overall region. For tips and suggestions of what’s on offer, see our ’25 Things To Do Around Toyama & Where To Stay’ page.
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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!
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