How to travel between Takayama and Kanazawa
Direct highway buses connect Takayama and Kanazawa via Shirakawa-go every 2-3 hours (see timetable). The one way trip takes a little over two hours and costs 3390 yen, while a round trip ticket is available for 6070 yen. Seat reservations are mandatory. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on these buses, but the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass is. Online reservations can be made through Japan Bus Online.
With a favorable connection at Toyama, the one way journey between Takayama and Kanazawa takes just over two hours and costs around 6500 yen by limited express train and shinkansen. It is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
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.