By taxi

Private taxi is often the easiest way to travel to Hakuba, especially for families, as you can travel door-to-door at not much more than public transport prices. Bookings can be made for any number of passengers and the length of the trip will be influenced by traffic conditions, but will take at least 5.5 hours from the airport.

By Train

From Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, there is one daily Super Azusa limited express service leaving early in the morning that runs directly to Hakuba and a return service leaving mid-afternoon, completing the journey in approximately 4 hours. Otherwise, you will need to take an Azusa or Super Azusa to Matsumoto City, then change to take one (possibly two) Oito Line local trains, increasing the journey to 5 hours or more.

The fastest route from Tokyo is by Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Nagano City, then taking the bus from Nagano to Hakuba that leaves from outside the East Exit of Nagano Station. Bullet trains from Tokyo run every half hour or so, with buses then leaving every hour or so during the winter months. This whole trip takes as little as 3 hours with good connections.

Please note that the Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo Station takes 1 hour and this should be added to the overall journey time.


By bus

From Tokyo, buses run from outside Shinjuku Station (west side) every two or three hours and stop at several places in the Hakuba region. The trip takes close to 6 hours, but is easily the cheapest way to travel to Hakuba. 

Direct from Narita Airport:

There are now several comfortable, hassle-free and economical bus services traveling directly from Narita Airport to Hakuba. One of these is the Nagano Snow Shuttle, which is a full-sized, limousine bus, departing from both Narita and Haneda Airports. Alpico Bus Service also operates the Highland Express Direct Bus Service from Narita Airport.

Getting Around

Outside of the winter months, there are plenty of bike trails and walking paths to get around the area. Many hostels have bike rental which helps if you are a little bit outside of Hakuba proper.

If you are based around Kamishiro station, you are on the main rail line and road so a trip into Hakuba proper is only five minutes by JR or by Bus.

During the peak winter months (December to March) there are many daily shuttles running from various parts of Hakuba (with the Happo Information Center acting as the main hub) to all the resorts in the valley. The Shuttle Bus "Genki-Go" covers the wining and dining areas and operates during the same period in the evenings from 5pm. 

Access to Big Bear chalets