Getting to Hakuba

From Narita or Haneda Airports, Tokyo.

Shinkansen (bullet train)

It is the fastest way, but you will have to change transport a few times.

Route: Airport -> Ueno/Tokyo Station -> Nagano Station -> Hakuba 

Total travel time: around 3.5 – 4 hours

Price: around 11,000 – 12,000 yen per adult

Available: whole year round

 

▶ Getting to Tokyo from Narita airport:

  • To Tokyo and Ginza Station. Airport Bus: 1000-2000 yen, departing every 10-30 min, travel time – 65 min (Tokyo station), 78 min (Ginza)
    https://tyo-nrt.com/timetable (Japanese)

The above are just the easiest and most convenient ways of getting to central Tokyo, but you can find more here: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2027.html

 

▶ Getting to central Tokyo from Haneda Airport:

  • To Tokyo Station. Limousine Bus: 950 yen, departing every 30-60 min, travel time – 40-55 min 
  • To Shinjuku Station. Limousine Bus: 1250 yen, departing every 15-30 min, travel time – 45 – 80 min.

There are no direct train connections, but if you do not mind changing trains you can use either Tokyo Monorail or Keikyu Airport Line – it will only take you only 30 minutes and 470-660 yen. More information here: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2430.html?aFROM=2430_3037 

 

You don’t have to buy shinkansen tickets in advance, as most of the trains have both reserved and non-reserved tickets and they depart every 20-30 minutes. However during busy times (New Year period, for example) it might be difficult to buy reserved seat tickets just before departure and if you buy non-reserved ones  you might end up standing.

Line: Hokuriku Shinkansen, Bound for: Nagano/Kanazawa

Trains: Hakutaka (reserved/non-reserved), Asama (reserved/non-reserved), Kagayaki (reserved only).

Price: 7,680 (non-reserved), 8,400 yen (reserved)

Travel time: 80-100 min

Timetable and seat reservation: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/routemaps/hokurikushinkansen.html#category04

 

▶ Getting to Hakuba from Nagano Station.

Once at Nagano Station, head to Higashi-guchi (East Exit) and outside take an elevator or stairs to your left to get to the bus stops. You will need bus stop 6. Tickets can either be bought from the driver or from the souvenir shop nearby (you will find directions at the bus stop). These buses cannot be reserved, but during busy hours the bus company has 2-3 buses running to accommodate all passengers.

Price: 2,000 yen

Travel Time: 75 min

Timetable: https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-nagano-hakuba/ 

 

If you prefer to reserve your seats in advance, book the bus running from Metropolitan Hotel right nearby. They also offer more bus stops in Hakuba.

Price: 2,300 yen  

Timetable: https://naganosnowshuttle.com/Nagano.aspx 

 

Direct airport express bus

The buses operate by Nagano Snow Shuttle and run both from Narita and from Haneda airport.

The bus will drop you off at Hakuba Base Camp, from where most of the accommodations will provide a complimentary pick-up for you. After 8 pm the company will provide a complimentary drop-off at the accommodation. They offer an accommodation drop-off during the day as well at additional fee.

Route: Airport -> Hakuba

Travel time: 5-6 hours

Price: 9,900 -10,900 yen

Available: 18 Dec – 15 March

The buses would have to leave on time and as a rule will not wait for you if your plane is late. However you will be able to board the next bus if they have seats available.

Timetable: https://naganosnowshuttle.com/ 

 

Share jumbo  taxi 

Route: Airport -> Hakuba

Travel time: 5-6 hours

Price: 15,700 -17,200 yen

Available: all year round

Info: http://air.chuotaxi.co.jp/index.html?lang=en

The driver will meet you at the gate and the bus will wait for you even if your flight is late. However it should be pointed out that sometimes it might take hours to wait for other passengers and the bus might need to stop by other locations to drop off passengers, so it might take much more time than an express bus.

 

 

Express bus from Tokyo

If you are planning to head to Hakuba not directly from an airport but from Tokyo, we recommend taking a bus from Shinjuku, as it is the cheapest and easiest way. The bus will drop you off at Hakuba Station or Happo Bus Terminal from where your accommodation can pick you up.

Reservation recommended during weekends and peak season.

Route: Tokyo (Shinjuku) -> Hakuba

Travel time: 5 hours

Price: 5,200 yen

Available: all year round

Timetable: https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-shinjuku-hakuba/

 

Trains from Tokyo (apart from shinkansen)

We recommend this option to JR Pass holders, as you won’t have to use buses to get to Hakuba. Azusa limited express trains arrive in Matsumoto which has a direct train connection to Hakuba, compared to shinkansen that arrive in Nagano. However this way will not save you time or money if you do not have the pass, so we recommend to use other options mentioned above.

Other than that, Matsumoto is a beautiful historical city so it is worth a visit in itself on your way to or from Hakuba.

 

Route: Tokyo (Shinjuku) -> Matsumoto -> Hakuba

Travel time: 3 h 40 min – 5 hours

Price: 8,000 yen

Available: all year round

Direct train going to Hakuba leaves only once or twice a day at 8:00 AM and 10:04 AM (not daily). In other cases you will need to take a train to Matsumoto and from there change to a local train to Hakuba. Trains bound for Matsumoto depart from Shinjuku station approximately every 30 minutes. Timetable: https://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/English/wb/common/timetable/e_lex_chuo_d/index.html 

Local Matsumoto-Hakuba trains are not very frequent, so we recommend checking the timetable in advance. With most trains you will need to change at Shinano-Omachi station, but some of them go straight to Hakuba. 

Train search: http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ 

From Kyoto or Osaka

By train

Route: Kyoto -> Nagoya -> Matsumoto -> Hakuba

Travel time: 5 hours 

Price: 10,000-12,000 yen (depending on whether you have a reserved or non-reserved ticket)

Available: all year round

The shinkansen that departs from Kyoto to Nagoya is very frequent, and the train going from Nagoya to Matsumoto departs every hour, but you might want to check the Matsumoto-Hakuba train timetable in advance. 

If you prefer a combination of train and bus you can take the same Shinano limited express from Nagoya, but get off at Nagano station instead of Matsumoto. There you can catch a bus to Hakuba:  https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-nagano-hakuba/ . There is not much difference in terms of time and money, but the bus is more comfortable than the local train from Matsumoto.

 

Route: Kyoto -> Kanazawa -> Itoigawa -> Hakuba

Travel time: 5 h 30 min

Price:  10,000-12,000 yen (depending on whether you have a reserved or non-reserved ticket)

Available: all year round

This option is not much different from the one above in terms of time or money but takes a route that lines near the seaside.

 

These same trains are actually departing from Osaka before stopping in Kyoto so you can use exactly the same routes to get to Hakuba from Osaka.

Again you can use this extremely useful website to help you plan your train transfers: http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

 

By bus 

– Direct night bus

Route: Kyoto / Osaka -> Hakuba

Travel time: 9 hours

Price:  8,300 yen

Available: mid December – end of March

Timetable: https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-osakakyoto-hakuba/ 

 

– Day bus (transfering in Nagano)

Route: Kyoto / Osaka -> Nagano -> Hakuba

Travel time: 9 hours

Price:  8,000 – 9,000 yen

Available: all year round

Osaka/Kyoto to Nagano timetable: https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/nagano/r-osakakyoto-nagano/

Nagano to Hakuba timetable: https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-nagano-hakuba/

 

From Centrair Nagoya airport

Direct bus

Route: Centrair -> Hakuba 

Travel time: 6 hours

Price:  4,000-4,500 yen

Available: end of December – end of March

Information: https://www.centrair.jp/en/special/travel/ski_hakuba/

 

As there are only one or two buses per day depending on the day of the week, you might need to catch a train instead.

 

By train

Route: Centrair -> Nagoya -> Matsumoto -> Hakuba

Travel time: 4 hours 

Price: 6,700- 7,500 yen (depending on whether you have a reserved or non-reserved ticket)

Available: all year round

The train going from Nagoya to Matsumoto departs every hour, but you might want to check the Matsumoto-Hakuba train timetable in advance here http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ .

If you prefer a combination of train and bus you can take the same Shinano limited express from Nagoya, but get off at Nagano station instead of Matsumoto. There you can catch a bus to Hakuba:  https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/hakuba/r-nagano-hakuba/ .
There is not much difference in terms of time and money, but the bus is more comfortable than the local train from Matsumoto.

 

Useful links: