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Day trip Shirakawa-go from Nagano possible? 2012/12/18 18:17
Please let mr know if the following day trip from Nagano to Shirakawa-go is possible or am i risking it too much because of the tight bus connections?

Nagano to Matsumoto JR Train Shinonoi Line
Dept 0632 Arr 0753

Matsukoto to Takayama Limited Express Bus
Dept 0835 Arr 1055

Takayama to Shirawakawago Bus
Dept 1150 Arr 1252

Return trip
Shirawakawago to Takayama Bus
Dept 1500 Arr 1550

Takayama to Matsumoto Bus
Dept 1610 Arr 1830

Matsumoto to Nagano JR Train
Dept 1915 Arr 2029

The risky bit is leaving Shirakawago at 1500 and risk missing the bus from Takayama back to Matsumoto.

Can anyone advise what other means of public transportation are there between Takayama-Shirakawago or between Takayama-Matsumoto that i can take that will fit into a day trip schedule?
by Vyn O'Lac (guest)  

Re: Day trip Shirakawa-go from Nagano possible? 2012/12/18 18:56
There is no other better or more efficient route. The Japan Alps mountain range had been the natural border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures for many centuries.
by cc (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip Shirakawa-go from Nagano possible? 2012/12/18 19:21
Thanks for the prompt answer.

How long is a sufficient time to spend at Shirakawago. I know it is a long journey for me to get there. But i hope to get at least 2hrs to walk about otherwise 1hr is good but i really hope the view is worth the trip!
by Vyn O'Lac (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2012/12/18 21:29
What date do you plan on going to Shirakawago?
What is the rest of your itinerary in Japan? Is there any way to combine it with anything else? Are you going to Kyoto/Osaka at all? Is there a reason you can't stay in Shirakawago or Takayama?
Will you have an active JR Pass?

There may be some later options for leaving Takayama for Nagano via trains the whole way including leaving Takayama at around 16:44 and going via Minoota and Tajimi, or leaving at 17:13 and going via Toyama and Naoetsu.

But i hope to get at least 2hrs to walk about otherwise 1hr is good but i really hope the view is worth the trip!

I think most tourists spend 2-4 hours there if they don't stay overnight. We spent 4 hours and thought that was fine although we spent a lot of time in the open-air museum area as it was very interesting and they had some good videos showing the construction process too. We also walked up to the lookout and back down again.

Enjoy your trip!
by GC3 rate this post as useful

Re: Day trip Shirakawa-go from Nagano possible? 2012/12/24 20:29
Hi! I just want to close the loop and say that i have successfully completed my trip in Japan and it was great.

I managed to connect to the bus and trains as planned. I got to explore for a full 2 hours in Shirakawago, and manage to connect to the last bus from Takayama to Matsumoto.

I guess my worries were unwarranted as i believe many of you can attest, the Japanese public transportation system really works like clockwork.

Having said that, i can see where my trip could have been a disaster. Please note that the routes i took are mountain routes, meaning they are narrow one laners. All it takes is one vehicle to break down and the schedule will be messed up. Or, like i had experienced, it was snowing heavily from Shirakawago to Takayama, and that could result in road closures etc. So bear in mind.
by Vyn O'Lac (guest) rate this post as useful

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