How to travel between Minakami and Tokyo
The JR Joetsu Shinkansen connects Tokyo with Jomo Kogen Station at least once per hour. The one way trip takes around 75 minutes and costs about 5500 yen. From Jomo Kogen Station transfer to a bus for Minakami Station (25 minutes, 620 yen) or another destination in the Minakami area. The shinkansen ride is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass, however the bus ride is not.
By local train
Take the JR Takasaki Line from Tokyo's Ueno Station to Takasaki Station (two hours, 2-3 trains per hour) and transfer to the JR Joetsu Line to Minakami Station (one hour, 1 train per hour). The entire one way trip takes about three hours, costs 3020 yen and is covered by the seasonally available Seishun 18 Kippu.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
Minakami is a spread out town that covers a large area in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. At its center is Minakami Station which acts as the transportation hub with bus connections to Mount Tanigawa, Takaragawa Onsen and Jomo Kogen Station.
The Joetsu Shinkansen stops at Jomo Kogen Station, a 20 minute bus ride outside of the town center. The shinkansen station serves as a secondary transportation hub for the area with bus connections to Minakami Station, Takumi no Sato, Sarugakyo Onsen and nearby Numata City.
A special 3-day bus pass is available to foreign tourists. For just 2000 yen, the pass provides unlimited use of local buses, including the buses to the lower station of the Tanigawa Ropeway, Takaragawa Onsen and Sarugakyo (but not the bus between Sarugakyo and Hoshi Onsen).
Alternatively, a rental car is recommended, as public transportation around Minakami can be rather infrequent or inconvenient and the town's attractions are quite spread out. Rental cars are available around Jomo Kogen, Shibukawa and Takasaki Stations.