TOKYO TO HAKUBA
Below are five ways to get from Tokyo to Hakuba. If you are looking for ease, we recommend the Shinkansen (bullet train) + bus combo. If you are on a budget we recommend the bus option.
Bullet Train + Bus
Bullet train from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station, transfer to the bus from Nagano to Hakuba. This is the easiest way to reach Hakuba from Tokyo. Estimated time and cost for both the bullet train and bus: 3 hours, ¥10,000 per adult and ¥5,900 per child.
- Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo or Ueno to Nagano Station. There are four classes of Shinkansen seating: Non-reserved (¥7,680), reserved (¥8,200), Green Class (¥10,770), and Gran Class (¥13,860). We suggest avoiding non-reserved seating all together, so that you are guaranteed a seat, however if you do plan on taking Non-reserved Shinkansen we suggest arriving at least 30 min prior to departure for a better chance at getting a seat (otherwise you’ll be standing for 2 hours). For precise time, fares and platform numbers click here.
- At Nagano Station, go to the East Exit and find bus stop #26 on the ground level. This bus goes from Nagano Station to Hakuba roughly every hour from 08:20 to 20:00, taking around 1 hour and costing ¥1,800 per adult and ¥900 per child. For the bus timetable click here. If you miss the last departing bus at 20:00, your only option to get to Hakuba is by taking a taxi (roughly ¥21,000).
Direct express train (Azusa 3) from Shinjuku to Hakuba. Estimated time and cost: 4 hours, ¥8300.
- Leaves daily at 7:30 from Shinjuku Station and goes directly to Hakuba Station arriving at 11:28.
- This is also a great way to get back to Tokyo with the only direct train (no switching) leaving Hakuba at 14:37 and arriving at Shinjuku Station at 18:36.
Overall the Alpico Bus is the cheapest method of transportation from Tokyo to Hakuba. Estimated time and cost: 5 hours, ¥4850 per adult and ¥2,430 per child.
- Without traffic, the ride is 5 hours with two rest stops along the way. Be prepared for delays during holidays and weekends.
- To find the bus terminal, exit Shinjuku Station using the west exit and follow the signs or exit on the street level, then cross the street and turn left, go one block and turn right. The terminal is across from Yodobashi Camera. For precise times and fares, please check with Japan Bus Online.
Another alternative is a chartered jumbo taxi which brings you from Central Tokyo directly to the front door of your accommodation in Hakuba. Alpico has various types of vehicles available, with capacities ranging from 3 passengers (¥125,000) to 24 passengers (¥190,000) Estimated time: 4.5 hours
Having a car can be very convenient and cheap, depending on the size of your group. We recommend Toyota Rent a Car based on price and reliability. Estimated travel time: 3.25 hours, ¥25,320 per vehicle (¥18,000 per day and ¥7,320 in tolls)
Things to remember:
- You will need to reserve winter tires as a special option with availability depending on the pick-up location
- You will not be able to rent a car without a valid International Driver’s Permit