[Access] How to go to Shirakawa-go by using JR pass

The access methods and fees departure from main cities

Although Shirakawa-go is a countryside place and cannot accessed by train, it only takes 1-2 hours by bus from the central main cities (such as Nagoya, Takayama, Toyama and Kanazawa). Shirakawa-go is a nice place to stay few days and experience the culture, tradition and life style, besides it is also convenient to visit other villages nearby. Therefore, we made the following time and transport fees tables.

*The prices are one-way price, and the prices might be different. Please double check at JR website.

Departure from Tokyo to Kanazawa/Toyama/Takayama, then transfer by bus to Shirakawa-go


By Shinkansen +transfer by bus
Time/Price Time Price Time


To Kanazawa

Hokuriku 2.5-3hr 13,000 yen 85 mins 1,850 yen


Hokuriku 2.5hr 12,210 yen 80 mins

1,700 yen



1.    by Shinkansen to Nagoya and then transfer by train or bus

2.   by night bus 5.5 hrs

57 mins

2,470 yen


Departure from Kyoto and Osaka to Kanazawa/Nagoya, then transfer by bus


By Train or Shinkansen from +transfer by bus
Time/price Time Price Time






Kyoto2.3 hr

Osaka 2.75 hr



Kyoto 6380円

Osaka 7130円

75 mins 1,850円



Kyoto 35 min

Osaka 50min


Kyoto 5070円

Osaka 5830円

3 hr


Departure from Nagoya


By limited express train +transfer by bus
Time/price Time Price Time






(Wide view Hida)


5,510 yen 57 mins 2,470 yen
Straight to


3 hr

3,900 yen


The travel passes

After knowing the ticket prices above, don’t you think it’s expensive to travel Japan? But don’t worry, Japan is a country that is kind to foreign travelers, many companies provide travel passes, and there are 3 different passes you can use to visit Shirakawa-go.










Hokuriku Arch Pass

  • Company: JR east, JR west
  • Days: 7 consecutive days
  • Price: 24,000yen, purchase in JP 25,000yen
  • Accessible area:

Departure from Tokyo Haneda/Narita airport to Hokuriku area, then connect to Kansai area and Kansai airport, unlimited ride for 7 consecutive days. It’s an economical pass, the price is cheaper than the Shinkansen return ticket from Tokyo to Kanazawa. No matter to go or not to go to Kansai area, it’s worth to buy.



Int’l airport

Hokuriku area


Kansai area




Airport Ltd Exp N’EX train

Hokuriku Shinkansen Ltd Exp Thunderbird Train

Ltd Exp Haruka


  • How to purchase: you can make a reservation on the official website, or purchase from the travel agency. After reservation, please bring your passport and exchange order to the JR green ticket office. (You can only purchase/exchange the travel pass at assigned ticket office, see location)
  • How to use:
  1. The exchange order will be valid for 3 months from the date issued.
  2. The pass will be valid for a month after the date issued.
  3. Before entering the gate, you must show your pass to the station staff to confirm the valid date.
  4. Please go to the ticket office and reserve a seat before taking all reserved seat train (such as Thunderbird and Hokuriku Shinkansan Kakayaki). Or you can also reserve a seat on the eki-net website(Japanese only)
  • Other benefits of JR pass:

There are also other benefits provided by JR East, please see the official website.

For example: you can take Hokuriku Shinkansen to JR Shin Takaoka station, and take Kaetsuno world heritage bus to Shirakawa-go (2hrs ride/5 buses a day). There is 20% off for the bus ticket, if you travel with JR pass.


Takayama, Hokuriku area pass

  • Company: JR West, JR Central
  • Days:5 consecutive days
  • Price: 14,000 yen, purchase in JP 15,000 yen
  • Accessible area: unlimited ride for non-reserved seats of JR train all the way from Nagoya to Takayama and Toyama, and connect the Hokuriku shinkansen to Kanazawa, then to Osaka, Kyoto and Kansai airport. With this pass travelers can reserve JR ordinary train seats for 4 time free of charge. (Except the Kansai airport transfer train Haruka) Moreover, even the buses from kanazawa-Shirakawago-Takayama and Kaetsuno world heritage bus are included.




Hokuriku area





Kansai area

Kansai airport





(Wide View Hida limited express)

Hokuriku Shinkansen

non-reserved seat




Ltd Exp train


Kaetsuno bus

Nohi bus

Hokutetsu bus

  • How to purchase:

Before come to Japan, please contact the travel agency (agency information) in your country and purchase a MCO (exchange order) first, after come to JP please come to JR ticket office (see location) and exchange travel pass with your exchange order and passport.

Or simply come to ticket office and purchase there after arrive Japan (but the price will be more expensive in JP).

  • How to use:

Eligibility: For foreign travelers only, you must be a “short-term stay” tourist.

With the travel pass, you can reserve a seat of JR ordinary train 4 times for free. To reserve a seat please go to the JR ticket office or reserve on eki-net website (Japanese only).


To reserve a seat of bus, please call (English and Japanese available)

Nohi bus reservation center : 0577-32-1688(9:00 – 18:00) or

Hokutetsu Bus Ticket Office : 076-234-0123(9:00 – 18:00)


For the more detail of bus route please see the following article:

[Access] How to take bus from Shirakawa-go to the cities nearby?


[Access] Guide of Shirakawa-go Bus Terminal



Shoryudo highway bus pass

  • Company: Meitetsu company
  • Days: 3 or 5 consecutive days
  • Price: 3 days 7,500 yen, 5 days 13,000 yen
  • Accessible area:

This is a travel pass issued by the Meitetsu company, which allows travelers to have unlimited ride of all the highway shuttle buses connect most of the sightseeing place in Japan central area. Besides, 3 airport transports (Central Itn’l airport, Komatsu airport and Toyama airport) are included.

The difference between 3 days and 5 days pass are as follow:

3 days pass 5 days pass
7,500 yen 13,000 yen
Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Takayama and Toyama Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Takayama

Gokayama, Shinhotaka and Matsumoto are the extra route for 5 days pass.

3 days pass:

5 days pass:

  • How to purchase:

Please purchase at the Meitetsu website or go to the Japanican.com.

  • How to use:
  1. Airport transport: Travelers can only use the airport transport service during the pass valid date. Moreover, the Central Itn’l airport transfer ticket needs to be exchanged to magnetic ticket before boarding. (No need to exchange ticket for Komatsu and Toyama airport transfer)
  2. Most of the highway buses need to reserve a seat first, please go to ticket counter with your valid bus pass to reserve a seat for free of charge. (ticket counter location)
  3. For more information please see the official website.
  • Other benefits:

Shinhotaka ropeway in-bound ticket discount.

Highway bus ticket discount departure from Takayama to Tokyo.


These travel passes are specially for foreign travelers, hope these information helps. You can choose the pass you need according to your travel schedule. Finally, please read all the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing and using travel pass. Enjoy your trip.