How to travel between Takayama and Kyoto
By train via Nagoya
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto to Nagoya (35-45 minutes, several trains per hour) and transfer to the JR Hida limited express train to Takayama (140 minutes, one train per hour). The entire one way journey takes about three hours, costs around 9,500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass if using a Hikari or Kodama train between Kyoto and Nagoya (as opposed to Nozomi trains which are not covered by the pass).
By train and bus via Kanazawa
By highway bus
There are multiple direct highway bus round trips per day between Kyoto (Kyoto Station Hachijo side) and Takayama operated by Kintetsu and Nohi Bus. The one way trip takes four hours and costs 4200 yen. Online reservations can be made at Willer.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
JR Takayama Station and the adjacent Takayama Hida Bus Center are located about a ten minute walk from Takayama's old town on the opposite side of Miyagawa River.
Most of Takayama's attractions are within easy walking distance in the city center, except for the Hida no Sato open air museum and the Matsuri no Mori festival museum, which can be accessed in longer walks or 10-15 minute bus rides from Takayama Station.
Two sightseeing buses are available: The Machinami Bus (100 yen/ride) runs hourly on a circular route between the station and the old town. And the Sarubobo Bus (210 yen/ride) runs every 20-50 minutes between the station and Hida no Sato and the Matsuri no Mori. A 1-day pass for unlimited use of both sightseeing buses on one calendar day is available for 620 yen.
Guided tours on rickshaws (jinrikisha) are available in the old town. A 30 minute tour for two persons costs 7000 yen. Shorter and longer courses for up to three persons per rickshaw are also available.