Complete Guide on How to travel to Shirakawago from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Kanazawa



In this article, we’ll introduce the different methods of transportation from each of the following places to help you plan your trip to Shirakawa-go. It’s important to be aware that there are no rail lines to Shirakawa-go, so the final part of the trip will need to be done by bus, no matter which method of transport you opt for.

  • 01

    Shirakawago Overview

    Nestled in the Shogawa River Valley that spans Gifu and Toyama Prefectures, Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed region. It’s famed for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old, with steep thatched roofs and a unique architectural style that evolved over many generations.

    Gassho-zukuri translates as "constructed like hands in prayer” in reference to the roof shape, which is designed to withstand the heavy snowfall that Shirakawa-go experiences in the winter. The roofs are expertly crafted without the use of nails and are equipped with a large attic space where silkworms were traditionally cultivated.

    Shirakawa-go is roughly divided into two areas - Shirakawa-go (in Gifu prefecture) and Gokayama (in Toyama prefecture). Ogimachi Village is the most easily accessible and popular village in Shirakawa-go, with a lot of gassho-zukuri houses and the main street of Shirakawa Kaido running through its heart.

    Shirakawa-go makes a fascinating day trip from Takayama or Kanazawa, as well as being easily accessible from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
    Ogimachi is the main transport hub of the Shirakawa-go region, with the bus lines from Takayama, Nagoya, Kanazawa and Toyama all stopping here.
    There’s a new Shirakawago Bus Terminal at the entrance to the village, with Ogimachi small enough to be explored on foot.

  • 02

    From Tokyo

    If you’re traveling to Shirakawa-go from Tokyo, you have a number of different transport options - airplane, Shinkansen or highway bus.

    ― By Plane
    If you want to travel by plane, there are regular flights from Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport and Toyama Airport, both of which can be used to access Shirakawa-go.
    There are ten direct flights between Haneda Airport and Komatsu Airport each day, with the journey taking just over one hour and costing from around 12,090 yen per person.

    From Komatsu Airport, you can catch a limousine bus to Kanazawa Station’s west entrance (1,130 yen, 40 minutes), with buses departing 15 minutes after the arrival of each flight. You can then catch another bus from the Kanazawa Ekimae east exit to Shirakawa-go (1,850 yen, 75 minutes), with the last bus departing at 4 pm. The bus stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

    Komatsu Airport

    Komatsu Airport

    Alternatively, you can fly from Haneda Airport to Toyama Airport, with four flights per day.
    The journey takes an hour and costs around 13,990 yen per person.
    From Toyama Airport, you can catch a bus to Toyama Station (410 yen, 22 minutes), then a high-speed bus from Toyama Station to Shirakawa-go (1,700 yen, 80 minutes).
    Be aware that there are only four buses between Toyama Station and Shirakawa-go each day, so you need to plan your journey carefully.

    Toyama Airport

    Toyama Airport

    ― By Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
    Since the opening of the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen, the travel time from Tokyo to Shirakawa-go has shortened significantly.
    From Tokyo Station, it takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to travel on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen “Kagayaki” to Kanazawa Station (15,100 yen).

    You can also travel on the “Hakutaka”, which takes just over three hours and has a free seat option for 14,580 yen.
    From Kanazawa Station, you can catch the high-speed bus as outlined above from the Kanazawa Ekimae east exit. The bus stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

    ― By High-speed Bus
    It’s also possible to travel to Shirakawa-go by high-speed bus from Tokyo.
    Buses depart from the Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (Basta Shinjuku) and travel to Takayama Nohi Bus Center where you need to change to the Shirakawa-go Line (2,470 yen, 50 minutes).

    The bus from Takayama stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.
    The journey takes between 6 hours and 30 minutes and 7 hours and costs 9,160 yen per person.

  • 03

    From Osaka

    There are two options for traveling to Shirakawa-go from Osaka - Shinkansen or highway bus.

    ― By Shinkansen
    Tokaido Shinkansen regularly departs JR Shin-Osaka Station for Nagoya, with connecting trains from here to Takayama Station (around 4 hours travel time and costing 13,810 yen).
    After arriving at Takayama Station, you can make the three-minute walk to the Takayama Hida Bus Center and get the express bus to Shirakawa-go as mentioned above (2,470 yen, 50 minutes).
    The bus stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

    There’s also an early-morning “Limited Express Wide View Hida” that travels from JR Osaka Station to Takayama, without requiring you to change trains.
    It takes around 4 hours and 25 minutes (which is slightly longer than the Shinkansen journey) but costs 3,560 yen less. It’s a good option for those who are on a budget or don’t want the hassle of changing trains in Nagoya.

    ― By High-speed Bus
    Another option is to travel from Osaka to Shirakawa-go by high-speed bus, although there is no direct route.
    You need to travel from the Osaka Umeda (Hankyu Sanmachi) or Osaka Station JR Express Bus Terminal to ether Toyama or Kanazawa and transfer to a bus there, as mentioned above.
    Buses stop at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

    Tickets cost between 3,600 and 5,100 yen and the journey takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes.
    If you want to spend the day in Shirakawa-go, you can catch the overnight bus from Osaka, then return the following evening.

  • 04

    From Nagoya

    If you’re traveling from Nagoya to Shirakawa-go, you have two options - train or bus.

    ― By Train
    From JR Nagoya Station, you can catch the Limited Express “Wide View Hida” to Takayama Station, with the journey taking 2 hours and 20 minutes and costing around 6,000 yen.
    After arriving at Takayama Station, you can make the three-minute walk to the Takayama Hida Bus Center and get the express bus to Shirakawago, as mentioned above (2,470 yen, 50 minutes).
    The bus stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

    ― By Bus
    Alternatively, you can catch the “Express Shirakawago Line” from the Meitetsu Bus Center that’s operated by Gifu Bus. The journey takes around 2 hours and 50 minutes and costs 3,900 yen (7,000 yen round-trip). The bus stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

  • 05

    From Kanazawa

    ― By Bus
    If you’re traveling from Kanazawa to Shirakawa-go, there are buses departing at least once an hour from Kanazawa Station.
    The journey takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and cost 1,850 yen (3,290 round-trip). The bus stops at the Shirakawa-go (Ogimachi) bus terminal.

  • 06

    [ Japan Route Finder & Calculator:To Shirakawa-go]

    Official web:Japan Route Finder & Calculator :To Shirakawa-go

    Gifu Pref. Onogunshirakawamura Ogimachi
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