How to travel between Shirakawago and Nagoya

Via Takayama

1) How to travel between Nagoya and Takayama
2) How to travel between Takayama and Shirakawago

By direct Gifu Bus

Gifu Bus operates multiple direct buses per day between Nagoya (Meitetsu Bus Center next to Nagoya Station) and Shirakawa-go. Travel time is roughly three hours, and the fare is 3000-4000 yen one way depending on the day of travel. The Japan Rail Pass is not valid on this bus. Online bookings can be made through Willer.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are two formerly remote regions in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture respectively. These days, the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway has brought them to within an hour of the nearby cities of Kanazawa, Toyama and Takayama.

Both regions cover a large area of mountainous terrain with a few small villages here and there. Among the villages, Ogimachi has the largest number of old farmhouses and is most easily accessible by public transportation. Ainokura and Suganuma are the nicest villages in Gokayama, but a little bit more time-consuming to access.

Ogimachi is the region's transportation hub, with bus connections to Takayama, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Takaoka and Toyama. The Shirakawa-go IC on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway is located just outside of the village.

The Gokayama region is located in Toyama Prefecture along the bus route that connects Takaoka with Ogimachi. Bus service along this route has greatly improved in recent years; nevertheless, a rental car can still provide more flexibility and convenience for getting around (outside of winter when driving can be challenging). From Gokayama IC on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway, Suganuma is only two minutes by car, while Ainokura can be reached in about 15 minutes.

Ogimachi, Suganuma and Ainokura are all small enough to be explored on foot. Coin lockers are provided at the Shirakawago bus stop in Ogimachi.

Passes and Tickets

Many tickets and passes are offered to tourists for accessing and exploring Shirakawago, Gokayama and surrounding destinations. Below are some of them:

  • Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass (14,260 yen)
    Unlimited use of JR trains between Nagoya, Takayama and Toyama, and between Osaka, Kanazawa and Toyama, as well as of buses between Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Toyama and Takaoka. More details...
  • Shoryudo Bus Pass (from 9,000 yen)
    Unlimited use of highway buses between Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa and airport access to/from Nagoya's Central Japan Airport, Toyama Airport and Komatsu Airport near Kanazawa. More details...
  • Three-Star Route Ticket (6,000 yen)
    A discounted one way ticket for bus travel between Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Okuhida and Matsumoto. The "Three-Star" refers to the 3-star rating by Michelin Guide for multiple attractions along this route. Known as "Mitsuboshi Route Kippu" in Japanese. The ticket is valid for up to three consecutive calendar days and can be purchased at the Matsumoto Bus Terminal (through Alpico), Kanazawa Station (through Hokuetsu) or Toyama Station (through Toyama Chitetsu).
  • Shirakawago Gokayama Route Ticket (3,980 yen)
    One way trip between Takaoka and Takayama in either direction, using Kaetsuno Bus between Takaoka and Shirakawago and Nohi Bus between Shirakawago and Takayama. Ticket holders can get on an off the bus freely between Takaoka and Shirakwago, but no backtracking is allowed. The ticket is valid for up to three consecutive calendar days and can be purchased at the Takayama Bus Terminal, the bus ticket counter at Takaoka Station and the tourist information desks at Shin-Takaoka and Johana stations.
  • Gokayama Free Kippu (2,500 yen)
    Unlimited use of Kaetsuno buses between Takaoka and Gokayama on two consecutive calendar days, but not as far as Shirakawago.
  • Gokayama-Shirakawago Free Kippu (3,500 yen)
    Unlimited use of Kaetsuno buses between Takaoka and Gokayama on two consecutive calendar days.
  • Takaoka-Shirakawago One Way Free Kippu (2,000 yen)
    One way trip from Takaoka Station to Shirakawago on Kaetsuno buses with stopovers allowed, but no backtracking. The ticket is valid for up to two consecutive calendar days.

Hotels around Shirakawago & Gokayama

Top rated in Shirakawago & Gokayama
    • Onyado Yuinosho
      Located in Shirakawa, 45 km from Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village, Onyado Yuinosho provides accommodation with a shared lounge, free private parking, a restaurant and a bar. Each accommodation at the 4-star ryokan has mountain views, and guests can enjoy access to a hot spring bath. The ryokan features a sauna, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property. The ryokan will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Onyado Yuinosho each room is fitted with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers an ? la carte or Asian breakfast. Takayama Station is 47 km from Onyado Yuinosho, while Shirakawago is 600 metres away. The nearest airport is Toyama Airport, 82 km from the ryokan.
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    • Guesthouse AntHut
      Guest House Ant Hut is located in Shirakawa-go village, a 20-minute walk from the bus terminal Ogimachi at Shirakawa-go World Heritage Village. Free private parking is available on site. Guests can make use of the free shuttle service offered by the property or take a local bus to access the guest house. The Ant Hut has a shared kitchen furnished with essential cooking appliances. The lounge is fitted with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. The guest house features a bathroom, 2 toilets and a hairdryer. Each bed has a private luggage shelf, power outlet, reading light and a fan. Free WiFi access is available throughout the entire property. The property is situated in a quiet location within walking distance to a convenience store and 2 popular local restaurants. Guests can engage in various activities around the region such as skiing and hiking. Property staff are able to recommend things to do around the village. Complimentary seasonal drinks are offered to guests upon arrival and coffee is provided in the mornings.
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    • Shirakawago Guest House Kei
      600 metres from Shirakawago, Shirakawago Guest House Kei is set in Shirakawa and offers rooms with free WiFi. All rooms feature a kitchen and a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen and luggage storage space for guests. All guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a coffee machine. The units will provide guests with a microwave. The nearest airport is Komatsu Airport, 46 km from the property.
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