How to get to Takaoka
Tokyo Station and Shin-Takaoka Station are connected by hourly trains along the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way journey takes approximately two hours, costs around 13,500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and the Hokuriku Arch Pass. Note that the latter will pay off for a round trip between Tokyo and Takaoka.
Kanazawa and Shin-Takaoka Station are connected by twice-hourly trains along the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way journey takes around 15 minutes, costs 1530 yen for an unreserved seat (reserved seats are much more expensive) and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and the Hokuriku Arch Pass.
Alternatively, take the IR Ishikawa Railway and Ainokaze Toyama Railway from Kanazawa to Takaoka Station. The one way journey takes 45 minutes, costs 820 yen and is not covered by the JR passes.
Toyama and Shin-Takakoka Station are connected by twice-hourly trains along the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way journey takes around ten minutes and costs 1180 yen for an unreserved seat (reserved seats are much more expensive).
Alternatively, take the Ainokaze Toyama Railway from Toyama Station to Takaoka Station. The one way trip takes around 20 minutes and costs 360 yen. Both routes are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and the Hokuriku Arch Pass.
Kaetsuno Bus operates buses between Takaoka Station, Shin-Takaoka Station, Gokayama and Shirakawago approximately once every two hours (see timetable). The one way ride from Takaoka costs around 1200 yen to Gokayama and 1800 yen to Shirakawago.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
Takaoka has two main train stations: Takaoka Station and Shin-Takaoka Station. Takaoka Station is located in the center of the city and is served by local and regional train lines, as well as the tram and buses. Less than two kilometers to the south, Shin-Takaoka Station is served by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The two stations are connected by the JR Johana Line (3 minutes, 140 yen one way, one train/hour) or bus (10 minutes, 160 yen one way, 3-4 buses/hour). It is also possible to walk between the two stations in about 20-30 minutes.
Most of Takaoka's attractions are located in the city center. The Great Buddha, the castle park and Zuiryuji Temple are all within one kilometer of Takakoka Station, while the historic districts are about 1.5 kilometers away. Good walkers could consider to explore them all on foot.
The city is served by a single tram line, the Manyo Line, that heads from Takaoka Station north through the city center to the port district. It provides access to most of the city's central attractions for 150 yen per ride. The fare increases for longer distances. A local IC card can be used on the trams, but note that Suica, Icoca and and other IC cards are not valid.