However, you can also travel by car as far as the Sawando Parking Area (Eastern side) or the Hirayu Parking Area (Western 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.
Regarding Final Departures and Changes in Bus and Train Schedules
The departure times of the last train and bus leaving for Kamikochi are subject to change with the seasons.
When you look at schedules for buses and trains, please ensure that buses are actually running on the dates on which you wish to travel. Also, check that you will arrive in time to transfer buses. Last buses can be fairly early in the mountains and mistaking train and bus times can result in having to take taxis to get over or off the mountains.
There are three options to get to Kamikochi.
A. Direct Bus Service from Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto to Kamikochi
Click here for details.
B. Access to Kamikochi from Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture
C. Access to Kamikochi from Gifu Prefecture
Option A – Direct Bus Service to Kamikochi
This bus service will be suspending until July 21, 2020, resuming the following day, July 22, due to the current coronavirus crisis.
Click here for details.
Option B – Access from Matsumoto Station via Shin-Shimashima Station (Bus tickets cannot be reserved.)
Step 2:Transfer at Shin-Shimashima Station to a bus bound for Kamikōchi (About 60 min)
Note: You cannot reserve seats. Be sure to give yourself enough time to get in line for a seat on the bus ride back. For additional information on the bus to Kamikochi, including answers to frequently asked questions, please see the Alpico website.
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 or taxi bound for Kamikochi (25 min)
Discount Bus Tickets
Three-star Route Bus Tickets
The Three-star Route connects Matsumoto, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, and Toyama. It includes stops at National Treasures and World Heritage Sites. There is even a Shinjuku (Tokyo) bus ticket set.
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
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
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).
Alps Crossing Route Ticket
There is discount bus tickets for Northern Japan Alps crossing route.
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 or taxi. You can purchase round-trip bus tickets from Sawando and Hirayu Bus Terminals.
Sawando Parking Area -> Taisho Pond = 3,500 yen
Sawando Parking Area -> Kamikochi Bus Terminal = 4,200 yen
Hirayu Onsen Area -> Taisho Pond = 5,580 yen
Hirayu Onsen Area -> Kamikochi Imperial Hotel = 6,580 yen
Hirayu Onsen Area -> Kamikochi Bus Terminal = 6,580 yen
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 stop where you will take a bus or taxi bound for Kamikochi.
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.
*As long as you have a bicycle bag, you can take your bike on the bus to Kamikochi or for 270 yen, you can take it on JR trains (same for up to 1,000 km)
Getting to Matsumoto or Takayama
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.
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.