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 3600 yen, while a round trip ticket is available for 6400 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.
Four tourist bus lines are available: the Sarubobo Bus runs every 30 minutes between the station and Hida no Sato, with every second service continuing to the Matsuri no Mori, while the Machinami Bus and the two Takumi Bus lines run around the town center. The fare is 100 yen per ride or 500 yen for a 1-day pass that provides unlimited rides on all four lines on one calendar day.
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.