Most people make their way to Kamikochi via public transportation. However, you can also travel by car as far as the Sawando Parking Area (Matsumoto, Nagano side) or the Hirayu Parking Area (Takayama, Gifu side) where you can choose between a bus or a taxi. If you are touring Japan on a bicycle, you can also ride right into the heart of the Japan Alps.
Option A – Direct Bus Service to Kamikochi
Click here for details.
Option B – Access from Matsumoto Station via Shin-Shimashima Station
Matsumoto Station ⇨ 30 min ⇨ Shin-Shimashima Station
Shin-Shimashima Station ⇨ 60 min ⇨ Kamikochi
From Matsumoto Station
Take the Matsumoto Dentetsu (Alpico Railway) from Matsumoto Station to Shin-Shimashima Station (30 min)
Click here for train times on Google Maps
From Shin-Shimashima Station
Transfer at Shin-Shimashima Station to a bus bound for Kamikōchi (About 60 min)
Click here for bus times and fare information
Discount Bus Tickets
2 DAY Free Passport Kamikochi/Norikura/Matsumoto
This pass allows unlimited travel by train and bus to/from Kamikochi, Norikura Highlands, Matsumoto and the local bus network in Matsumoto within two days. This Pass is the least expensive best means available for tourists who would like to sightsee not only in Kamikochi but also in Norikura Highlands and Matsumoto area within 2 days.
■ Fee : Adults 6,000 yen / Child 3,000 yen English Leaflet is here
4 Day Pass for sightseeing in Kamikochi, Norikura Highlands, Matsumoto, Shirakawa-go and Hida
This pass allows unlimited travel on the trains and shuttle buses, express buses and local buses to/from Kamikochi, Norikura Highlands, Matsumoto (castle town), Takayama and the world heritage “Shirakawa-go” within 4 days.
■ Fee : Adults 10,290 yen / Child 5,150 yen English Leaflet is here
Getting Around Matsumoto City
Matsumoto City Circle Bus – Town Sneaker
The Town Sneaker is a city circle bus, which tours round the center of the Matsumoto City on four courses: Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Ones.
You can take the Bus at a small fare, 200 yen (or 150 yen) for adults, and 100 yen (or 80 yen) for children. Or you can get the One-Day tickets at 500 yen for adults (250 yen for children).
Click here for bus times and fare information
Option C: Access from Takayama Station via Hirayu Onsen Bus Terminal
Step 1: Takayama Station ⇨ 60 min ⇨ Hirayu Onsen Bus Terminal
Step 2: Hirayu Onsen Bus Terminal ⇨ 25 min ⇨ Kamikochi
Take the Nohi bus from Takayama Bus Center to Hirayu Onsen (60 min)
From Hirayu Onsen
Take a bus bound for Kamikochi (25 min)
Take Route 158 from Matsumoto or Takayama to either Sawando Parking Area on Google Maps (Closer to Matsumoto) or Hirayu Parking Area on Google Maps (Closer to Takayama). Private cars or motorcycles are not allowed to enter Kamikochi, but there are parking areas near the entrance of Kamikochi, Sawando and Hirayu, and they typically cost ¥600 per day. From the parking areas, you can access Kamikochi in about 20 – 30 minutes by bus.
Set your car navigation to Azumi, 4161−2, Matsumoto, Nagano or open Sawando Parking Area on Google Maps (Closer to Matsumoto City – Nagano Prefecture)
Set your navigation to 628 Okuhida Onsenkyo Hirayu, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture or open Hirayu Parking Area on Google Maps (Closer to Takayama City – Gifu Prefecture)
Once you have parked your car, please make your way to the Bus Terminal where you will take a bus or taxi bound for Kamikochi.
Cycling in Japan is a great way to get around but also offers some unique challenges. The first challenge being the climb. About 70% of Japan is mountainous and Kamikochi is deep in the mountains.
Getting to Matsumoto or Takayama
Cycling from Matsumoto to Kamikochi is possible on National Route 158 but please use caution as it is a busy highway and be prepared for many narrow tunnels as you climb up the mountain. You will want head and tail lights for the tunnels some of which are over 1 km long. From Matsumoto, it’s about a 50 km ride (one-way) with about 1,000 m of climbing (a little more because it is not all uphill), we recommend making the most of your climb by staying several days.
As long as you have a bicycle bag, you can take your bike on JR trains for 270 yen (same for up to 1,000 km)
Please Read Carefully
*Cycling inside the Kamikochi Area is not permitted beyond the bus terminal.
*Parts of Route 158 from Takayama to Kamikochi is closed to bicycles (Abo-Toge toll road). There is an alternate route available but that route is sometimes closed due to heavy rain. Please use caution while planning your route.