It’s finally happening!
You’ve booked a trip to Hakuba, Japan, and you couldn’t be more excited. The powder paradise awaits, but before you hit the slopes, you have to find out how to get there. It’s not easy finding straightforward directions on how to get to Hakuba. The trains are confusing, and you have no idea which way of getting there is the best.
So, to help you out, we have simplified your search. In our complete guide on how to get from Tokyo to Hakuba, we will show you all the possible ways to reach your winter wonderland.
The list is ordered from easiest to most complicated. If this is your first time in Japan, we highly recommend the Nagano Snow Shuttle. It is hands down the easiest way to get from the Airport to Hakuba.
How to Get From Tokyo to Hakuba
Here are the six best ways to get from Tokyo to Hakuba
- Nagano Snow Shuttle
- Highway Bus
- Express Train
- Chartered or Shared Taxi
- Bullet Train & Bus
- Car Rental
Simply put, the Nagano Snow Shuttle is the easiest and most convenient transportation from Tokyo’s airports to Nagano’s top ski resorts.
No transfers between trains or struggling with luggage; hop on the bus and relax. The Nagano Snow Shuttle has three daily return trips from Narita to Hakuba and Haneda to Hakuba and offers free Wi-Fi on all its shuttles. Their English-speaking staff will get you to Hakuba on time and in comfort.
Narita Airport to Hakuba Station (¥10,500)
Dates of Operation: December 21 – March 10
Haneda Airport to Hakuba Station (¥9,800)
Dates of Operation: December 21 – March 10
2 – Highway Bus
Best for multiple departure times throughout the day.
The highway bus gives you the freedom to choose your departure time without having to worry. Departing from the Shinjuku Expressway bus terminal, the journey takes approximately 5 hours and drops you off at Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal.
There is also a night bus that will take you from the Shinjuku Expressway bus terminal to Nagano station while you sleep. Then, a shuttle bus from Nagano station will take you to Hakuba.
3 – Express Train
The Azusa Express train runs from Shinjuku Station to Hakuba Station in under 4 hours.
It is the only direct train to Hakuba, and it leaves Shinjuku Station at 8:00 AM and arrives at Hakuba Station at 11:42 AM. You can also take a local train to Matsumoto, transfer to the JR Oito Line, and take the local train to Hakuba Train Station.
Google Maps is a great way to search Japan’s train schedules and plan your route. It allows you to pick departure and arrival times. A Japan Rail Pass allows unlimited train travel, making this a great option.
4 – Chartered or Shared Taxi
Your flights don’t match the transit schedules? Book a taxi instead.
Chuo Taxi offers the ultimate scheduling freedom. No matter what time your flight arrives, they can accommodate your schedule. They take your luggage, pick you up at the airport, and drop you off at your accommodation. What else can you ask for?
If you have a larger group, you can charter the whole taxi.
5 – Bullet Train & Bus
The bullet train and Hakuba bus are the fastest way from Tokyo to Hakuba.
The Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) takes only 90 minutes from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station. From Nagano station, the Hakuba bus takes about an hour to reach the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal. The total cost is approximately ¥10,000 one way. If you can get to Nagano before the last bus (9:00 PM), this is an excellent way to get to Hakuba quickly.
If you plan on using the trains before or after Hakuba, consider a Japan Rail Pass; it can be a significant savings.
Don’t carry your skis or boards; ship them. The trains are crowded, and taking your gear is a hassle. Instead, use the takkyubin service (luggage delivery) to send your skis directly to your hotel.
6 – Car Rental
A car is the ultimate freedom; travel when and where you want.
If you plan on exploring multiple ski resorts or want the freedom of having your own transportation, consider renting a car. Driving in Japan is safe and convenient, but be aware that there may be tolls and parking fees to consider. Also, make sure to check if your accommodation offers parking for guests.
Some popular car rental companies in Japan include:
- Nissan Rent a Car
- Times Car Rental
- Nippon Rent-A-Car
- Toyota Rent-A-Car
- Orix Rent-A-Car
If you rent a car, ensure it has winter tires. You don’t want to be that guy sliding sideways down the hill when those summer tires hit the first patch of ice!
How to get Hakuba from Tokyo?
There are several ways to get to Hakuba from Tokyo:
- The Nagano Snow Shuttle: Tokyo airports to Hakuba
- Bullet train and Bus: Tokyo Station to Nagano Station to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal
- Express Train: Shinjuku Train Station to Hakuba Train Station
- Charter or Shared Taxi
- Car Rental
Is there a snow shuttle from Tokyo to Hakuba?
Yes, the Nagano Snow Shuttle will take you from the Tokyo airports to resorts all over Nagano prefecture, including Hakuba. For the 2023/2024 season, they are operating three shuttles per day from each airport.
Can I use the Japan Rail Pass from Tokyo to Hakuba?
Yes, the Japan Rail Pass will give you access to most Japan rail trains, including those that travel to Hakuba. Be aware that you will not need to use the JR pass while in Hakuba, but if you plan on using Japan rail trains before or after your stay in Hakuba, it can be a cost-effective option.
How do you get from the airport to Hakuba?
The easiest way to get from the airport to Hakuba’s ski resorts is the Nagano Snow Shuttle.
Hi there! I’m Mike, I love the mountains and the outdoors. I’m lucky enough to live in Hakuba, Japan where, in the winter you will find me out skiing or snowboarding and in the summer hiking the local mountain peaks.