Travel Guide | How to Access Shirakawa-go from Nagoya

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Nagoya, the central gateway of Japan, is a manufacturing and business hub. Some say it’s a boring city, but I don’t agree with this. It’s probably one of the best base if you plan to see the Japanese Alps and its surrounding ancient villages. The city is also a great food and shopping destination. If you’ve recently snagged a seat sale to Nagoya, and you’re looking to explore other parts of Japan beyond the usual Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto, then this travel guide might be useful!
Nagoya is the gateway to Central Japan.
Option # 1 (Nagoya - Takayama - Shirakawa-go for JR Pass Holders)
This option is the cheapest and fastest way to get Shirakawa-go from Nagoya. This option can also be done if you plan to explore Takayama before heading out to Shirakawa-go. You need to travel by train, either via Limited Express Trains or Local Trains, from Nagoya to Takayama. Train rides are covered by JR Pass. From Takayama Hida Bus Center, located next to JR Takayama Station, you can reserve a bus to Shirakawa-go. You only need to pay for the bus ride to Shirakawa-go.
Limited Express Trains or JR Local Trains are covered by JR Pass
Option # 2 (Gifu Bus for Non-JR Pass Holders)
If your base is Nagoya and you would like to go to Shirakawa-go as a side trip, then you may take Gifu Bus at Meitetsu Bus Center next to Nagoya Station. Travel time is roughly 3 hours and one way bus fare is JPY 3,900.

Option # 3 (Takayama - Hokuriku Pass for Non-JR Pass Holders)
For Non-JR Pass holders, you may consider getting the Takayama - Hokuriku Pass if you will be travelling between Nagoya with Takayama and Toyama, and Osaka with Kanazawa and Toyama, as well as on buses to Shirakawago for 5 consecutive days. The price is JPY 14,000 (50% reduced rates to children aged 6-11), which provides unlimited use of JR Trains in the area covered. Yes, it is not cheap but the amount you will pay for transportation in this area on a 'per ride' basis is significantly more than the price of the pass. 

Option # 4 (Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket for Non-JR Pass Holders)
For Non-JR Pass holders, you may also consider getting a Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket, which provides unlimited use of highway buses between Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa (but not on the buses between Takayama and Toyama). It also caters bus transport from/to Nagoya’s Central Japan International Airport Centrair. The Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket is valid for three (JPY 7,000) or five consecutive days (JPY 14,000).

Got any questions or just want to say hello? I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. ^_^

Other ways to get to Shirakawa-go: 

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